Gene Wickstrom struts down the catwalk at the 2019 Victor’s Secret Fashion Show. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Gene Wickstrom struts down the catwalk at the 2019 Victor’s Secret Fashion Show. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Victor’s Secret returns to Port McNeill for ninth annual show

All told, over $32,000 has been given out to 54 patients and three organizations.

Victor’s Secret is back for the ninth year in a row!

The fashion show is an annual fundraiser where local men wear bras made by community members and walk down a catwalk modelling them to help raise money for North Island cancer patients who are in need of help with travel expenses and accommodations when they leave the North Island for treatments.

Organizer Cheryl Beech Verbrugge said that when the fashion show first started, “There was three of us, and now there’s a core group of about 14 on the committee… The first few years it was a contest through the flower shop where all the proceeds from the contest went to the cancer society, but then when we got things up and going the owner donated the money to us.”

After that, they started putting on fashion shows with the bras.

RELATED: Victor’s Secret Fashion Show 2019

She added there’s been steady growth over the years, as the money raised “goes up every year — the first year we raised $6,000 and it generally goes up a thousand every year, but in total we’ve raised over $84,000, and then with expenses and everything, we’ve put in the bank just about $44,000.”

All told, over $32,000 has been given out to “54 patients and three organizations,” stated Verbrugge.

When asked why she got involved with starting the fashion show, Verbrugge noted a friend of hers was diagnosed with cancer in 2009-2010, “and I just remember her going to one treatment down in Victoria and then refusing to go again, and I started thinking I wish I could afford a plane or something along those lines to get her there again. We then had a conversation one night at my parent’s house, and mom and dad mentioned we should get local men to model the bras that were in the flower shop window — that’s where it all started.”

This year they have around 13-17 male models, “and I’m happy about that number, but I will find out on Tuesday at our next meeting how many are serious and will show up,” Verbrugge laughed.

As for any favourite model performances from over the years, she couldn’t pick just one, noting there’s “probably a couple every year” that she finds entertaining, but added there’s just too many to choose from.

Her favourite model? Verbrugge was quick to reply that she would have to pick “my husband and dad” and that above all else she wanted to say that if it wasn’t for the local communities, “there’s no way Victor’s Secret would be where it is today.”

Doors open for the event at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the Community Hall for the two-act show, there’s a dance to follow with DJ Jamie Keamo, no minors are allowed, and tickets are on sale for $25 in Port McNeill at Timberland Sports and the Dalewood Beer and Wine.


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