Serving the community for nearly two decades, Inviting Arkansas continues to recognize philanthropic + civic leadership in Central Arkansas. As we begin this new decade, we have some buried treasures to share from the archives. These are just a few illustrious covers that reflect the continued mission fulfillment work in our community. Enjoy the memories, read about a few of the Capital City’s beloved foundations and remember to vote for your favorite cover – one of these nonprofit organizations will win a complimentary ad in the magazine. The contest will close on May 31st… #MakingPhilanthropyFUN
Melissa John for CARTI – October 2013 Issue
By Kim Meyer-Webb | Photography by Sara Blancett | Hair by Staci Miller with Salon on Third | Makeup by Bridget Baltimore with Barbara/Jean
Melissa John’s fashion mantra – “walk tall and be confident” – is practically the core of the CARTI mission. CARTI’s cancer patients benefit from the newest technology and compassionate service. CARTI offers comprehensive cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, diagnostic radiology and surgical oncology throughout the state. CARTI patient care extends beyond the physical and carefully considers the emotional state of each patient and family. When faced with a cancer diagnosis, CARTI joins in a family’s fight and provides assured confidence that the patient will receive the best treatment available.
Melissa John, this year’s co-chair of CARTI’s Festival of Fashion, attests that it’s difficult to find anyone whose life has not been affected by cancer in some way. She lost an aunt to breast cancer and admits, “You never know who the next cancer patient will be – it could be me, or it could be you – it’s important to have an organization like CARTI to serve as an ally.”
It’s the personal stories of CARTI patients that impressed Melissa initially.“ I worked for the Arkansas chapter of the American Cancer Society and traveled the state to raise cancer awareness. I would hear the most remarkable testimonials from CARTI patients. They spoke of CARTI with the greatest amount of gratitude, love and respect,” explains Melissa. A Conway native, her mother volunteered at CARTI/Conway and demonstrated the meaningful service of improving the lives of others. Michaela Johnson, CARTI event specialist/volunteer coordinator and friend, recruited Melissa for Festival of Fashion. “Melissa’s enthusiasm and deep commitment to CARTI make her an ideal co-chair for Festival of Fashion,” says Michaela. “She and Emily Young are creating a truly fashion-forward, ‘festival-forward’ event this year that complements our exist-ing Festival of Trees itinerary and offers something for everyone.”
For more than three decades, the CARTI Auxiliary has hosted Festival of Trees to benefit patient care. Festival of Trees, held Nov. 6-9, features events for the entire family – from the Sugar Plum Ball to Festival After Dark and Tux ‘N Trees. Its broad appeal makes it a holiday tradition. Festival of Fashion fills a niche and continues to evolve. “This event, initially showcased as a ladies luncheon, has transformed into a sleek after-hours event for men and women,” says Melissa. With 14 participating boutiques, Festival of Fashion is larger than ever and will feature a runway show showcasing the season’s hottest trends.
As a Realtor for the Charlotte John Company, Melissa serves as an official ambassador for Central Arkansas. “I take clients that are new to this area around town, and I get so excited. Little Rock truly offers the best of everything… the arts, the parks and bike trails, the schools and universities, hospitals, local dining and shopping. And, of course, CARTI!” As a mom to three children, she volunteers for their schools and plays the role of cheerleader at all their activities. As president of the Heights Business Association, her passion for people and the shop local movement makes her an ideal advocate for Festival of Fashion as well as CARTI’s mission.
“Festival of Fashion celebrates strong business and civic leadership and embraces fashion and the self-assurance it provides. At the heart of CARTI’s mission is that same assurance that the best is yet come.”