Hope for a Single Mom event earns 20K for struggling breast cancer victims


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Among the moms who have benefited from the charitable event are Denise More, Jennifer Brown Wood, Christine Donaro and Linnea Applegate.

photo by Rosemary H. Lynn

On Nov. 6, a charity event like no other took place at Rodizio Grill at the Melbourne Square Mall. It is one that usually takes place more than once a year to help single moms who are battling breast cancer.

Hope For A Single Mom is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping these young women. The funds received help pay for some of their medical and living expenses while they are being treated.

Founder and coordinator Donna Sullivan of Kinna Blowdry Bar at The Avenue Viera and Lana Saal, a health educator at Brevard County schools, planned the event featuring four young women in their 20s who have or had breast cancer. It was decided earlier in the year which woman would receive money to go toward paying medical bills and other expenses. 

Sponsors donating money included Victory Cruise Lines, Hooters of Brevard, Porter Premier Dermatology, and Sunshine Juniorettes from Viera and Eau Gallie High Schools who raised more than $3,000 from a fashion show they coordinated. 

Wrestling great Devon Dudley is a major contributor who helps by donating funds from his “Body Slamming Breast Cancer” events. All money raised from those events is donated to Hope for a Single Mom.

To qualify to receive the donation, a woman must be a single working mom with breast cancer who is struggling to pay her bills. This time, it was Linnea Applegate who received help with her bills.

During the event, dinner was served and a raffle was held. There was a silent auction, including bikes donated by the Brevard County Sheriff’s department, which were refurbished and painted by local artists Eric LaMarr, Heather Everett, Damien Share, Deborah Holloway and Jayvo Scott. All are well known in the area for their artistic talents. Volunteers working with the bike auction were Tiffanie Lande and Pete Lynch from Victory Cruise Lines. 

Saal said that the event began when Denise Roebuck More, a young mother in her early 30s, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Her sister Donna Sullivan, chose to begin a fundraiser with the single mom in mind. 

“Brevard didn’t have a fundraiser of this sort and we needed one. Young women are struggling to pay their bills while they fight this devastating disease,” she said.

The youngest breast cancer survivor at the event was Jennifer Brown Wood, who was diagnosed in 2012. At the time, her children were 4, 6 and 7. She ended up having a bi-lateral mastectomy followed by chemo and radiation therapy. She is considered cancer free at this point in her life, but she must continue to have bi-annual mammograms and screenings. 

One of the more colorful bikes auctioned off to make money was decorated by local artist, Eric LaMarr for the Hope for a Single Mom event.

“Breast cancer is awful for anyone but when you have three young kids to care for, and you’re basically on your own, it is so hard. This event has helped so many people already and there are many wonderful people who contribute to make it a success,” Wood said.

Funds are always needed to help these young women. For more information, call Sullivan at 321-426-0008 or go to hopeforasinglemom.com.