On Thursday, September 17th Ambalu Jewelers hosted a complimentary cocktail reception to unveil the “Emerge from the Cocoon of Lupus” jewelry line, inspired by the Lupus Alliance of LIQ design contest. The LALIQ asked the public to send in their ideas for a design that embodied their mission, “Improving the lives of those living with lupus through awareness, education, support services and research.” The Alliance received many beautiful designs, some that included the designer’s story about their life with lupus and what the butterfly means to them. The winner was chosen after much consideration by the “Emerge from the Cocoon of Lupus” committee.
Karen Signoracci Suero, of KSS Ltd, non-profit consulting and the head of the decision committee stated, “Being involved with the “Emerge from the Cocoon of Lupus” Ambalu Jewelry Contest Committee was an experience unlike any other! The passion and emotion that flowed out of the submissions was both beautiful and touching. I feel our task was not only to select a winning design but was to expand the reach of the Lupus Alliance. The Lupus Alliance of LIQ strives to provide information, education and support to those living with lupus and their families and the committee was willing to promote and share that important message by serving on the Emerge from the Cocoon of Lupus Ambalu Jewelry Contest Committee.”
Esther Ambalu of Ambalu Jewelers in East Hills, NY, went to work designing the winning piece. However, she was so inspired by the stories of those with lupus and the symbol of the butterfly that she designed an entire line of exquisite jewelry to be sold exclusively in her store. The cocktail reception, held at Ambalu Jewelers welcomed all to view Esther`s extraordinary work and to learn more about the Lupus Alliance of LIQ and what they do to help those living with lupus.
The winner, Angela Marie Morrison spoke eloquently about what it meant to her to have her design selected, “I am grateful that this contest led me to meeting everyone at the LALIQ, it is a true gift. It is a struggle to live with this illness, and for all these years, I never really got involved in any organization. There was also an element of viewing myself as a strong woman and not wanting to need any support. However, more recently, as I have not been working, and also having more health issues develop from my lupus, I realize the benefit of being in contact with others who understand. I have always believed there is a reason for everything, and so, I believe having my entry selected has the even greater benefit of getting me involved with the LALIQ. They are all wonderful, caring people who are doing so much for bringing attention, funding, and education to this illness – one that gets little attention and funding compared to other diseases.”
The butterfly has long been seen by those who live with the incurable autoimmune disease as their unofficial symbol. The metaphor of striving to break free from the cocoon that encompasses you and emerging anew is close to the hearts of those living with lupus and its debilitating effects every day of their lives. Patricia D`Accolti, Executive Director of the Lupus Alliance of LIQ stated, “My first and foremost concern is to always let the lupus community know that we support them fully and will do whatever it takes to walk through their journey with them. This community is very near and dear to all of us here at the LALIQ and that is why we continue to work diligently on their behalf.”
Business leader, philanthropist and publisher of Anton Media Group, Angela Susan Anton is known as a tireless volunteer. She is a proud supporter of the Lupus Alliance of LIQ and was their special guest at the event in September. Anton said, “The event was a wonderful opportunity to bring awareness to Lupus in our community. I hope through the newspapers to give a voice to Lupus.”
To view the jewelry please visit www.lupusliqueens.org or visit Ambalu Jewelers at 36 Glen Cove Road, East Hills. To get involved with the LALIQ whether to volunteer or because you have lupus and need support, please call 516-783-3370.
Picture from left to right:
Angela Morrison, Patricia D`Accolti, Esther Ambalu, Angela Anton, Kathy Maffucci, Karen Signoracci Suero, Christina Federici, Donna Nugent, Julie Simon and Sara Ambalu.