PLEASANT HILL -- Phyllis McGlasson first heard about Hospice of the East Bay in 1996 when her father was diagnosed with cancer.
"When my father was initially diagnosed with lung cancer, he was given a few months to live, but thankfully, he pulled through with immediate surgery, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, followed by a new clinical trial that helped prolong his life," said McGlasson, who also came to know about Hospice because of friends who have utilized their services.
Unfortunately, in 2002, the cancer resurfaced and McGlasson and her family were told it had spread, she said.
"It was devastating and a tough diagnosis for my father and our family," McGlasson said. "With six months of aggressive treatment, it was evident that he was not going to get better."
McGlasson said the family heeded her father's wish.
"My father knew he wanted to be home," said the Walnut Creek resident. "Hospice helped facilitate setting up his bed, oxygen, medications and other essentials to help ensure he was comfortable, as well as educate and support all of us as we took on the role as his caregivers."
Even after her father's death, Hospice staff members were still there to offer help with the transition of losing a loved one, she said.
So McGlasson said it's been an honor for her to help organize a fashion show for the Wine, Women & Shoes fundraising event May 18, to benefit Hospice of the East Bay and the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District.
A nationwide fundraising concept for various women's and family-related causes now in its 10th year, Wine, Women & Shoes comes to Contra Costa County for the first time.
The event, to be held at Pleasant Hill Community Center's Perera Pavilion, will include a charity auction, fashion show, wine tasting and shopping opportunities from various local vendors.
McGlasson, the fashion show chairwoman, said having the national fundraising platform is a good way to engage supporters for local causes and create a broader audience.
"Pleasant Hill Park and Recreation is one of the best programs in Contra Costa County," McGlasson said. "They provide awesome community support, wonderful programs for children and adults as well as an excellent senior facility.
"It is without question that their partnering and supporting Hospice of East Bay is one more way for them to reach those in need," she said.
Various Napa and Sonoma wineries will be represented. Also included are complementary "bites" from a number of local restaurants and food purveyors. A runway fashion show featuring boutique clothing, accessories and shoes from local shops, including Tootsies Shoe Boutique will be featured.
A portion of the vendors' sales will go toward the fundraiser. Guests may also bid on special offerings at both a silent and live auction, said Kendra Luke, Pleasant Hill Senior Center supervisor and event chairwoman.
"This is definitely going to be an experience, not just an event, to come and sit down and have a drink," said Luke. "This is an opportunity to shop for a cause with friends while supporting programs for children, teens, adults and seniors.
"It may seem like Hospice of the East Bay and (the recreation district) have different missions," she said. "But we both care about quality of life. Pleasant Hill Rec seeks to improve the quality of life for all ages and Hospice cares about the quality at the end of one's life."
Julie Colleen Rubio, owner of J. Colleen Boutique, a women's clothing shop in Lafayette who's choreographing the fashion show, said she's always donated clothes and money to Hospice of the East Bay.
Wine, Women & Shoes fashion show partners are J. Colleen Boutique, and Atlas and Athena, whose Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill locations are owned by Jay Underwood.
Rubio said that when her once outgoing and active grandmother began to lose her sight and couldn't walk in her 90s, the Hospice staff was there for her family.
"She had a full life," said Rubio, from Orinda. "Hospice helped give her such dignity in her passing."