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Raising awareness, Thom Filicia style

A crowd of 300 mingled and savored a variety of wines while waiting excitedly for the guest of honor, Thom Filicia, on Thursday evening at Anyela's Vineyard.

It was an "Evening with Thom Filicia," host of Style Network's show "Dress My Nest" and previously one of the fab five on Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." He's also added author to his list of credits as he has published "Thom Filicia Style" and signed copy after copy on Thursday evening.

The event was held to bring awareness and raise funds for Positively Pink Packages, a not-for-profit organization that provides cancer patients with what creator and Fayetteville resident Jennifer Tom thinks of as essentials for going through treatment.

Guests donated $50 each to attend the event with Filicia, and portions of the proceeds donated to the non-profit group Positively Pink Packages. The organization's mission is to produce breast care packages to support physical, emotional and educational needs of local breast cancer patients in Central New York.

Tom, founder of the group and breast cancer survivor, commented "there is no safe cancer." Her oncologist delivered the news of her advanced cancer at age 32 with the proclamation "if anyone can beat this, you can" and the positivity of that message is echoed in the groups' name.

Laura Ponticello, of Laura's List: Books for Women, served as emcee and worked tirelessly along side of Erin Sammut and Tom to create the event. She spoke to the capacity crowd and reflected on Tom's difficult battle with cancer.

"Sometimes you've got to stand in the lime before you can plant a garden of hope. This is our garden," Ponticello said.

Many of the guests in attendance had been touched by cancer.

Chiara Kuhns of Skaneateles said her own grandmother died of cancer.

"She actually had it twice. I am very diligent about getting mammograms and taking care of myself," Kuhns said.

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