All eyes will be on the 70-year-old Jean Peters when she makes her fashion show debut at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino on Saturday.

All eyes will be on the 70-year-old Jean Peters when she makes her fashion show debut at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino on Saturday.

Onlookers will see Peters strut the catwalk in black slacks, black shoes and a flashy blue blazer. The fashion show in which Peters is appearing will be about much more than clothing though. All of the models selected for the show have one thing in common: they're all breast-cancer survivors. The event is just a piece of Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition's 10th annual Southern Lights of Life gala.

The upbeat fashion show represents courage, said Peters, a Dover resident and 23-year breast cancer survivor.

"To me, it's not about the fashion," she said. "It's about watching the survivors smiling and telling everyone 'We can do it. We can survive this monster.'"

But that's not to say Peters doesn't love the ensemble she'll be wearing, which she picked up from Maxine's Fashions in Dover.

"It's absolutely gorgeous," she said.

The event will feature a total of 12 breast cancer survivors in fashions from shops throughout Kent and Sussex counties.

The entertainment continues

Southern Lights of Life is packed with additional entertainment that includes an evening of gourmet dinner and cocktails, live and silent auctions, as well as live entertainment.

This year's gala will host music by the Tom Pizzi Trio and a concert headlined by Simply the Best: a Tina Turner Tribute featuring Suzette Dorsey.

"We always have great entertainment," said Gerri Coble, co-chair of the gala. "Our amazing live entertainment is provided by Suzette Dorsey. I've seen her in person, she's excellent. You would not know you're not watching Tina Turner."

The silent auction will offer a wide array of items for bid, from gift certificates to restaurants throughout the state to jewelry and signed guitars by country acts Luke Bryan and Florida Georgian Line.

Some live auction items bidders can look forward to include a week's stay in a flat in Italy, a week's stay in a beach house in Fenwick Island, and a contractor-sized wheel barrel full of cheer.

Aiming for $168,000

The gala is southern Delaware's premier breast cancer fundraiser with all proceeds benefiting DBCC's programs and services in Kent and Sussex counties. An average of 650 guests attend the gala. Last year's event included nearly 500 guests and raised $168,000. The funds were used to expand programs in Kent and Sussex to increase breast cancer awareness, promote the importance of early detection, provide access to mammograms and bilingual health navigators and deliver support and resources to women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The DBCC would like to exceed the $168,000 it raised last year.

"Our goal is to surpass that amount," said Coble, who's been a breast cancer survivor for about four years. "We're hoping people will come and have a great evening."


WHAT Southern Lights of Life gala, presented by Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition

WHEN 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday

WHERE Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, 1131 N. Dupont Highway, Dover

COST $150 per person

INFO Visit or call 672-6435