Queen for a Day helps girls coping with
cancer boost their self-esteem
while having fun.
he 5-year-old — shy at
first — averts her eyes
to the ground.
But a volunteer rec-
ognizes the personality hiding with-
in, evidenced by the sparkly gloves
and purple satin coat the girl chose
to wear. Soon, volunteer and child
are talking about school and makeup
and, before they know it, the girl
joins the dozen or so other girls at the
party. From a range of items, she
selects a playful black frizzy wig, sun-
glasses and a hot pink feather boa,
hamming it up. as a rock star.
Another girl carefully chooses the
perfect nail polish color for her mani-
cure, as others play with face glitter
and smoky eye shadow colors.
They're typical kids having fun
The children and young ladies at
this special day of pampering are deal-
ing with cancer, either their own or
that of a family member or close
For a day, the nonprofit organiza-
tion Queen for a Day treats girls and
teens to a special tea party where they
are given a makeover, a manicure and
refreshments — and then have a
crowning ceremony and photo ses-
sion. They can pick out robes and
pearls to wear and a rhinestone tiara
that once belonged to a beauty queen;
many from around the coun-
try have donated their crowns
to these girls.
"The day is a celebration of
their beauty inside and out,"
says the metro Detroit chapter -
director of Queen for a Day
(QFAD), Dena Raminick of
The program was founded by
Jenna Edward, a Miss University
of Miami. It was designed to raise
the self-esteem and self-confidence
of girls coping with cancer.
"It's fun and enjoyable," says
Catie Hormel, 16, of Clinton
Township who came to Raminick's
first tea held at Gilda's Place in Royal
She learned about the program
from a social worker at Children's
Hospital of Michigan where she is
being treated for brain cancer. "The
volunteers are really good at relating to
you and they're 'with it,'" she says. "It's
not dumb, but fun."
Her mother, Debbie Hormel, was
equally enthusiastic. "Catie misses out
on so many other things, it was great
she got a chance to participate in this
situation." She adds that her daughter
liked that it was an exclusive experi-
ence for kids dealing with cancer.
With a teen she met at the tea,
Catie went on to start a teen chat
group every second Monday of the
THE ROYAL TREATMENT on page 40
Counter-clockwise from top left:
Chelsea Walker, 17, of Detroit and Elyse
Simpson, 16, of Detroit after being
crowned "Queens for a Day"
Good _friend Kim Nahhat, 17, joins
Megan Wiitala, 17, both of Troy.
Catie Hormel, 16, of Clinton Township
Director Dena Raminick with young
Queen for a Day Emily Valicevic, 4, of
Jazz singer Emma Wood, 5, of