JSU students strut for Steel Magnolias
by Paige Rentz
With a walk down the runway, local fashionistas raised awareness and funds for breast cancer support earlier this month.

The Nov. 13 “Pink Diamonds Last Forever: a Breast Cancer Awareness Fashion Show” raised about $100 for the Steel Magnolias, an Anniston-based breast cancer support group.

Delisha Ledford, a 21-year-old nursing student at Jacksonville State University, said she wanted to host an event to include fashion and give back to the community. “Everybody can join in and have fun at the same time,” she said.

About 15 participants—including JSU students and faculty, as well as breast cancer survivors— donned various styles on loan from Dillard’s in Oxford and Pretty Plus Boutique in Gadsden and strutted down a runway set up at the Jacksonville Community Center. Ledford was pleased with the turnout, which included JSU President Bill Meehan and Jacksonville Mayor Johnny Smith, as well as some city council members.

Ledford lost her great-grandmother to ovarian cancer about 10 years ago, and she wanted to help draw attention to women’s cancers and an organization that helps breast cancer patients and their families.

“I know there’s a lot of women even some of the faculty [in] the show, that have had breast cancer have used Steel Magnolias as a support system.”

Lenora Johnson, founder of Steel Magnolias, said she is appreciative of every donation that has come in over the past two months, which is the group’s busiest fundraising time of year. The bulk of their donations, she said, come in October—Breast Cancer Awareness month—and continue to trickle in during November.

“I think it’s just wonderful,” Johnson said, “and I think it’s so great that [students] at Jacksonville State are beginning to take an interest.”
© 2012