Tammy Gail remembers the moment in 2003 like it was yesterday. She had just undergone a six-hour lumpectomy to remove an aggressive form of breast cancer. Two days later, because the cancer had spread, she underwent a procedure to remove her second breast. Lying in her hospital bed, Gail struck a silent deal.
“I said to God, ‘If you get me through this and let me see my son graduate, I will do something really big,’ ” she says.
Today, that bedside plea benefits breast cancer patients and their families throughout Broward County.
The president of Floridata Capital Assets Group—known for producing beachside food and wine festivals—hosted her first fundraising soiree in 2006, a year after undergoing a hysterectomy. Four years later, it turned into Glam-a-Thon, an organization that advocates for women with breast cancer in and around Fort Lauderdale. True to its name, Glam-a-Thon’s two yearly events raise money with dazzling parties.
The first, Lipstick Lounge, scheduled for Sept. 15 at the Gallery of Amazing Things in Dania Beach, recalls a South Florida nightclub. Expect an evening of fashion, beauty, cocktails and light bites at the 11th annual affair. The evening will begin with the Glammy Awards, a ceremony honoring 10 philanthropists who have been influential in Broward nonprofit circles. The pink-accented party continues with henna tattoos, hair and eyelash extensions, a casino den for men and five pop-up shops offering handbags, jewelry, accessories and more. The ticket also includes two drink cards and a swag bag filled with gift cards, beauty products and the like.
It’s meant to be lighthearted and fun, but its cause is crucial. In the last seven years, Glam-a-Thon has donated more than $500,000 to the Broward Health Foundation, benefiting the Lillian S. Wells Women’s Health Center and the Lisa Boccard Breast Cancer Fund. Donations help pay for medical treatments and lifestyle essentials, such as childcare and transportation services. Recently, the charity assisted a young mother without medical insurance.
Fourteen years since her double mastectomy, Gail is still paying it forward.
“Every year, when I’m overwhelmed and think it’s too much, juggling a charity and a full-time job, I get letters from women we help, and their thankfulness makes me cry,” says Gail, whose organization also hosts The Strut, a fundraising walk on Oct. 14. “They’re incredible, and they’re just women like you and me.”
When: Sept. 15, 8 p.m.
Where: Gallery of Amazing Things, 481 S. Federal Highway, Dania Beach