Lady’s flaunt flannel for fundraising

Keely Dakin
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“I mean, where else can you go out and shop in your pajamas?” Michelle McKeaveney asks.
Now you can do that and fundraise for three local causes, while having a lady’s night out at The Ultimate Pajama Party, she said.

Daughters, Kacie, 15 and Madison, 17, stand together with their mother Michelle McKeaveney on Tuesday. They are hard at work putting together a pajama party extravaganza to raise funds for two local families and a health awareness campaign. The Pajama Party is a woman only event that will be held at the E.A. Rawlinson on Saturday Sept. 22. Tickets are $25 and available for sale at a variety of stores. See article for more details.

“There’s gonna’ be three full levels of shopping, browsing, eating and refreshments.”

McKeaveney is calling on all the women of PA to come out in their favourite flannels or kimono and join the cause, fundraising for two local families struck by tragedy and to promote a health awareness campaign.

It will be a night of acoustic music, beverages, catered food, comedy and shopping at  more than 10 women-centric booths at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre on Saturday, Sept. 22.

The Fashion Show and Sale Fundraiser will feature everything from a Zumba dance performance to a fashion show, a silent auction and door prize draws for the brave ladies who show up in their best bed-time attire.

“The reason why we’re doing the fundraiser is three-fold,” McKeaveney says, sitting at the kitchen table with daughters Kacie, 14 and Madison, 17, who are helping her put the PJ party on.

Amy Crowe, who passed away on Monday, was a long-time friend of their family, McKeaveney said on Tuesday afternoon.

Crowe, who is survived by her four children, died as a result of cancers found only in women.

The other person in need is a friend of Kacie’s.  On Aug. 26, Regan Trusty was in a car accident. He is still at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, as a result.

All profits from the fundraiser will be split among these two families as well as a campaign McKeaveney is heading to promote awareness for Graves’ Eye Disease.

McKeaveney has recently had a very personal experience with Graves’.

“The long and short of it, my eyes popped out.”

Graves’ Eye Disease or Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder. It causes severe swelling in and around the eyes, literally pushing the eyes forward and partway out of the sockets. 

A lack of knowledge about Graves’ in Prince Albert resulted in her condition going on for months without treatment.

In the midst of winter, she had a fluke run-in with a doctor she knew in the supermarket. The doctor recognized something was seriously wrong and sent her to a specialist in Saskatoon immediately.

“I saw a surgeon right away, who said, ‘you’ll be blind in three days if we don’t deal with this now.’”

Three days later surgery was done, followed be radiation treatment and a second operation.

“I saw a surgeon right away, who said, ‘you’ll be blind in three days if we don’t deal with this now.’” Michelle McKeaveney

“We’re realizing there are a lot of people in town with Graves’,” McKeaveney said, which is part of her inspiration to push an information campaign for Graves’.

As part of this, she is creating an information pamphlet that will be circulated among all the medical professionals in town, following the pajama party.

“This is our way of helping others by creating awareness,” McKeaveney says.

“I’m very grateful to all of the women—self-employed business owners that have rented space (merchandise booths) to cover the facility rental so that we can focus on the profits.”

McKeaveney has also requested that the Canadian Cancer Society send someone to the event to talk about the types of cancer that target women.  

There will be a coat-check, so as to encourage the ladies to wear pajamas.

“There are 606 seats in the auditorium, and we’d like to fill every single one of them.  So if people can’t come but they’d like to buy a ticket-in-kind, we’re also doing that, and they can contact me.”

They are still accepting donations in the form of door prizes, gifts-in-kind as well as those that would like to rent a booth to hawk their wares and join in the flannel fan-fare.

 “I just wanna’ make sure nobody goes through what I’ve gone through and that these families benefit. That’s huge for me—that’s important.”

“I just really do believe that random acts of kindness and giving back when it’s difficult or doing something for others,” McKeaveney says. “It’s gonna bring good Karma, and god knows wee all need good Karma.”

Why Pajamas?

“There’s no hierarchy and class, you can wear flannels to stilettos.  I don’t give a rip. I just want people to come and have fun and shop and mingle and support these causes. That’s it.,” McKeaveney says.

The edges of her lips quirk up, “But have fun while they’re doing it.”

For more information, contact Michelle McKeaveney at 922-3113.

Tickets are already available for $25, at Scentiments Floral, Katie’s Closet, Era Maternity, Novus Hair Salon and One40Seven Clothing.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Organizations: E.A. Rawlinson Centre, Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Canadian Cancer Society

Geographic location: Prince Albert, Saskatoon

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