Meet Barbara Raskin

By Leslie Moore

Meet Barbara Raskin

This month, the Little White Dress is partnering with Sasee to raise money for Brides Against Breast Cancer, a fundraising activity for Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation. Five local women will be wearing the “Sasee Veil” from August 9th through September 17th to raise awareness and funds for this amazing charity. Sasee met with Senior Tour Director Barbara Raskin to learn more.

Please tell me about Brides Against Breast Cancer. Does it help women locally?

Brides Against Breast Cancer (BABC) is the major fundraising activity of the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1998. The Foundation’s mission is primarily to grant last wishes to men and women suffering from Stage 4 (metastatic) breast cancer as well as to increase awareness, and encourage self-examination as the key to early detection among the women, their families and friends who attend BABC events. We operate a store in the Santee Outlet Mall that sells wedding gowns, prom dresses, mother-of-the-bride gowns and all types of wedding accessories. Our merchandise is donated from major designers, bridal shops and other retailers. We take the gowns on tour every year, stopping in 50 cities throughout the United States.

Though our scope is national, we are sensitive to the need for our services in our own “backyard.” For example, about a year ago we granted a wish for a woman from Holly Hill, S.C., whose career in local government led her to request a trip for her family to Washington, D.C., hopefully to inspire her daughters to follow in her footsteps.

We arranged for a beach house on Topsail Island, N.C., for a woman with Stage 4 breast cancer who wanted to see her daughter married where the family had traditionally spent summers. We provided the house and arranged for a designer to create a unique, pink gown for the bride.

Another woman, from the state of Washington, wanted to travel to Atlanta to meet her sister and vacation with the family at a beach house in or near Garden City, S.C. We arranged the transportation and rented the house, but what is really special about this wish is what the staff of the Little White Dress arranged to make the experience unforgettable. They sent food, arranged spa pedicures, a dress up day for the little girls in the family, sent monogrammed beach towels, and on and on. They were wonderful. Our partnership with Little White Dress is a magnificent thing. We are blessed by their enthusiasm and dedication.

In a nutshell, the proceeds from our sales that are allocated for granting wishes are spent wherever there’s a need. But we will always go the extra mile to assure that funds from local events grant wishes “at home” when there are requests in the pipeline.

How did you get involved with this organization? Why is it important to you? 

I became involved as a volunteer about five years ago after I moved to Santee from New York City and relocated my mother from New Jersey. My intention was to do something to honor my mom, who survived three husbands and two mastectomies, while she is still alive. She worked with us for more than three years in the Santee Store and on our Tour Shows. While we are not a “chapter-based” organization, Santee is not very far away from the center of the state. The audience for our outlet store says there’s enthusiastic reception for what we’re doing. Santee is a reasonable commute from a lot of places and is becoming known by those who know the Foundation and want to support our cause.

Please tell us a little more about your life.

I am retired and, apparently, very bad at it. A graduate of New York University’s Washington Square College of Retailing, I have been involved in the New York fashion scene since the 1960s, first as a model – I modeled for Hedda Kleinfield (Say Yes to the Dress) for spending money while I was in school. I was the Marketing Director of Brides Magazine in the 1980s, worked with most of the giants in the bridal industry and am proud to say that many of the gowns donated to the Foundation come from industry resources established through my career. I truly love what I do and how we are able to help people far less fortunate. It pleases me and honors my mother.

One thing that’s really important is that those who have helped (and continue to help) with what we do in Santee are friends of my mother’s. In the end, this is “all about Mom.” She’s 91 and, before Alzheimer’s kicked in, was our resident breast cancer counselor – and a wonderful ray of hope for many.

Contact Barbara at 843-901-0402, mmssouth@ntinet.com or www.bridesagainstbreastcancer.org. To help with the “Sasee Veil” fundraiser, call Nicole from the Little White Dress at 843-449-4940. Photo by Person & Killian Photography

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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