Search for:
  • Home/
  • Movies/
  • Connecticut moms prowl neighborhood as zombies to raise money for breast cancer research

Connecticut moms prowl neighborhood as zombies to raise money for breast cancer research


As Halloween looms up ahead, a cohort of Connecticut moms has been rehearsing their dreadful dance moves and creating creepy costumes in preparation for an annual neighborhood performance on October 31 — all to raise money for breast cancer research.

“It’s a bonding experience,” Kate Garin, 39, an accountant in Fairfield, Connecticut, told Fox News Digital.

“Many in our group are survivors,” she said, “so to be able to connect with women and share stories and have someone to turn to if, God forbid, this happens to you, it’s very touching. It’s incredible how strong these women are and how amazing they are. And we’re having a lot of fun while raising money.”

TO RAISE MILLIONS FOR CANCER CHARITIES, ONE CEO WILL TREK ACROSS THE SOUTH POLE: ‘A RISK WORTH TAKING’

The Mombies — a group of nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants and more — meet in secret for several weeks before Halloween.

They select a theme and music, a mashup that always includes Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” They also work with professional choreographers and finetune their costumes.

group of mombies

A group of moms in Connecticut is coming together to share fun dance moves as zombies, all in an effort to raise money for breast cancer research. (Barbara La Rocca/@barbaralaroccaphotography)

“There’s a lot of planning that goes into place and there’s a lot of commitment and hard work, but it pays off,” Garin said. 

CALIFORNIA WOMAN WITH STAGE 4 BREAST CANCER DENIED MAMMOGRAM AT AGE 29: ‘I’LL BE FIGHTING FOREVER’

“We’re all working moms and we all have kids and lacrosse tournaments and baseball tournaments. And so, you know, we try to weave it all in,” she added.

two mombies with makeup

Kaita Garin (on the left) is one of the many moms who participate in the “Mombies” dance routine. (Kaita Garin)

Costume design and make up are a big part of the experience.

“We have a couple of Mombies who are very talented in the makeup world,” Garin said. 

“Before the show, we’ll get together in groups and help each other,” she added. “Nobody does makeup on their own.”

OHIO WOMAN, THE FIRST PERSON TO RECEIVE A BREAST CANCER VACCINE IN TRIAL, AWAITS RESULTS: ‘VERY EXCITED’

They’ve also learned some solid hacks for looking more like the undead.

mombies together

“The Mombies” are a bunch of women with different backgrounds — and many are survivors of breast cancer. (Barbara La Rocca/@barbaralaroccaphotography)

“We work together and we all have our own little tips and tricks on how to ‘dirty’ our costumes and

 make them look raggedy,” Garin said. 

“Funny enough, coffee grinds is one thing that works well as dirt. So I’ve been having my husband empty all the coffee grinds into a bowl, and then I add a little bit of water, and then you just kind of rub it on the costume.”

But it’s all kept very hush-hush.

RUNNING ACROSS AMERICA TO FIGHT CANCER: UK MAN RUNS 50 MILES PER DAY FROM LA TO NYC IN MOM’S MEMORY

“Now it’s almost like a mysterious thing,” Garin said. “People wonder, ‘Oh, are you a Mombie? Are you guys dancing?’ It’s fun. Even my own kids don’t know what songs we’re dancing to each year. I think the mystery of it gets people enticed.”

“Putting the fun in it was always the key.”

— Tom Scalera

On Halloween night, the Fairfield Beach neighborhood comes alive as housewives, movie stars, socialites, prisoners, school girls, cheerleaders, soldiers and cooks — all turned to zombies — emerge from ordinary homes and put on a spectacular show.

“We dance four or five times that night or as many times as people show up,” Garin said. 

BREAST CANCER BREAKTHROUGH: AI PREDICTS A THIRD OF CASES PRIOR TO DIAGNOSIS IN MAMMOGRAPHY STUDY

“They start sitting on the lawn of the people across the street. It started as this fun thing where all the kids are trick-or-treating —  and then all of a sudden these moms are out there dancing.”

Garin is a mom of three kids, and one of them, Victoria, 12, is a competitive dancer.

mombie and daughter

Victoria Garin (right), daughter of Kate Garin (left), is proud of her mom as she dances for a good cause. (Kaita Garin)

“It makes me feel proud and happy that my mom is out there dancing and raising money for a cancer cure,” young Victoria Garin told Fox News Digital. 

“I think that when the moms come together, they create an amazing performance that’s super fun to watch,” Victoria Garin added. “After all of their hard work, I think they deserve a 10/10.”

The Mombies started out in 2016 when Terry Davis, a Fairfield mom and human resources executive, got together with a group of other moms to surprise the neighborhood with a flash mob on Halloween.

VIRGINIA 12-YEAR-OLD IS HELPING KIDS WITH CANCER AFTER LOSING HIS OWN MOM TO THE DISEASE

“She wanted to create a unique surprise for the kids to show them we’re fun and to show them that we can be exciting, too,” Gavin said. 

Katia Garin makeup

Garin and a lot of the other moms go all out with their makeup as they help each other turn into “Mombies.” (Kaita Garin)

“After the first year, she said, ‘Why don’t we attach a little bit of goodness to it?’ And we started ‘Dance to Donate,’ which has created this big movement. We’ve been dancing to fund the Cancer Couch, which is an organization founded here in Fairfield.”

Dr. Rebecca Timlin-Scalera created the Cancer Couch Foundation; its mission is to accelerate research and treatment — and find a cure, specifically for metastatic breast cancer.

“The life expectancy of metastatic breast cancer [patients] is still just three to five years,” her husband, Tom Scalera, told Fox News Digital. 

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR SAYS HER 120-POUND WEIGHT LOSS HELPED SAVE HER LIFE: ‘STRONG, CONFIDENT AND HEALTHY’

Scalera said his wife was surprised to learn how few funds actually go into breast cancer research. 

“I think most people we talk to are completely shocked because of all of the money that’s raised by ‘pink awareness’ and other activities, which are great — not much of that money goes into research,” Scalera added. 

“When Rebecca found out, she immediately was motivated. She said, ‘I’m going to take all my skills and all my ability and create this foundation.'”

Rebecca Timlin-Scalera and family

Rebecca Timlin-Scalera (at left) is the founder of Cancer Couch, the organization that the Mombies “Dance to Donate” program funds.  (Tom Scalera)

Timlin-Scalera died of metastatic breast cancer in 2019. 

While her mission was personal, Scalera said his wife was focused on the future.

“Rebecca was hoping that she could accelerate treatments and that she would be a beneficiary of it,” Scalera said. “But she was always very, very focused on helping others and maybe helping our children.”

THIS NEW YORK MAN IS CHALLENGING YOU TO RUN 50 MILES IN 31 DAYS IN MEMORY OF HIS DAD: ‘NO EXCUSES’

Timlin-Scalera was not a Mombie herself — but she loved the spirit of the effort, her husband said.

“It makes me feel proud and happy that my mom is out there dancing and raising money for a cancer cure.”

— Victoria Garin

“We’ve been very connected to the Mombies since Rebecca’s diagnosis,” Scalera said of his wife.

“It’s such a heavy topic and it’s hard to create an event that people want to be a part of and enjoy where, at the same time, they are helping to fight a deadly disease that impacts so many women. But putting the fun in it was always the key.”

Cancer Couch is volunteer-run and privately-funded — and 100% of the money raised is matched and goes directly to fund metastatic breast cancer research at two cutting-edge labs at the world’s leading cancer centers, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering.

BREAST CANCER DRUG COULD HAVE POTENTIALLY SERIOUS SIDE EFFECT, NEW RESEARCH REVEALS

Scalera said Cancer Couch is a family endeavor. 

His children, Bella Scalera and Luca Scalera, who now are first-year students in college and in high school, have been involved from the get-go.

Rebecca Timlin-Scalera with husband

Tom Scalera (pictured on the left) has continued to run the organization in honor of his wife who died in 2019. (Tom Scalera)

“We, as a family, cover all the expenses of the foundation,” Scalera said. 

Since 2017, the Mombies have raised over $170,000 for Cancer Couch — and that gives Scalera hope for the cause his “intelligent, highly motivated, Division 1 athlete, psychologist” wife worked to establish.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

“The thing about metastatic breast cancer is it seems to really take so many powerful and amazing young women,” Scalera said. 

clump of mombies

Scalera believes the “Mombies” are the “the perfect personification” of what his wife wanted the foundation to become.  (Kaita Garin)

“Rebecca was certainly a rock star,” Scalera added. “Everything was possible with her. There were no limitations on what she could accomplish in life. She was the perfect kind of person to convert her challenge with metastatic breast cancer into a foundation that is really focused on making a change for others.”

And the Mombies, Scalera said, are focused on fun.

“It’s all that Rebecca ever wanted for this foundation,” Scalera said. “The Mombies are the perfect personification of that.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

That’s what keeps Garin and her friends dancing for donations.

mombies split

The “Mombies Dance to Donate” event is a part of the Cancer Couch Foundation founded in Fairfield. (Barbara La Rocca/@barbaralaroccaphotography)

“That’s the most important thing to me, that we are doing this for a cause,” Garin said. 

“It’s not just for the kids to see us dance,” she added. “It’s amazing that we can have fun with it, but the main idea is that this is very dear to our hearts.”

To donate to this year’s project, visit www.mombies.org.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.



Source link