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FRIENDS & FASHION: 2013 show scores touchdown


More than 600 women -- and a handful of men including Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin -- packed the Embassy Suites ballroom Monday for the annual Friends & Fashion luncheon and fashion show that benefits Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Long one of Williamson County’s premiere social events, this year’s trio of Friends & Fashion events are expected to raise over $100,000 for the hospital. Event chair Jodi Rall said it would be several days before all of the proceeds from the luncheon, Friday night’s An Evening with Friends party and Sunday’s Sundaes with Friends children’s event are tallied.

While the runway show produced by Belk literally took center stage, the biggest applause came when the young patients and former patients of Children’s Hospital took their turn along with the professional adult models.

Among the young models were sisters Addy and Shola Franklin, daughters of Franklin and his wife, Fumi, who was the luncheon’s special guest speaker.  Fumi Franklin shared her family’s story of Addy’s diagnosis with sickle cell anemia while they lived in Maryland, where James Franklin was a coach with the University of Maryland football program.

Special guest speaker Fumi Franklin shares the story of her daughter Addy's personal health journey and the treatment the entire family has received at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The diagnosis “was a shock for us,” she shared. “It came out of the blue.” 

Addy was first treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, than Howard University medical center. Finally they went to D.C. Children’s Hospital, which is where “we learned the difference between a general hospital and a children’s hospital.”

When job offers for her husband presented themselves, the couple had to consider their daughter’s future medical care, especially as they anticipated that she would need a bone marrow transplant.

When he was asked to interview for the top job at Vanderbilt, the fact that the Children’s Hospital was here was definitely a consideration. When they learned, almost by fate, that Vanderbilt had just hired a “world-renowned specialist in sickle cell,” they felt “empowered” to make the decision to accept the job when it was offered.

Fumi Franklin praised members of the Children’s Hospital’s Friends organization – sponsor of the Friends & Fashion event – for all of the volunteer hours they give not just to the hospital but the direct support they give to the young patients and their parents as well.

When she announced that Addy is doing so well that she no longer needs a transplant, Fumi Franklin received a standing ovation.

Miss Tennessee 2012, Chandler Lawson, served as emcee, filling in at the last minute for Allison DeMarcus, a former Miss Tennessee who now works for CMT.   Greg Bates, a Ravenwood High School grad and Republic Nashville recording artist, kicked off the show with two songs.

This year’s special models were Kyle Barbarite, 8 (cleft lip and palate); Addy (sickle cell anemia) and Shola Franklin, both 5; Grace Hamilton, 4 (acute lymphoblastic leukemia); Ryan Harr, 5 (hydrocephalus, cleft lip and palate); Lily Hensiek, 12 (leukemia), and her sister Sophie, 10; Pierce Hill, 10 (Chairi malformation tumor); Anna Li Hornsby, 7 (international clinic); Joseph Huseby, 9 (Chediak Higashi Syndrome) and his sister Lily, 12.

Also, Ella Mason, 5 (Toxic Synovitis); Ellie Moore, 12 (open heart surgeries); Tanner Page, 9, leukemia; John Rall, 14 (sports-related injuries);  Eva Ramer, 17 (blood clotting disorder); Elise Reinfeldt, 18 (bone marrow transplant survivor); Jamie Smith, 11 (heart surgery); Ty Steward, 14 (Type I diabetes); and Hannah Yoder, 12 (staph infection).

Friends of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital is a volunteer organization of members supporting the hospital and other pediatric health care initiatives through fundraising, community awareness and services to the patients and their families, along with the faculty and staff of the hospital. For more information on the organization, click here.

Susan Leathers is editor and co-owner of Brentwood Home Page. Contact her at susan@brentwoodhomepage.com.

 Angie Daniel, Marissa Bullock and table host Sheila Bullock of Brentwood.  Ann Van Dervoort of Nashville with Monna Mayhall, Wanda Woolen and Leslie Fraser of Franklin.
 Carol Singleton and Brenda Hale of Franklin with  table host Nancy Tidwell of Brentwood.  Faye Meluch of Belle Meade and Kim Anderson of Franklin.
Jane Alger, Amy Dobyns and Melissa Lott of Brentwood with table host Sharon Ramsey of Franklin.  Showing off their support of Vanderbilt U athletics  are Jennifer Rahne, Katrina Bankins and Maggie Corbin. 
 Jodi Rall with Sheila Priest and Laurie Karl, all of Brentwood  Melody Holt of Brentwood with Catherine Walter and Paula Nelson of Franklin.
Special guest speaker Fumi Franklin with her husband, Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin.  Beautiful monther-daughter duo, Hannah and Deb Phillips of Brentwood. 
Noel Pinson, center, of Franklin, is surrounded by Sara Neely, Kerry Wilson,  Heather Colts and Margaret Baker, all of Nashville.  Tina Massey of Franklin with Renee Bielski, Devonna Wachtler and Marcella Tudeen of Brentwood and Mari Tenkoff of Franklin
 Teresa Sadler and Dottie Pope, both of Brentwood  Event Chair Jodi Rall of Brentwood and Miss Tennessee 2012 Chandler Lawson
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