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A basket of hope

August 12, 2012
By SHAUNNA DUNDER HERSHBERGER - Lifestyles Editor ( , Times Leader

ADENA - It takes a little water to grow a single flower, but with some extra effort, an entire garden can spring forth.

When Nina Sutherland and Pam Cleaver, both of Pleasant Grove, held a small "Breast Cancer Awareness" luncheon for their Longaberger group in 2006, they had no idea how much it would grow. Now, six years and $20,000 in donations to the American Cancer Society later, the duo's Breast Cancer Awareness Extravaganza is chugging full steam ahead.

This year, the event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Farm Restaurant in Adena. Along with a lunch prepared and served by The Farm, the event will also hold a style show featuring cancer survivors modeling Christopher & Banks clothing, as well as a raffle, door prizes, tote giveaways, a special gift for all survivors, and other entertainment. Along with Sutherland and Cleaver, the event is sponsored by The Farm and Just You of Martins Ferry. Tickets are $25. You must have a ticket to attend; tickets will not be available at the door.

Article Photos

CANCER AWARENESS will be at the forefront on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the sixth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Extravaganza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Farm Restaurant in Adena. The event features a lunch prepared and served by The Farm, a style show, a special raffle for attendees, door prizes and special gifts for survivors. In addition, a
separate raffle will be held for the public featuring three large Longaberger basket sets. Proceeds from the event benefit the American Cancer Society. Shown with some of the raffle baskets and big raffle items are Sally Culler, owner of The Farm, seated; Pam Cleaver, back left; and Nina Sutherland. For admission or raffle tickets, call Cleaver at 635-0351 or Sutherland at 546-4166. You must have a ticket to attend.

In 2006, the Longaberger Company encouraged its consultants to hold a luncheon promoting breast cancer awareness in support of their "Horizon of Hope" cancer basket, which to date has raised more than $15 million for the American Cancer Society. Sutherland and Cleaver initially feared very few people would attend their event. "At first, we were just going to have a small group of friends at my house and a small group at Nina's," Cleaver said. "We were afraid nobody would come."

However, after some discussion with Sally Culler, owner of The Farm, Cleaver and Sutherland decided to hold the brunch there. The first year, there were about 30 attendees. Over the years, the event has grown to fill The Farm to capacity, about 140 people. The event is typically held outside on the lawn of the restaurant, beneath the shady trees and around the gazebo. In previous years, the event featured various speakers, fashion shows, on site artists and live music.

While breast cancer is stressed, survivors of all cancers are honored at the event, Sutherland said. Their goal is to make every woman in attendance feel "pampered and cared for," if only for a few hours.

Sutherland is amazed at how the event has grown over the years. "There is no need to advertise because word of mouth has put this at the top of everyone's list." She also mentioned that many people and businesses call them asking if they can donate raffle items, centerpieces, or other things they need for the event.

The women also sing the praises of Culler, who has been with them since their first luncheon. "Sally does so much," Sutherland said, noting that she shuts the restaurant down for the event, plans the menu, and provides food service. "She really goes out on a limb for us," Cleaver added.

During the event, attendees can buy raffle tickets and bid on the 20 themed-basket items in the "Pink Raffle." These items can only be bid on and won by attendees. However, in addition to the "Pink Raffle," Sutherland and Cleaver have also planned what they call the "Big Raffle." The lucky person to win the big raffle will receive a Longaberger large, square hamper with lid, Longaberger's social gathering basket with lid (Steelers themed), and a Longaberger large, round tour basket.

"We wanted to figure out a way we could raise even more money for the American Cancer Society," Cleaver said. Since attendance is capped due to the capacity at The Farm, the women got creative to determine how to bring in more money for the ACS. Having a raffle that anyone can participate in, not just event attendees, should help their cause. Cleaver and Sutherland have contacted local county Relay for Life groups and enlisted their help in selling tickets for the "Big Raffle."

Over the past five years, Sutherland and Cleaver have raised about $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. While neither has been touched personally by cancer, some of their family members have, and holding this luncheon remains a great cause for the women. "I just try to put myself in the other person's place," Sutherland said.

Both stressed the importance of hope and the development of new treatment options. "Hearing about the development of these new drugs, that's what makes this all worthwhile," Cleaver said. "That's a good indicator of where that $15 million goes."

The women agree that every little bit of money they raise helps. "It's about hope," they reiterated.

If you would like to attend or buy tickets for the "Big Raffle," call Cleaver at 635-0351 or Sutherland at 546-4166. Tickets are limited and are required for admission, so the women stress that if you wish to attend the event, don't wait until the last minute to buy your ticket. Tickets will not be sold at the door.



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