By Michelle Graff
Richmond, Va.--The “Jewels for Children” raffle, supported by various Richmond jewelers, held its annual fund-raising event this fall, garnering more than $9,000 for charity.

The event, now marking the fifth year of Richmond-area jewelers partnering under the organization of retailer Cheryl Fornash of Cheryl Fornash Jewelers to support a cause, has raised more than $70,000 since its inception.

The event now is a tradition among various Richmond retail jewelers. The 2014 participants were: 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.

Fornash initially started “Jewels” to support cancer research at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center at the “Women in Wellness” event in 2009.

“I thought if we could expand it to include pieces from other jewelers, it would make a bigger impact and raise more for Massey,” Fornash said. “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, due to a change in fundraising strategies at the Massey Cancer Center, Fornash proposed the “Jewels for Children” raffle idea to the Junior Board of the Children’s Hospital Foundation to support the annual Hospital Foundation Ball.

 “We all individually support a myriad of charities throughout the year,” Fornash said. “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.” 

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