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Annual luncheon to raise money for women with cancer when insurance won’t provide
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Guests mingle at the 2017 For Her Glory luncheon. The event, hosted by the Gainesville Phoenix Woman's Club and celebrating its 10th anniversary, raises money for women with cancer who need wigs and other items they can't afford or insurance won't cover. - photo by For The Times

The members of the Gainesville Phoenix Woman’s Club have spent the past 10 years raising money for the For Her Glory organization with a special luncheon.

They're the ones who sell funnel cake at Gainesville’s Mule Camp Market every year. It’s their biggest fundraiser, but not the only one they’re known for.

10th annual For Her Glory luncheon

What: Phoenix Woman’s Club sponsors its annual fundraiser for the For Her Glory organization

When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11

Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St. NE, Gainesville

This year’s 10th anniversary luncheon features food, door prizes and two guest speakers: Kay Dodd, a comedian, and Georgia's first lady, Sandra Deal. The event, which sends all proceeds to For Her Glory, is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Gainesville Civic Center.

The local organization offers wigs to women who have cancer, among other items, when insurance won’t cover costs or they simply can’t afford them.

Brenda Martin knows how much For Her Glory means to women in the area. She was diagnosed with cancer 23 years ago, but calls herself a survivor now. Although she didn’t benefit from the organization herself, she saw plenty who could, which is why she got involved. 

“It’s very dear to my heart, because I’m a cancer survivor myself,” said Martin, chairwoman for the luncheon. “So it was very important to me and it still is.”

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A table at the 2017 For Her Glory luncheon is decorated for guests who who attend. The event, hosted by the Gainesville Phoenix Woman's Club and celebrating its 10th anniversary, raises money for women with cancer who need wigs and other items they can't afford or insurance won't cover. - photo by For The Times

Over the years, the luncheon has grown. Little by little, the Gainesville Phoenix Woman’s Club has been able to send more money to For Her Glory. Last year was the “biggest year so far.” It donated more than $10,500 to the organization.

“They’re trying to help people in our community who can’t afford to get some of the things they need,” Martin said. “And it’s especially important for a woman to make her feel she’s pretty, she’s beautiful, even though she may have cancer and no hair.”

The Gainesville Phoenix Woman’s Club gathers to help other organizations in Gainesville that are starting up or simply need help raising money. That’s the goal as volunteers: to help the community in whatever way they can.

“My goal is to just make people aware that this foundation exists in the community and all the good it does, and to provide an opportunity for women to come together, have a good time and raise money for a good cause,” Martin said.

Each table at the luncheon is decorated with a different theme. One of the best parts of the event, guests show up early to look at each table every year. They also have “opportunity items,” which are similar to silent auction prizes, except guests purchase “opportunity tickets” and put them in a bag by the item they’re hoping to win.

By hosting the luncheon each year, the Gainesville Phoenix Woman’s Club is hoping to gain more members so it can grow and make more of an impact on the community.

“I would just love for more women to call and ask to join,” Martin said. “So we can build this up and continue to donate more and more money.”

She said it’s hard to describe what it means for a woman to put a wig on and feel pretty again. But the past 10 years raising money through the For Her Glory luncheon have helped more women have that feeling.

“People don’t realize how important it is to a woman when she’s going through cancer,” Martin said. “And it’s very frustrating when you don’t have insurance that’s going to help you get the things you need. But there’s an organization out there that can help you, and it just warms my heart, I know that, because I know how tough it can be when you’re out there fighting it.”

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