Annual PANDA fashion show benefits children’s research center

From last year's event: PANDA Co-founders Robyn DeBell, left, and Penny Gunning. (Photo courtesy of Heather Buttelmann Photography)

From last year’s event: PANDA Co-founders Robyn DeBell, left, and Penny Gunning. (Photo courtesy of Heather Buttelmann Photography)

The Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center at the University of Arizona will hold its 16th annual PANDA “Children Helping Children” Fashion Show and Luncheon 11 a.m. April 25 at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.

Proceeds from the inspiring event will support PANDA’s Children’s Anti-Tumor Immunity Program and endowment.

To highlight the cause, PANDA will pay tribute to children who have suffered from cancer relapses and to those who will benefit from the program.

From last year's PANDA Fashion Show: Wendy Lentz, left,, Lori Xeller, center, and Geri Farr. (Photo courtesy of Heather Buttlemann Photography)

From last year’s PANDA Fashion Show: Wendy Lentz, left,, Lori Xeller, center, and Geri Farr. (Photo courtesy of Heather Buttlemann Photography)

PANDA will also recognize its lead researcher and pediatrician, Dr. Fayez Ghishan, for his 20 years of scientific discoveries and dedication to the patients of the Steele Children’s Research Center.

The goal of the PANDA Children’s Anti-Tumor Immunity Program is to prevent cancer from relapsing in children by combining traditional cancer chemotherapies with immune-based strategies.

The organization seeks to identify new anti-cancer drugs that contain the cancer, develop natural immunity to the cells, and reduce the emergence of tumor cell clones.

Parents and families around the globe, including over 200 children in Arizona every year, are desperately searching for help, answers and treatment when their child is diagnosed with cancer and the Steele Children’s Research Center strives to provide them with the most current and effective cures that will keep their families whole.

Since its founding, the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Children’s Research Center, known as PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers), has raised more than $5.25 million to improve treatments and cures for devastating childhood diseases as well as to fund and recruit internationally recognized pediatric physicians and scientists to Arizona, providing local families with the most cutting-edge medical care.

Last year, they opened an office in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, located at 4455 E. Camelback Road, Suite E125, making it even more convenient for local Valley families to participate in their advanced-stage studies and receive care without traveling to Tuscon.

The center is focused on studying type 1 diabetes, autism, and a disease called necrotizing enterocolitis found in premature infants.

This year’s fashion show will feature 56 “children helping children” from across the Valley dressed in spring fashions provided by Garage, Peek and Splendid.

The theme for this year’s fashion show is “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Phoenix resident Jennifer Karas, one of PANDA’s 2015 event chairs, says “The Steele Children’s Research Center is a shining example of the magic that happens when community members, donors, scientists and doctors come together to help children and their families find the critical answers they wish for.”

In addition to the fashion show and luncheon, the annual event will feature a silent auction, live auction and raffle. Cost to attend the fashion show and luncheon is $200 per person. Table sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available.

Visit www.azpanda.org or “like” People Acting Now Discover Answers on Facebook.

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