NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative

Ovarian Cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths of women in America.  It is estimated that 1 in every 75 women will be diagnosed at some point in their lifetime.  That’s a pretty astonishing number, but if it’s caught in the early stages, there is a 92% chance for a cure.  That’s why raising awareness and promoting early detection is so important and why the NormaLeah Foundation was established.

Norma Yecies Shagrin and her sister Leah Yecies Hantman were both diagnosed with ovarian cancer and both succumbed to the disease just 10 years apart from each other. In 2008, the NormaLeah Foundation was founded by Jodie Kavensky (daughter of Norma and niece of Leah)  after Norma passed away.  She created the Foundation to raise public awareness, promote early detection, and support research for ovarian cancer.  In 2016 the foundation became the NormaLeah Ovarian Cancer Initiative, keeping with the same but expanded initiatives of “enriching lives through early detection education, patient support services and research funding for ovarian cancer,” as stated on the organization’s website.

Our Involvement

We were approached by Jodie to create a special piece for their fundraising efforts.  Collaboratively, it was decided to create our new “Butterfly Kisses” sculpture with special Teal coloring on the wings, since Teal is the universal color for Ovarian cancer.  This special butterfly called “Winged Beauty” has been on sale through the organization’s website. Visit here to purchase yours. Proceeds go back to the NormaLeah initiative.

Norma Leah Signing Event

You can also pick one up at our special signing event on September 16th in our Studio Showroom and Tour Center in Davenport, IA.  The event will be from 10am-1pm with designer Donna Young on hand to sign your purchased butterfly.  We will be hosting a special Art Project and tour along with our signing event. The Project will begin at 9:30 am, materials cost is $15. The tour will be held at 11am. Reservations required for both the art project and tour. Please call 563-324-5135.

The NormaLeah volunteers will provide numerous fun activities for the kids including face painting, sidewalk chalk, balloon animals, a kid’s craft, and a fun photo booth.  They have also teamed up with Vibrant Credit Union who will be serving ice cream to provide a refreshing treat to those in attendance.  Make plans to stop by and help support this wonderful cause!

Bodice Project

The bodice project is another fundraising effort that the NormaLeah organization created this year using art to raise awareness of ovarian cancer! They have selected 24 local artists who have hand-decorated bodices with their unique style! Starting in August, each bodice will be displayed at different locations throughout the Quad City area. Our Designer, Donna Young, created one for this special event, and it’s beautiful if we dare say so 🙂 Donna’s bodice is on display in our Studio Showroom and Tour Center on Federal Street in Davenport, IA and will remain there until the Bodice Auction Party event on September 23rd.

Donna’s Bodice

When approached by Jody and the NormaLeah Initiative to decorate a bodice, Donna was excited to try something new. Here is what she had to say about the process:

“I wanted my bodice to have function, as well as beauty, so with the help of my husband, we wired it as a lamp.  My bodice is adorned with a paisley motif, using a mosaic technique.  I chose paisley for a couple of reasons.  First, I love the organic shape and free flowing pattern.  And secondly, because of its symbolic meaning: of Persian and Indian origin, the paisley shape is a twisted tear drop encompassing an entire plant form from root to blossom, signifying the time of harvest.  So to me, it represents fertility, creation, and abundance.  Very fitting for our cause here, of early detection of ovarian cancer. ”

“I choose materials that were readily available to me. The “leaf” tiles were used years ago at Isabel Bloom to adorn several sculptures.  The purple background is actually painted, broken windshield glass, so a nod to my mentor, Isabel Bloom, who first began melting windshield glass to use as “eyes” for her sculptures.  The Bloom butterfly represents the NormaLeah Initiative, and the fact that “The butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful.”

Check out the photo gallery to see Donna’s bodice in progress.

The Bodice Auction Party

The Bodice Auction Party will be held at the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa. The event will feature live music, raffles, hors d’oeuvres, drinks and auction of each bodice! Tickets are only $40 each and on sale now at http://ly/GKGF30cKwvD .  Tickets must be purchased by September 20th. No tickets will be sold at the door.

All proceeds support NormaLeah’s early detection education programs.
1612 Second Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201

by Lexi Johnson

Lexi has been with Isabel bloom for 16 years, since she was a youngin’. She has over 50 sculptures of her own because she LOVES Isabel blooms. Lexi has a wonderful husband and a son who challenges her every day but she wouldn’t trade being his mom for anything in the world. In her spare time, she loves being outdoors with her family, golfing, kayaking, and hiking when they can.


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