By TAYLOR HARTZ
Four local breast cancer survivors are cooking up plans to find a cure.
Christina Hart, Southington resident and owner of Christina’s Gourmet on North Main Street just finished her final round of chemotherapy last month. While she admits that owning a small business while raising a family and battling cancer has been no easy feat, Hart has used her business as a tool to raise awareness and funds for others fighting the disease.
Hart has teamed up with two Southington residents and one Southington schoolteacher for this year’s Relay for Life. All four women were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40, meaning they had not yet even reached the routine mammogram age bracket.
“We don’t fit the ‘normal’ face of cancer,” said Hart, “We’re active, energetic women. We have families, careers and a life. There’s no room for cancer.”
And little room have they left. While the four women have gathered their family and friends to walk for a cure, Hart has worked her business into her fundraising with the team by her side.
This weekend, Hart hosted a cooking class and wine tasting where they raised five-hundred-dollars for No Evidence of Disease (NED) at the Cork and Brew banquet facility.
Christina’s Gourmet has also hosted two “Cookie Wars” this season to raise money for their team.
During the wars, groups design a cookie, hoping to earn a week long spot in the display case. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the design contest go directly back to the group’s chosen charity. Recent participants include Girl Scout Troop 66150 from Plantsville Elementary School and students from Flanders Elementary School.
The contests were judged by local Southington Relay for Life representatives for 2014, including Amy Wenicki, Ms. Southington Relay for Life, Kylie Watson, Miss Southington Relay for Life Grand Supreme and Cohen Wenicki, Little. Mr. Southington Relay for Life.
“This is a fundraiser we are passionate about because it gives us hope. Not only for a cure but for longevity,” said Hart. Christina’s Gourmet continues to raise funds for Relay for Life, as do Hart and her team members, sharing their story with Southington and hoping to help find a cure.