“White… is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
Just a few weeks ago, my friends at Walk With Sally invited me to their fundraiser, White Light White Night. The event is an evening filled with South Bay’s favorite food and beverage vendors coming together to provide tastings for guests. For nine years now, Walk With Sally supporters and South Bay residents alike gather to celebrate and raise money for this amazing organization. The money raised is used to provide mentors and pair them with children who are living with a loved one battling cancer.
We were led to the main event by quotes from program mentors and statistics instilling the importance of a mentor/ mentee relationship. I loved the way this set the tone for the entire evening. Though we were dressed up and looking forward to a night of fun, we were there to make a difference. We were there to enable Walk With Sally to continue helping kids dealing with something terrible. The time these mentors so freely give not only make a difference now, they make a difference for the future. These mentors provide the compass for their mentees to navigate through this monumental battle. Keeping them on course for a healthy, happy, successful life down the road.
From there, I meandered among the abundance of food and beverage tasting booths where we could simultaneously bid on the over 250 silent auction items, generously donated by event sponsors.
I even ran into past #WCW Spotlight Sharon Strauss, who also volunteered on the event planning committee.
But why the white theme? I’ll be honest, as someone who doesn’t tan (I can choose between two shades: porcelain or lobster red) nor wear a size two, wearing all white wasn’t something I was looking forward to. However, when founder Nick Arquette took the stage that night he answered my question, changing my opinion on wearing white.
White is the presence of all color. People consider it a healing color, associating it with perfection, purity, and light. When Nick’s mom was in the middle of her battle with cancer, she would teach him to see her body as a white light, healing itself from the cancer. Together they would bond over a meditation ritual as she valiantly fought the disease. In her honor, and in honor of everyone who has ever battled cancer, guests wear white as a sign of solidarity.
After Nick welcomed guests, shared his personal cancer story, and the reason he felt inspired to found Walk With Sally, the Lifetime Achievement Honorees took the stage. Maureen and Izzy, shared their unique experience with Walk with Sally and how the organization affected the course of their life. Though Izzy is graduating from the mentorship program, the relationship she has formed with her mentor, Maureen, will last long after the organized Friends Day events.
Thanks to everyone’s hard work on White Light White Night, over $220,000 was raised to continue the Mentor Program. A huge congrats to everyone who donated, volunteered, planned, lost sleep, and spent a bit more than planned that night. Because of your generosity, many more kids will have the friend and mentor they need to help them navigate the emotional minefield of losing someone to cancer.
If you are interested in supporting Walk With Sally, but don’t have a cancer story, there are many other ways to be a part of the organization. For instance, you can come celebrate Nordstrom’s reopening in the Del Amo Fashion Center on Tuesday, October 6th. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping while also doing good by supporting this great organization. You can purchase tickets here.