National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Richmond, Va., jewelers raise $14K for a cure


Richmond, Va.—A dozen retailers from the Richmond, Va., area recently raised $14,500 for the VCU Massey Cancer Center via the Jewels for a Cure jewelry raffle.

The raffle took place Feb. 8 during VCU Massey’s annual event, “The Women & Wellness Forum Series,” held at The Jefferson Hotel. Attendees snatched up 580 raffle tickets at $25 a pop for a chance to snag one of the dozen $1,500 pieces donated by the jewelers. Items in the raffle included a pair of blue topaz and diamond earrings from Scott Kay, a ladies’ Tag Heuer stainless-steel watch with a mother-of-pearl dial, a Mikimoto cultured pearl strand and stud earring set, and a sterling silver and 18-karat gold bracelet with faceted black onyx and mother-of-pearl from Konstantino.

The series, which raised $150,000 in total for the cancer center, spotlights women and women’s health, specifically cancer issues. More than 500 women attend, and the event has become so popular that it’s been broken up into breakfast and lunch sessions. The keynote speaker is a high-profile cancer survivor. This year, it was Kelly Corrigan, author of the bestseller The Middle Place.

While Women & Wellness has included jewelry in its annual raffles for a number of years, it was only this year that, at the suggestion of raffle chair Cheryl Fornash, a Richmond-based jeweler and diamond importer, more jewelers were involved in the raffle.

“The Jewels for a Cure raffle was conceived when I decided to volunteer my time to work on the Women & Wellness event,” Fornash said. “During the first meeting, we had a discussion about past raffle items and the pros and cons of each—jewelry and a lease for a Mercedes-Benz. Everyone agreed that jewelry was always the most popular item. So we decided to focus on jewelry by expanding the number of pieces of jewelry in the raffle. When I began calling on the jewelers, I was impressed by their level of enthusiasm and desire to support VCU Massey. Every jeweler I approached signed on.”

Retailers that participated were: Adolf Jewelers, Carreras Ltd., Fornash, Cowardin’s Jewelers, Charles Schwarzschild—a longtime supporter of VCU Massey—Davis, Dransfield Jewelers, Fink’s Jewelers, Jack Kreuter Jewelers, MacLaren Jewelers, Schwarzschild Jewelers and Victoria Charles Jewellery.