Debbie Morey of Riverview has been selected to receive funds raised this month at Music Showcase in Brandon for a woman battling breast cancer.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, throughout the month, Music Showcase has been selling cookies, cupcakes, pink flower pens and ribbon cards to support the cause of a local woman battling the disease.
Also to aid the effort, Music Showcase is going pink with a Kids Fall Festival scheduled for Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free but, for a small fee, kids can play games and activities and enjoy music and food.
Then, from 7 to 10 p.m., parents — without the kids — are invited to a costume Halloween party with food and music. Tickets are $10 in advance, sold at Music Showcase, and $15 at the door.
Morey will benefit from the proceeds after Music Showcase in September sought nominations of local women with breast cancer undergoing treatment. Her story, on a nomination form, was submitted by her friend Nikole Whitehead.
"Whitehead writes that Ms. Morey is now undergoing treatment with an experimental drug for stage 4 breast cancer," noted Deborah Evans, director of communications for Music Showcase.
Before her diagnosis of breast cancer, Morey's 5-year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia and is now in remission.
Morey has two other children. One serves in the U.S. Navy and the other has Down syndrome and needs 24-hour care at home.
"So, Ms. Morey is used to struggles," wrote Whitehead. Nevertheless, Whitehead says Morey stays positive, sewing quilts and donating them to the children's cancer center at St. Joseph's Hospital, where her daughter received treatment.
Last year Music Showcase awarded about $1,300 to breast cancer fighter Sherry Ellis.
"And this year we're hoping to double that," said Debbie Campos, director of the Music Showcase Eliter Center.
Paula Gaskins, Music Showcase's community liaison, said choosing one recipient from the pile of applications they received was difficult.
"We wanted to help them all but we couldn't," Gaskins said. As a member of the selection committee, she said, "We would be sitting there, [reading them], literally with tears coming out of our eyes."
Morey's name was selected, she added, "because of her needs, what she was going through with her children, the whole nine yards."
Funds raised through Oct. 30 will be turned over to Morey at Music Showcase on Nov. 2, Gaskins said. Residents can support the cause as well by donating gift cards for use in area stores and restaurants.
"Everything goes to the recipient," Gaskins said.
Gaskins said the effort for Breast Cancer Awareness Month hits home.
"I personally have a grandmother who passed from [breast cancer] and everybody knows somebody who either has to go through breast cancer or has passed from it," she said.
The selection for who is awared funds is "based on the individual who needs it the most," Campos said. "They might not have money; they might have major needs; they might be single mothers or women with no spouses."
Campos noted that last year Ellis told Music Showcase organizers that, while going through treatment, she needed "people to mow her yard, clean her house and fix her dinners."
This year, Music Showcase is asking area businesses to provide services as well as donations. For $50, a sponsor will be listed on the Music Showcase website through October. Also, there will be a sponsors' table at the two events Oct. 20 — the daylong fall festival for kids and the evening costume party for adults.
"Give us your cards and brochures and we'll make sure they get displayed," Campos said.
For information about Music Showcase, and its events, call Evans at 813-685-5998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.