A group of local business owners, volunteers and a passionate family partnered to host The Pink Label Event, a high-end consignment sale benefiting the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment last weekend at Cool Creek Commons shopping center.
Caroline Symmes was just 3-years-old when she was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor Disease. The cure rate for a Wilms tumor is 90 percent, but Caroline had one of the most aggressive tumors oncologists had ever seen. Her mother, Elizabeth Symmes, said it wasn’t due to a lack of technology that Caroline lost the battle at the age of 5, it was because of a lack of funding for pediatric cancer research. The family created the Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research at Riley Hospital for Children “to ensure that all children stand a fighting chance against cancer.”
“Caroline loved clothes, and one thing led to another,” Elizabeth said. “It’s very heartwarming and very bittersweet. We’re so fortunate and appreciative to those that have come forward to make it bigger and better. We’ll keep it going as long as we can.”
Kite Realty donated retail space for two months at Cool Creek Commons near 146th Street and Greyhound Pass so Elizabeth and her volunteers could set up a temporary headquarters before the event. Elizabeth said the previous events were held in Washington Township but the new location provided more foot traffic.
“There is a real sense of community here. Everybody is trying to help us,” she said.
Donating new products to the event were local businesses like Reis Nichols, AH Collection, uber boutique and design, 14 Districts, Niche, Lesley Jane, The Yoga Studio, 8 Fifteen and Nikki Blaine Couture.
“It ranged from three watches from Robert Goodman Jewelers in Zionsville to tens of thousands of dollars from local boutiques,” Elizabeth said. “We sell great clothing at a deep discount – women’s, kids, men’s and boys – all sizes and accessories.”
In the first two years, Elizabeth said the event has raised $106,000. The phase 1 goal for The Caroline Symmes Endowment is to raise $1 million. This goal ensures a sustainable endowment fund, meaning her endowment will support a full-time researcher studying pediatric cancers.
“Half (of the people) don’t know Caroline’s story, they do it for the clothes. Clothes are a means to an end. My husband (David) and I care about research dollars,” she said.
For more information, visit www.carolinesymmes.org.