Merrick-Bellmore Chabad reaching out to breast cancer patients

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To raise funds to get Circle of Hope up and running, Chabad hosted several recent events, including the “Journey for a Purpose” women’s evening in late October and the “Coin-orah” fundraiser at the group’s annual Chanukah party last weekend.

Knoll and fellow survivor Lisa Fessler, of Merrick, co-chaired “Journey for a Purpose” with Kramer, which was held on Oct. 25. More than 300 women attended, and Knoll said they raised $55,000 for Circle of Hope.

The evening featured a runway show sponsored by Runway Couture, Let’s Accessorize and Lets Bag It, at which many of the models were breast cancer survivors. Dr. Ruth Oratz, and oncologist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, also spoke at “Journey for a Purpose,” and there were musical performances by John F. Kennedy High School seniors Julien Harris and Justin Neugeboren.

Local businesses were also involved in the fundraiser, Knoll said. Beautiful People, a Merrick salon, donated 300 blowouts and makeup application certificates for gift bags at the event. Salon Nouveau in Bellmore also gave shampoo packets. And Knoll said owners of local salons have offered to treat the hair pieces in the wig bank.

Fessler, a four-year survivor, modeled at “Journey for a Purpose” and was the first person to donate a wig to the bank. She said she is proud of the community’s support for the cause, as there are women in the area who are in need.

“You think because we’re in Merrick that everyone has the financial means to deal with this, but some people don’t,” she said. “My hope is that people will feel comfortable enough to use the facility and come to know they aren’t alone.”

Chabad continued to raise money for Circle of Hope at the “Chanukah Wonderland” in Merrick on Dec. 9.

Kramer explained that Chabad owns a large menorah made of plastic pipes that children have filled with jellybeans for fun at past events. She thought that filling it with coins and bills this year in support of Circle of Hope would add another meaningful touch to this year’s holiday gathering.

Knoll said that money collected from admission to “Chanukah Wonderland,” which featured crafts, culinary activities and more, would also go toward Circle of Hope.

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