Gracie Cutting isn’t your average 12-year-old. Not only is she poised beyond her years, but she’s also a philanthropist, a field hockey fanatic and a blossoming fashionista. When I sat down with Gracie, her mother, Tracy, and their friend Cristal Harkleroad, I was pleasantly surprised by the spunky, well-spoken blonde who sat next to me.
Even in her field hockey workout clothes, this girl knew how to work a bandana headband. But Gracie’s knack for style isn’t what makes her worthy of our attention. Along with her mom and Harkleroad, she is planning Couture 4 a Cure, a fashion show for young girls, and an all-ages, executive nine-hole golf scramble on Sunday, June 5, to benefit Indian Summer Camp and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
How did you come up with the idea for Couture 4 a Cure?
Cristal: Well it all started in Arby’s.
Gracie: We were talking about how I wanted to learn how to sew and how I always wanted to do a fashion show. Cristal thought it was a cool idea. Weeks later I was like, “How about we do a fashion show benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma society?”
Cristal: So I thought, I’ll teach her how to sew and anything she makes will go toward a photo shoot with her friends, because I also do photography. She’s like, “Well I’ve always wanted to do a charity event and how cool would it be if it was a fashion show?” She and her mom together have just made it grow. And what better thing to benefit than cancer research?
How did you choose Indian Summer Camp and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to be the causes supported at this event?
Gracie: Well, my friend Jake Taylor’s stepfather is the director at Indian Summer Camp, and Jake actually had Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Tracy: He actually had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – stage 4 – when he was in first grade. I became involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through my sister, but then became very good friends with Jake’s mother. So I wanted to continue working with the Lueukemia & Lymphoma Society because they’re such a wonderful resource for people who have family members going through cancer.
Gracie met Jake in fifth grade and learned about his cancer journey and was moved to become involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society after participating in The Light the Night Walk in support of Jake. This year we will be organizing with the help of Jake’s mom, Adrianne, an even bigger “For Jake’s Sake” team to walk on Oct. 1, 2011.
What will the fashion show entail?
(Gracie immediately points to her mom to answer this question.)
Tracy: At the fashion show, there will be between 12 and 20 local girls modeling fashions from The Peppermint Palm and JB & Me. In order to become a model, you have to raise $100 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We’re also going to have fashions for children with cancer.
Cristal: Headbands, scarves …
Gracie: Jewelry and purses …
Tracy: In addition, we’re going to have a photo shoot for all attendees and a purple carpet to walk down … If I can find a purple carpet. We’re also having refreshments after the fashion show and a mingling session.
Cristal: We’re also having a silent auction. So anything that was made by me will be silent auctioned between the fashion show and mingling.
Tell me about meeting Betsey Johnson at The Voice-Tribune’s Brunch with Betsey Johnson.
Gracie: Well, I’m a huge Betsey Johnson fan. After everything was over, I went over to her table and was like, “I would be honored if you would give me your autograph.” She wrote a really cute letter and then I told her about the fashion show. Cristal added that it was benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and she’s like, “I have to donate a dress then!”
Tracy: We’re thinking of unveiling the dress for the first time at the fashion show and then selling raffle tickets to sell the dress and doing the raffle in October.
Besides your charitable work, what else do you like to do?
Gracie: I love to play field hockey. I absolutely love it. It’s my favorite thing to do. I also play tennis and basketball. Of course, I also love shopping and fashion.
Cristal: And the royal family
Who do you like better, William or Harry?
How has preparation for the event been with balancing your schoolwork and extracurricular activities?
Gracie: It’s been OK. I’m still getting good grades, and I’m still going to field hockey practice and everything. My mom and Cristal have been the most help. They are just awesome.
Tell me about your love of fashion. What are your favorite shops in Louisville?
Gracie: Forever 21, Forever 21 and Forever 21. I also like Peppermint Palm, Abercrombie, the shops in Westport Village, and I loved JB & Me when I was younger.
What do you hope will be the greatest outcome of Couture 4 a Cure?
Gracie: Finding a cure to cancer.
Tracy: And raising money to help find that cure.
For more information on Couture 4 a Cure, contact Gracie and Tracy Cutting at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.899.6406. For information about the golf scramble, contact Gus and Malcom Cutting at email@example.com or 502.541.9827.
Category: The Spotlight