‘Children Helping Children’ Fashion Show and Luncheon

PANDA celebrates 20 years of fundraising for Steele Children’s Research Center

Nearly 1,100 guests attended the 20th annual PANDA “Children Helping Children” Fashion Show and Luncheon. The March 30 event at the Phoenician grossed $2.9 million for childhood cancer research and the PANDA endowment at the Steele Children’s Research Center.

“The 2019 research project brings us back to our roots as PANDAs – funding childhood cancer research,” said PANDA President Sandy Hobbs. “The organization was started because of a child who lost his life to this disease. The PANDA Childhood Cancer Inflammation Project will look at young kids undergoing bone marrow transplants, and research ways in which their diet and gut health impact their treatment.”

The show featured 59 young models from across the Valley and Tucson dressed in spring fashions provided by Saks Fifth Avenue. Tina Curran, PANDA’s original fashion show emcee, returned this year at the podium. Auctioneer Letitia Frye conducted the live auction, and Fox Restaurant Concepts returned as the title sponsor for the second time.


Myriah Bonsall, Lisa Barnes and Leslie Lehr; PANDA founders Robyn DeBell and Penny Gunning with Dr. Fayez Ghishan, director of the Steele Children’s Research Center

Dana and Keith Gapusan with Kathy Ritt

Laura Louis and Kristi Spiekerman; Austin Beardsley and Ross Schubert

Kelly and Jordan Vasbinder (in vintage Lilly Pulitzer Panda blazer)

Nancy Berge, Charlene Berge-Blum and Camerone Parker McCulloch

Tina Curran, emcee

PANDA founding members: – Back: Sharon Ulrich, Judy Shannon, Anne Spellman, Kathy Ritt, Judy Schubert, Lynne Sonntag, Susie Small, Mary Hudak, Ruth Ann Hornaday, Kathy Van Arsdale, Tammy Underwood, Tina Curran, Joan Colangelo, Ann Denk, Micheline Etkin, Carol Schmidt and Nancy Hepburn. Front: Laura Louis, Sandi Thomas, Tori Heintzelman, Penny Gunning, Anne Marie Dobbs, Robyn DeBell, Beth Matthews, Trisha Anthony and Carolyn Bosworth

Abriel Bentley, patient model 

Harper and Reagan Hobbs; auctioneer Letitia Frye

Emilia Ellison, patient model, with her sister, Sophia

Thomson, Elsa, and Fitzgerald Farrell

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