(RICHMOND, Vir.) – Ten of Richmond, Virginia’s most distinguished retail jewelers gathered at the 51st Children’s Hospital Foundation Ball at the Country Club of Virginia, where, together, they helped to raise over $9,000 in support of the Children’s Hospital at VCU. The evening marked the fifth year that the jewelers have partnered under the leadership of Cheryl Fornash to present a “Jewels” raffle, which have raised over $70,000 for two local organizations – the Children’s Hospital at VCU and Massey Cancer Center at VCU.
The “Jewels” raffles was first conceived by Cheryl Fornash of Cheryl Fornash Jewelers as a way to support cancer research at Massey Cancer Center at the “Women in Wellness” event in 2009.
“At the time, I was volunteering on the committee for the Women in Wellness events. One of the most popular features at the event for a few years prior had been a jewelry raffle,” said Fornash. “I thought if we could expand it to include pieces from other jewelers, it would make a bigger impact and raise more for Massey. That year, 11 of my colleagues agreed and joined me to support the cause – each donating a piece of jewelry with a retail value of $1,500 to the raffle that became known as ‘Jewels for a Cure.’”
In 2012, prompted by a change in fundraising strategies at Massey Cancer Center, Fornash proposed the “Jewels” raffle concept to the Junior Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation in support of the Annual Hospital Foundation Ball.
“After five years, I’m thrilled to be able to say that the ‘Jewels’ raffles have become a tradition among Richmond’s most respected jewelers,” continued Fornash. “We all individually support a myriad of charities throughout the year. But on this one night we put aside our roles as competitors and come together to socialize and raise funds to help provide the best medical care possible for the children of Richmond.”
The collaboration by Richmond’s retail jewelers is the only one of its kind within the Richmond business community as well as the national retail jewelry community. The 2014 Jewels for Children retail jewelers are Adolf Jewelers, Carreras Jewelers, Charles Schwarzschild Jewelers, Cheryl Fornash Jewelers, Cowardin Jewelers, Dransfield Jewelers, Fink’s Jewelers, Saks Fifth Avenue, Schwarzschild Jewelers and Victoria Charles Jewellery.
Nine of those firms – Adolf Jewelers, Carreras Jewelers, Charles Schwarzschild Jewelers, Cheryl Fornash Jewelers, Cowardin Jewelers, Dransfield Jewelers, Fink’s Jewelers, Schwarzschild Jewelers and Victoria Charles Jewellery form the foundation for the “Jewels” raffle – having participated for all five years. Saks Fifth Avenue has participated for two years. The Davis Collection and Vera’s Fine Jewelers participated for two years; Jack Kreuter Jewelers was involved for the first four years, before Jack Kreuter’s retirement; Peter Alexander Jewelers was involved for three years, MacLaren Jewelers for two years and Capri Jewelers for one year before they closed.