Fundraiser to work the runway to benefit ovarian cancer coalition

NASHUA – At the annual Denim to Diamonds Fashion Show, visitors can expect to see their local community members – including firefighters and police – parading and sashaying down the runway in various states of dress and pausing to strike a pose for a whistling, hooting and raucous audience.

The fashion show, hosted by the families behind Fresh of Nashua and Scontsas Fire Jewelry and Home Decor, is what both Cheryl Plunkett and Amalia Scontsas called “a lot of fun.” But it also is for a good cause: 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to the New Hampshire chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

“Everyone knows (about breast cancer),” Scontsas said, “but ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer.”

According to the coalition, 1 in 75 women will get ovarian cancer, and of those, nearly 70 percent are diagnosed in advanced stages.

This is a cause that hits close to home for both families: Scontsas lost an aunt and a cousin to the disease, and Plunkett said her sister is currently in her second round of chemotherapy.

But the event is, without fail, Plunkett said, a happy occasion.

The ninth annual Denim to Diamonds Fashion Show will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at Pompanoosuc Mills.

The evening will kick off with a cocktail hour catered by local businesses, including jajaBelle’s, Fratellos, Stella Blu, Mixology and On the Rocks Bartending Services.

The event also has a silent auction, raffles with items provided by local businesses.

Models from ages “18 to 80” will strut down the runway, Plunkett said, as master of ceremony Philip Scontsas provides the commentary and DJ Peter Donovan provides the music.

The models, aside from the hometown heroes in the police and fire departments, are undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer, are survivors of the disease, or are walking in memory of someone close to them.

“We like to give them a day of beauty with the hair and makeup,” Plunkett said.

Plunkett will provide the clothes for the women from Fresh, Dick Avard’s Haberdashery will dress the men, and Scontsas will provide the jewelry.

There also is a “hot shoe” segment, where audience members are able to walk the runway for the opportunity to win prizes.

There are 200 tickets available, and Scontsas said they sell out most years.

Many attendees are repeat customers, and it’s a highly anticipated event, Plunkett added.

“You don’t realize how many people are affected by (ovarian cancer) until you get involved in an event like this,” Plunkett said.

Tickets for the show are $50 and may be purchased at either Scontsas at 169-173 Main St., or at Fresh at 178 Main St.

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@