Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

American Cancer Society gift room in Brooksville offers patients help and hope

BROOKSVILLE — One of the best-kept secrets in Hernando County opened last summer with little fanfare. Two women hope to remedy that this weekend with an event to promote the American Cancer Society gift room and resource center.

The center, tucked into room 203 at Pinebrook Regional Medical Center, 14540 Cortez Blvd., is stocked to serve female cancer patients with items to enhance their appearance.

Offered free are wigs, hats, scarves, breast prostheses and mastectomy bras. Most of the items, all new, have been donated by manufacturers, companies that support cancer programs and boutiques.

To draw more attention to the shop and raise funds, a vendor fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the yard and parking lot at R&R Garage Doors, 16050 Aviation Loop Drive in the Airport Industrial Park.

"ACS has gift rooms everywhere, but it hasn't been here for 10 years," said Victoria Crowe, coordinator of volunteers for the site. Local patients have had to visit shops in Pasco and Citrus counties. "We just got in 15 wigs," Crowe said, raising the number to 60 pieces.

The gift room is open from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays only. On a recent Wednesday, volunteer Ann Mau gestured to a variety of hats hung like decor on the pleasantly pastel walls.

"They are so cute," she said of hats that ranged from a flower-and-ribbon bedecked straw hat fit for a dress-up outing to a femininely designed ball cap.

Mau opened drawers revealing scarves in abundance, some appropriate as scrunchies and others sized for traditional head wraps.

The mastectomy bras, from lacy to tailored, are made with a pocket to contain a prosthesis replicating a breast. Also on hand are prostheses in a range of sizes, noted volunteer Vicky Foust.

Foust, 70, and Crowe, 44, are both two-time cancer survivors, Foust with cancer of the breast and hip and Crowe with two bouts of breast cancer.

They want to spread the word of survival and of the gift center to ease the battle and recovery for other women.

Crowe recently trained four new volunteer staffers who will instruct women in fitting and styling wigs, tying scarves and selecting appropriately sized bras and prostheses.

Training also featured the serving of compassion, often needed by patients as much as cosmetic aids, she said.

Adding the quartet to the trio of volunteers already on staff may enable the center to expand its hours. Vendors for the Saturday fair will offer cosmetics, mobile phones, new and vintage jewelry, hats, children's games, copies of a local cookbook and travel reservations.

Occupying some of the 30 slots will be the AARP, an animal rescue-adoption agency, social service agencies and nonprofit groups. A bloodmobile from LifeSouth will be hand to accept blood donations.

There will also be an appearance by an Elvis impersonator, music, face painting for kids, demonstrations of yoga and Pilates and refreshments.

Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society gift room center, Relay for Life's upcoming cancer survivor dinner and LifeSouth Community Blood Center.

Beth Gray can be contacted at

If you go

What: Vendor fair.

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Where: Yard and parking lot at R&R Garage Doors, 16050 Aviation Loop Drive in the Airport Industrial Park.

American Cancer Society gift room in Brooksville offers patients help and hope 02/11/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Controversial landfill site could be rechristened as industrial recruiting land in Pasco

    Economic Development

    The east Pasco property of Angelo's Aggregate Materials, which failed to obtain a state environmental permit to be developed as a garbage landfill, is being studied as a potential 1,000-acre mega site for industrial recruitment.

  2. Joe Henderson: At son's wedding, memories of child-rearing build to a perfect moment


    On a secluded beach known as Hawksnest on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a bride-to-be named Heather McNeill hurried along a wooded path to meet the man she was about to marry.

    Heather McNeill married fellow Strawberry Crest High teacher Ben Henderson on a secluded beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands. "They wanted something totally theirs," says Ben's dad Joe Henderson. "I think they had their parents in mind, as well." [Courtesy of Henderson family]
  3. Forecast: Near record-high temperatures, minimal rain in store for Tampa Bay


    Tampa Bay residents can expect a significantly hot Wednesday — possibly record-breaking — and a small chance of pop up showers.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  4. Marriott opening new hotel on Clearwater Beach


    CLEARWATER BEACH — A dual-branded Marriott hotel with a tongue-twister name is opening on Clearwater Beach in August. The Residence Inn Tampa Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Tampa Clearwater Beach will have 255 suites total, connected by a lobby.

    A dual-branded Marriott hotel called the Residence Inn Tampa Clearwater Beach and SpringHill Suites Tampa Clearwater Beach will open in August in Clearwater Beach. Pictured is a rendering.
[Courtesy of Hayworth PR]