Red dresses and tuxes support offer of wigs and peace

Jan. 28, 2014 @ 01:12 PM

The Wig Bank of Caldwell County offers a medley of services to cancer patients, from the titular wigs to a safe place to land.

There’s the purple-doored house in downtown Lenoir that gives cancer patients a soothing space to unwind. There are the wigs, provided to patients at no cost. There are support groups.

You can help pay for all that by donning a red dress (or a suit or tuxedo, if you’re not the dress-wearing type) and celebrating Valentine’s Day at Cedar Rock Country Club Feb. 15.

The annual Red Dress Dance, along with two other major fundraisers, are crucial to the operations of the Wig Bank, board president and event co-chair Terese Almquist said.

“These fundraisers, and the donations that come to us, basically support the whole general operation of the facility,” said Almquist, who is also the News-Topic’s publisher.

All funds raised at the Red Dress Dance will stay local, board member and event co-chair J.J. Amelia said.

“We’re not shipping it off to a national board,” Amelia said.

The event, which is in its fourth year, is a formal Valentine’s Day celebration that features dinner and dancing. This year, event organizers will auction off furniture donated by local manufacturers, along with a $1,000 cash raffle. D.J. Joe Aiello will return, along with harpist Mike Willis in Cedar Rock’s fireplace room.  

The dance will fund operations, in broad strokes. It will also fund gas cards for mothers who have to drive their children out of town for doctor’s appointments, and the sixth or seventh wig for a woman whose battle with cancer has dragged on, year after year – little changes in individual lives.