A popular Edmonton fundraiser and fashion show is going virtual in its 24th year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Syncrude presents Fashion with Compassion At Home is held in support of Compassion House Foundation and the operation of Sorrentino’s Compassion House.
The foundation supports women who have to leave their homes outside of Edmonton to receive cancer treatment, facilitated through Compassion House.
“The pandemic has certainly impacted us. We serve women who are undergoing cancer treatment and are immunocompromised. It puts them at risk of contracting COVID-19 and certainly a worse outcome,” the foundation’s CEO Michelle Okere said.
Okere said economic challenges alongside the COVID-19 pandemic have created a few funding obstacles.
“At one point we were unable to get basic necessities. We literally couldn’t get toilet paper, hand sanitizer because they were sold out. The public responded in a phenomenal way… we had people loading up our garage with items to ensure we had everything we needed to keep our doors open.”
Okere said the event will look different, but the heart of the show remains intact.
Former client Marina Rosta will be taking part in this year’s show, walking the digital runway.
“I stayed at the Compassion House from the first week of December until the middle of January,” Rosta said. “It’s a wonderful place. It was a safe haven for me.”
Rosta lives in Jasper and was looking for an affordable solution to access the daily treatment and care she needed.
Rosta said she is now cancer free and is proud to walk in the show, alongside the friends she made at Compassion House.
“I was grateful to be able to access the treatment I needed to save my life. I also knew my family wouldn’t be worried, they knew I was in a safe caring environment. It was exactly what I needed.”
You can buy tickets to the Oct. 8 fashion show here.