Angela Stanley raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; owns Coventry boutique
COVENTRY—Everyday, Angela Stanley, of Coventry, interacts with children in her boutique. To date, it hasn’t touched her personally, but through her store and her friends she has seen young lives affected by blood cancers like leukemia.
It almost seemed meant to be then, when Elizabeth Perry, senior campaign director for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year (MWOY) Rhode Island campaign, came into Gigi’s Glitzy Boutique on Nooseneck Hill Road to tell Stanley she had been nominated.
Stanley, through the Internet and Facebook, had just been reading about a little girl named Belle. Just days after Christmas, 2-year old Belle had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). As a mother of young children herself, Stanley cried while reading the story. Not long after that, Perry came to Stanley’s store.
Stanley said she kept the paperwork Perry gave her to mull over, but just couldn’t seem to get Belle out of her head.
“I am raising money for her and in general,” Stanley said, “Sadly, I have had a lot of customers with children fighting leukemia or who have lost the fight.”
The Man & Woman of the Year campaign is a competition to raise funds for LLS.
Nominees have the option to decline or defer, but they have “a really good percentage that say, ‘Yes,’ which is wonderful!” Perry said.
“When you own a business, I think you need to be constantly giving back,” Stanley said. “Being a children’s business—it fit.”
Stanley owns Gigi’s Glitzy Boutique in Coventry with her husband and the store is named after their daughter Gianna, “their inspiration,” who they call Gigi.
The nominating committee started to meet in July of 2012, Perry said, looking for business oriented people who are well-connected and well-liked in the community. Stanley was nominated by Christine Andrews, a Woman of the Year candidate in 2012.
There are eight candidates for Man of the Year and eight for Woman of the Year for 2013. The 10-week fundraising campaign started on Feb. 25 and is almost halfway through.
“I am not going to lie, we are not even close to it,” Stanley said about the $15,000 goal she and her team set.
Stanley is working to get business sponsorships for the main event and her team is also looking for a donated space to hold Stanley’s own fundraiser.
The candidates don’t know what each other has raised and the winner isn’t revealed until the Grand Finale Celebration dinner.
Purchasing tickets for the dinner can go directly towards Stanley’s goal. The Grand Finale is on May 4 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Spa in Newport. Tickets are $125.00.
“It’s a competition—but not a competition to us,” Stanley said, “We are all running to beat cancer.” In light of that, she said, “It doesn’t matter who wins, because cancer loses.”
The ambassadors for the MWOY 2013 campaign are the Boy and Girl of the Year, Lamar Thomas, 10, of Woonsocket, and Hannah Kirchner, 9, of Portsmouth, both who have suffered from ALL, but who are currently doing well after treatment.
“I don’t think it was real for me until I met them,” Stanley said.
At the kickoff event, “They were so happy to be there and to see what we are doing for LLS,” Stanley said.
Perry said their nominees may have a personal connection, but if they don’t Hannah and Lamar serve in that role.
All funds raised through the campaign will go back to the mission of LLS, Perry said, “To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”
To learn more about the MWOY 2013 campaign or to donate to Stanley’s goal, visit www.mwoy.org/pages/ri/ri13/angelastanley , call the LLS office at 943-8888 or send a check made out to “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society” and with “Angela Stanley –MWOY 2013” on the memo line to Gigi’s Glitzy Boutique, 2075 Nooseneck Hill Road, Coventry, RI 02816.