STYLE MISSION is back. It is a fashion event that was created years ago to raise funds and awareness for a meaningful cause.The Pegasus Hotel collaborated with my foundation to host this year’s event. Mr Montenegro, General Manager of the Pegasus Hotel and I spoke about this collaboration a few months ago, but because of my travel commitments, it is only now possible. The event will feature outfits from local designers and boutiques showcasing their new outfits for Christmas. Two of the Caribbean’s top designers will also be showcasing at this event. One of the segments patrons look forward to with great anticipation is the section where well-known people in our society walk the runway for this cause. You may even see some of your favourite politicians strutting down the catwalk. We decided that we will give the proceeds to the victims who came back from The Bahamas to Guyana because of the hurricane.

I contacted the Ministry of Social Protection for some recommendations regarding persons who can benefit; they recommended that I contact Mr Kester Craig who was dealing directly with them. I did and he informed me that all fund-raising activities pertaining to Hurricane Dorian have been closed and did not give any contact info for the victims. Maybe things are different with the Guyanese who returned because when disasters such as these happen, people are in need of assistance for a while. It also could be that sometimes people who have a comfortable lifestyle don’t care much about the ones that are in need; there is always a solution to any situation.

I am in constant contact with Will Pluck who is a prominent Guyanese living in The Bahamas and one of the co-authors in the upcoming Men Across Borders Anthology. When this disaster struck The Bahamas a few months ago, Will sent me constant updates because he was involved not only with the Guyanese but also the wider Caribbean, especially the Haitians. According to reports, conditions are still horrible and we will be diverting the funds to the Haitians and Guyanese communities in The Bahamas. We are looking forward to your support by purchasing a ticket from the Pegasus or Oasis for STYLE MISSION. Remember style has no soul if there is no mission.

We are on the topic of mission and I have to mention an event I attended recently that impressed me. Pancreatic Cancer is highlighted in the month of November and Evelyn Herbert De Freitas hosted a brunch to raise funds and awareness. She was motivated because her husband is one of the fortunate persons that survived Pancreatic Cancer for four years. She also launched the Tough Cookie Club of which I am a member, to provide support. “The Tough Cookie Club that was launched at the Brunch held on November 3 is expected to be a beacon of hope for survivors to let them know that there is hope after diagnosis. We intend to make this event annual and we need the support,” said Evelyn Herbert De Freitas. Norbert De Freitas gave his testimony on why he thinks he survived this form of cancer that is considered very aggressive. Dr Sayan from the Cancer Institute of Guyana (CIG) shared some valuable info regarding this form of cancer.

The money raised from this event was donated to the Cancer Institute of Guyana. I must commend Evelyn for this initiative because not a lot of focus, awareness and support exist in Guyana for Pancreatic Cancer. Many around the world are affected and some are famous such as Alex Trebek, who is one of my favourite game show hosts. The late Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson succumbed to this dreaded disease. Some other famous people were celebrated: English actor John Hunt, known for his roles in the Harry Potter; Pavarotti, one of the world’s greatest opera singers; actor Patrick Swayze, Dirty Dancing; and Michael Landon, Little House On the Prairie. The larger-than-life CEO of Apple, the late Steve Jobs and Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin were both diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in the pancreas. These days it seems as if one in four deaths of people I know are related to some form of cancer and this is frightening.
I was chatting with some of the breast cancer survivors who attended the event and the

stories made me emotional. I also admire the faith, optimism and resilience displayed by these ladies. I heard this beautiful voice coming from behind me as I was waiting at the gate at the Georgetown Club. One of the survivors was singing a gospel song on what God has done for her; sometimes we take many things for granted until we have survived a tragedy. Let’s continue to put our health first because even if we have everything else it will not matter.

I am trying to practise what I preach regarding my health as we continue to celebrate this beautiful journey called life BEYOND THE RUNWAY.