October 2014 marked the inaugural Femininity Fair hosted by the Geness Foundation at The Venue at Melrose Arch. A celebration of femininity, a salute to the girl child and most importantly a tribute to all things ‘woman’. With October being Breast Cancer month it was appropriate that with so many families whose lives have been touched by the disease, the focus should be on Breast Cancer Awareness.
With such esteemed speakers as Dr. Carol Benn, the leading Breast Cancer expert in South Africa and Dr. Marisse Venter, reconstructive surgeon we all left feeling much more informed and empowered. But there was more to the occasion than ‘medical speak’ . Guests were treated to a makeup demonstration by celebrity make-up artist Gina Myers who had as her model the very beautiful Carmen Constantinides , a delightful and fun presentation by Sharon Gordan, owner of the Lola Montez chain of adult stores as well as a talk by leading aesthetic practitioner, Dr. Reza Mia who walked us through the dilemma of ‘to botox or not to botox’.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Joan Madibeng, Miss South Africa 2009, who reminded us all how powerful dreams can be. She told of how against all odds, her dream of becoming Miss South Africa became a reality. Dr.Pholile Mpofu, a leading dermatologist
reminded us of the importance of skincare. What I remember most is, “Retinol and Exfoliate” . But the day was about so much more than information, the initiative was to raise funds for The Breast Health Foundation at The Helen Joseph Hospital and the event was graced by the attendance of the Chief Operating Officer, Louise Turner.
She told of how every member of the organisation is either a sufferer or survivor of the dreaded disease. Their mission is “ to promote a multi-disciplinary approach to breast cancer via the establishment of a “Breast Cancer Chain of Survival”.
The Breast Cancer Chain Of Survival:
* Early access to breast cancer information and awareness
* Early awareness of breast cancer
* Early diagnostic intervention
* Early support
* Early definitive care
* Early and ongoing analysis of care
The importance of early awareness and testing cannot be stressed enough and The Geness Foundation’s commitment to the cause bears testament in not only their cash donation but also in their constant bid to drive awareness around the work of the Breast Health Foundation. So yes, the stars came out to play and the celebrities showed their support but mostly, the audience was full with women whose lives have been affected.
A truly inspirational story was that of Jason Hinde, a fifteen year old young man who came home one day to learn that his mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without skipping a beat, he started a group (Hinde Youth Foundation) for other young people in similar circumstances and began his journey of raising awareness as well as funds to aid sufferers.
With the gorgeous Fadeen Mia of Generations and Mela as the MC, it was bound to happen that he would be coaxed to ‘strut his stuff’ and Natalie Rungan who entertained the women with a resounding rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” which had everyone on their feet, was sure to be the lady who got him to do just that.
Not only did the Geness Foundation hand over a cheque to the Breast Health Foundation of R20 000 but an auction of artwork raised the final amount considerably. Two pieces by renowned photographer Leon Krige, ‘Johannesburg Ponte Autumn’ and ‘Signal Hill Midnight’ together with a truly prized hand drawn piece of African artwork went under the hammer and collectively raised an amount of R100 000.
In all, The Geness Foundation, hosted a hugely successful afternoon complete with the most decadent gourmet lunch . It ticked all the boxes from elegance and glamour to making new friends and restoring old ones and most importantly achieving its objective of raising awareness and keeping the conversation going, about everyone’s old enemy, Cancer.
The highly successful Femininity Fair 2014 is set to become a highlight on the calendar and will be visiting your city soon. Please watch the press for details as this is one event you would not want to miss. A congratulatory shout out must go to the event organisers, Mr Sunil Geness and Dr. Sheena Geness of the Geness Foundation on a truly memorable occasion and one that is bound to continue growing from strength to strength .