$7,000 raised at charity event to fight brain tumors

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

The room was full at Nuchie’s on April 2 as residents joined Bristol’s Allison Owsianko to support the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance.

Owsianko, the reigning Miss Forestville, held Holden It All Together to benefit the CBTA.

The CBTA, according to its website CBTA.org is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering support and compassion to those affected by brain tumors. Our mission is to raise awareness of the disease, provide hope and support for others living with brain tumors in Connecticut, and raise money to support and advocate for cutting-edge research for better treatments and a cure.

The event raised over $7,000 for the nonprofit.

“When I decided to run for Miss Forestville,” said Owsianko, “I knew right away that I wanted to support the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance in some way.”

For Owsianko, supporting CBTA is a personal crusade.

“After losing my uncle almost two years ago to a brain tumor,” said Owsianko, “it has effected my family greatly.”

“I never realized how terrible brain cancer and brain tumors really are until I was involved and spreading the awareness,” said Owsianko.

Each contestant for Miss Connecticut, for which Owsianko will be competing this June, has to chose an issue of concern.

“When I chose the platform, my number one goal was to make sure people became more aware about brain tumors and also how the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance would help out any family going through difficult times,” said Owsianko.

The turnout on April 2 was considerable with barely any space available to maneuver among the two banquet rooms at Nuchies in Forestville set aside for the charity event, which featured a pasta dinner and a live band.

“‘Overwhelmed’ and ‘amazed’ are two words that can describe my emotions I was feeling,” said Owsianko. “Family and friends came out to support, along with friends from the CTBTA community, the Forestville/ Bristol community and lots of other people. I still cannot believe how wonderful people are and how successful this fundraiser was.”

Given the success of the event, said Owsianko, “I have decided to make this annual event awarding a $500 scholarship to a Bristol student who has been affected by a brain tumor.”

“After making the announcement (of the scholarship at the fund raiser)… we received an anonymous donation, who will match the $500 a year to make the scholarship a $1,000 one,” said Owsianko.

At Holden It All Together, a fund raiser for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance, Miss Forestville Allison Owsianko, center, poses with Ashley Cusano, left, Chris Cusano (who is a brain cancer survivor), Owsianko, Tracey Gamer-Fanning (who has been living with brain cancer for 10 years), and Gregory Shimer (co-secretary of CBTA).

At Holden It All Together, a fund raiser for the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance, Miss Forestville Allison Owsianko, center, poses with Ashley Cusano, left, Chris Cusano (who is a brain cancer survivor), Owsianko, Tracey Gamer-Fanning (who has been living with brain cancer for 10 years), and Gregory Shimer (co-secretary of CBTA).