HUGS Charities, Inc. of Ocala would like to invite you to attend its annual Community Hug Celebration and Fundraiser honoring Gayle Elkes and Page Branson, both Ocala residents whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

Page Branson, left, and her mother, Gayle Elkes.

Gayle Strickland Elkes moved to Ocala in 1968 from her hometown of Swainsboro, Ga. with her husband Dr. Ed Strickland. Here they raised their three children, Edmond, Page and Stuart. Gayle is a 17-year breast cancer survivor. Gayle’s first husband passed away in 1986. She later married Frank Elkes who passed away in 2015 after battling Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Gayle was involved with the formation of HUGS Charities, Inc. in 2008.

Page Strickland Branson has lived in Ocala the majority of her life, outside of living in Tallahassee while earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Florida State University.  The daughter of Gayle Strickland Elkes, Page is married to Rusty Branson and they have two adult sons, Tucker and Sawyer.  Page is considered a breast cancer previvor, having elected to undergo surgery in 2012 to prevent breast cancer.

Sponsored by the Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute, the event is set for 6:30 p.m. April 20 at Country Club of Ocala, 6823 SE 12th Circle.

The event will include hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, silent and live auctions and a 50/50 drawing. You’ll want to attend to  be able to bid on these live auction items and more:

  • $5,000 Gift Certificate from Koontz Furniture, plus decorating services
  • Seven night stay in a resort condo in Orlando
  • Three-night stay at an Ocean Front Condo in St. Augustine
  • Two annual memberships for Sabal Direct Primary Care

Tickets are $75 per person. If you are interested in buying tickets or being a sponsor for this event, please call 622-3241.

HUGS Charities, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that raises funds for the research, prevention, detection and treatment of all forms of cancer and assists individuals and families whose lives have been adversely affected by it. Additionally, HUGS Charities, Inc. raises awareness about this disease and sources of help and relief.