On Saturday, July 30th, over 2000 people attended the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance’s (OCRFA) 19th annual Super Saturday. The highly anticipated event took place in the heart of The Hamptons, on the lush grounds of Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, New York. It was hosted by Kelly Ripa, Donna Karan and Gabby Karan de Felice. I spotted loads of other celebrities too including Christy Turlington, Molly Sims, Ingrid Vandebosch, Kristen Taekman and Star Jones.
From humble beginnings
The first Super Saturday took place in 1998. It was held in the backyard of the late Liz Tilberis’ (former Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar) home in the Hamptons. She was the then-president of OCRF, and had been diagnosed with the disease herself. From these backyard beginnings, the event has evolved into a day-long, star-studded designer shopping extravaganza attended by over 2,000 people. In addition to 30 – 50% off premier designer brands, there is a children’s carnival and delicious catered lunch (and cocktails, of course). There are always fun “experience tents” as well – you can enjoy an Essie manicure, get a psychic reading and more!
This year’s selection was fantastic! Designers included Ralph Lauren, Vince, Theory, Alice + Olivia, Vilebrequin, Magaschoni and Michael Kors. Beauty brands such as B. Kamins Laboratories and Ahava were also in attendance among many others. All Super Saturday proceeds fund OCRFA’s research initiatives.
So what is behind all the glitz and fanfare?
A not too glamorous story, I’m afraid. For the past 15 years I have been involved with Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance in different capacities. OCRFA has led the way in research, advocacy and support for patients and their families for over 22 years. The organization’s mission is to fund critical research on ovarian cancer and its work has led to earlier detection of the disease and will ultimately lead to a cure.
I was introduced to the organization by a dear friend of my mother’s who ultimately lost her battle with this terrible disease after many years of perseverance. There are people we cross paths with that leave a distinct impression and Ina Feuerstein was one of them. She was such a lovely, warm, positive woman. I admired the joy and kindness that she exuded especially in the face of such a debilitating disease. She inspired me to learn more. I was shocked to learn that most women never presented with symptoms, and by the time the cancer was detected, it was so advanced that it usually amounted to a death sentence.
Moreover, for years, and unfortunately to this day, when women go to their physicians complaining of lower abdominal cramps or bloating, they are usually dismissed and told that they probably just have gas. If women report a change in their eating habits – either a sharp decrease in appetite or feeling full quickly, they are often told that they are probably just stressed or anxious. If they have an increase in the frequency or urgency of urination, women are again brushed off and told that this is what happens with age. Though the tide is beginning to turn, it seems that even amongst the healthcare community’s elite, lady parts and diseases associated with them, tend to be overlooked or dismissed. Many women feeling ashamed that they now fit the stereotypical emotional woman archetype, go home quietly not realizing that these are symptoms of ovarian cancer. Down the road when the disease is finally diagnosed, it’s too late.
Ovarian Cancer seemed to be an important women’s issue that does not receive nearly enough attention and I’m a woman! I wanted to help change that and joined the Jr. Board.
To learn more about Super Saturday and OCRFA, please visit OCRFA.
By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter @AlyssaBarrie