By Ashley Janover
Purple and White Fight Night was set to start at 8pm but when I arrived at the venue and peaked my head around the curtain at 7:45pm there was a line outside the door. I knew in that very moment that the evening was going to be a success.
Every year my advocacy group “Team Hope” throws an annual charity event. I do everything that I can to raise as much funds as possible and entertain the crowd. The term “fight” in Purple & White Fight Night represents a tenacious drive to fight back against a disease that has forever changed our lives. My mother’s name was Betheny Janover and she passed away from Pancreatic Cancer on September 24th, 2011 at the age of 54. She was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic cancer and survived a year. Danyelle’s lost her father at 41 years young after a 2 year battle with Lung Cancer. By raising money for the advancement of research and creating awareness amongst those who do not understand the seriousness of this disease we are making a genuine difference in their memory.
This year the event was a socially conscious fashion show, a concept I truly believe in. I knew that if I wanted to incorporate a fashion show, it would have to be a socially conscious brand. All items must be made in NYC, eco-friendly. We featured designer Daniel Silverstein’s current line. He strives to create a collection that melds his personal design aesthetic with the zero waste design techniques he has developed. At the height of the evening over 200 attendees were enjoying Daniel’s designs, pop-up shops, and a lavish auction & raffle. Dress code: Cocktail Chic!
Right before my partner Danyelle and I gave our speeches we ran into the ladies room and walked in a stall together. We gave each other a big hug, took a deep breath and each exchanged a couple of words about how proud our parents would be if they could see what we had done for them. In that very moment, I knew Danyelle felt all the pain I had experienced over the last 3 years. My friend had also lost her best friend, her father. We understood each other, and I was instantly at ease.
Giving my speech was a particularly extraordinary part of the evening. It was only then when I saw all the faces in the crowd; my friends, family, and everyone who came in from out of town to show their support. I wanted everyone to understand about pancreatic cancer and how unique the Hirshberg Foundation is. At the end, when I thanked my mom I saw everyone’s eyes fill with tears and I thought to myself, “wow, I am not the only who is honoring this woman and I’m certainly not the only one who was in some way affected by this disease.” The moment was powerful and I felt an overwhelming abundance of love and support in that very instant.
My mother was my very best friend and she always told me that through hardships, rejection, and mistakes, success will come. Three years after losing her we’ve succeeded in raising thousands of dollars towards the advancement of research. I remain inspired every day to maintain my relationship and dedication to the Hirshberg Foundation. Moving forward, Purple & White Fight Night will be even larger, include more people, present bigger prizes, and double the money raised for pancreatic cancer!
*Thank you to Daniel Silverstein and sponsors Picks for Peace, Creeds of Love, Canopy Brand Group, The Wild Ivy, and Trusted Nutrients for supporting our philanthropic efforts.