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As Vanessa Williams celebrates her birthday today we are reminded of all the great charity work that she has done in her lifetime. She is no stranger to difficulties and struggles. Yet, she has managed to use  her talent and fame  for positive activities.

In the summer of  2010 she kicked off a breast cancer fund-raiser by driving a pink fence post into the ground in suburban New York.  Vanessa is a firm believer that she can reach people if she uses her fame to bring awareness to the disease that affects women. It is estimated by The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2010 about 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women happen each year.  Statistics show about 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer) which will result in an estimated 39,840 deaths from breast cancer.  If you or a loved one is suffering from cancer  read 6 Best Ways to Support a Loved One Who Has Cancer.

Vanessa is known as a fashion icon the world over and has become the trusted spokeswoman for Dress For Success. The Dress For Success program promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Last fall she hosted an affair that garnered donations from the attendance of 350 people who gave monetary or clothing donations. The evening was a huge success.

Currently, Vanessa Williams is on the advisory board of Hearts of Gold, a charity that supports New York City’s homeless women and their children. Williams helped design and signed a pair of shoes for the Stuart Weitzman charity shoe auction benefiting ovarian cancer awareness and research. Vanessa designed a denim jacket for an auction benefiting  SOS Children’s Village.

Happy Birthday and Thank you Vanessa!  May you live many years more!

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