Spotlight on founder and president of The Ladies of Elegance Inc.
The purpose pushing Sylvia Alexander-Wall’s passion to help people and families enduring cancer can be summed up in two words: Early detection.
Through Ladies of Elegance Inc., a nonprofit organization she founded in 2004, Mrs. Alexander-Wall is a strong proponent of cancer awareness, specifically educating African-Americans about the importance of regular health checkups for early detection. The organization also helps individuals and families through their cancer journey.
She says the name of the organization is inspired by the idea of looking good to feel good so that women can uplift their communities.
As an example, she says, patients battling cancer may experience good days and bad. When the seven members of the Ladies of Elegance get busy with activities ranging from visiting cancer patients to helping with chores to hosting events months in the making, they want to convey a message of putting their best foot forward. She says she believes in the importance of doing whatever you choose to do well, to inspire others, and ultimately aid in their healing.
“The Ladies of Elegance strives to show women that when you are in public, you should always dress for success and be a lady with style, grace and elegance,” Mrs. Alexander-Wall says.
“We are a social organization that has been a conduit to network with a variety of clubs, organizations, churches and community leaders … who share the belief that it is our personal and civic duty to work diligently within the community.” The organization’s 9th Annual Pink, Black & White Affair will be 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 11, at the Cultural Center of India, 6641 Iron Bridge Parkway in Chester.
The gala is the group’s main fundraiser for the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk” in October. “We are honoring about 100 cancer survivors that night,” Ms. Alexander-Wall says. The group also will use the event “to remind all guests to make sure to get their annual checkups and to celebrate cancer survivors and people living with sickle cell disease.”
Last year, the organization raised $21,000 for The Ladies of Elegance team participating in the walk, Ms. Alexander-Wall says. The goal this year is to raise more.
The issue of cancer is not a remote one for the group.
“I watched my favorite aunt lose her battle with lung cancer, and then my father-in-law died from colon cancer,” Mrs. Alexander-Wall says.
The group also celebrates with cancer survivors. Deborah Berry, a member of The Ladies of Elegance, is a 14-year breast cancer survivor, she says.
The ladies’ civic involvement extends beyond the group’s own mission and purpose. During the last 13 years, they have worked with and supported nearly 50 other organizations and programs, from the Children of Battery Park to the American Red Cross.
“We are all about helping each other,” she said. “If we can help, we will.” Meet this week’s Personality and “elegant” advocate, Sylvia Alexander-Wall:
No. 1 volunteer position: Founder and president, The Ladies of Elegance Inc.
Occupation: Physical testing lab technician at E.I. DuPont.