Too many of our viewers have been touched by breast cancer. Ten years ago, an organization emerged from the ashes of one family's ultimately tragic encounter with the disease. The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation started in tribute to the matriarch of the Gemma family in Rhode Island, and in hopes their efforts of outreach, information, and support would unite, uplift, and empower local women facing and conquering the disease.
The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation planted seeds 10 years ago, and since then it has blossomed and expanded its impact in our community. Rhode Island PBS is proud to air the short documentaries produced by the Foundation, featuring stories of courage and impact. As part of our Rhode Island Stories series, we feature encore presentations of the stories on Sundays at 6 p.m. throughout October on Rhode Island PBS to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Each year the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation also organizes The Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™, a major event held in Station Park (across from the State House and Providence Place Mall) in downtown Providence. This year, the event takes place October 10-12. The three-day event—the largest of its kind in the Northeast— promotes breast cancer awareness and education and honors people living with breast cancer.
On Saturday, October 11 at 4 p.m., our very own celebrity chef Mary Ann Esposito will be on-hand conducting a cooking demonstration in the Rhode Island Kitchen and Bath Pavilion. Additionally, Flames of Hope-goers will have access to an exclusive meet and greet and book signing with Mary Ann.
Esposito, author of 12 cookbooks, is the creator and host of the nationally televised PBS series, Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito™— the longest running cooking series in television history produced for the last 12 years right here at Rhode Island PBS. For more information visit www.ciaoitalia.com and facebook.com/maryannesposito.
On Friday, October 10, the event kicks off with the unveiling of the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s 2015 ‘Celebrate Hope, Celebrate Life’ Calendar at a special evening ceremony. The calendar features twelve individuals who have tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation, which increases the chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
On Saturday, October 11, “Celebration Village” at Station Park comes alive at 2 p.m. with education, support, and live entertainment. That evening, the captivating Illuminations of Life Ceremony will take place on the State House steps facing downtown Providence, concluding with a torch procession—considered to be the pinnacle of the three-day event—down to the Waterplace Basin during WaterFire Providence.
Musical performances at “Celebration Village” will kick-off with One Wild Night, a Bon Jovi Tribute Band at 3:30 p.m. The next performance, Kelsey Kaplan, will be at 7 p.m. Closing out the day of performances is The Joshua Tree, a U2 Tribute Band, at 9 p.m.
The celebration will conclude on Sunday with the Flames of Hope Run/Walk Series, made up of three races: the signature Gloria Gemma 5K presented by The Walking Company, Kids Fun Run presented by Macy’s, and Pink Pump Palooza presented by Nordstrom’s. Registration for all three races is open today at www.flamesofhoperi.com.
For more information and the complete schedule of the October 10-12 Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™, visit www.gloriagemma.org and facebook.com/GloriaGemma.