The fashions and fundraising of Marilyn Swillinger
By Kay Renz
One of Boca’s most fashionable ladies is also one of its busiest! The stylish and stunning Marilyn Swillinger is currently in the midst of preparations for the Greater Boca Raton Cancer Chapter’s Annual Gala Luncheon Fashion Show, which takes place January 24th at the Polo Club.
Rushing about her lovely home, she is chicly dressed in slim black pants and turtle neck sweater and a smashing white Tibetan lamb vest. As she is gathering the latest program outlines for the event, she begins to tell me about the fashion show.
“Neiman Marcus is coordinating,” she says excitedly. “Of course, it will be amazing!” Marilyn, naturally, is no stranger to Neimans! She loves their designer clothing and jewelry departments and adores their many in-store events.
“They have incredible customer service and such lovely people there to help you,” she said. “And their selections are always impeccable.”
A few of the designers she feels a strong connection with are Akris, Naeem Khan, Zac Posen and Armani. “They are sophisticated, classic and offer an air of excitement…something different,” she explains.
If you know Marilyn, you also can’t help but notice her glorious jewelry. One of her favorites is Andreoli, the Italian line, which offers unique and important pieces. While she often picks out the gems that she desires, she is also blessed to have a wonderful and devoted husband, Mark, who loves to buy her dazzling trinkets!
“He really is wonderful and he loves to shop,” she says as she takes out a marvelous pair of Andreoli diamond and Tahitian Pearl earrings that he recently selected for her. Simply stunning!
All of this fashionable flair was fostered at a young age with Marilyn. The winner of many beauty contests, the first at 18 months, Marilyn was taught by her mother the importance of dressing.
“Every evening she had me lay out two outfits on the bed for school,” she remembers. “And she would then go over which look was the best to wear and why.”
These lessons in fashion coordination would end up becoming a career for Marilyn who went on to create major department store productions to having her own business, Facets Inc.
While there is a lot of style to talk about with Marilyn, there is even more substance. For years Marilyn has been a dedicated fundraiser for cancer research. Having overcome her own battle with the disease, she is one of the most determined advocates for raising money to help scientists find new treatments and cures.
As President of the Greater Boca Raton Cancer Chapter, she and the 1,000 members raise funds for The Pap Corps, which in turn donates the numerous chapters’ funds to the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Pap Corps raises money for all cancers, not just for cervical cancer or breast cancer, which is a common misconception. In fact, The Pap Corps is the largest all-volunteer organization in the United States dedicated solely to funding research for all types of cancer.
“My parents always taught me to that it was my duty to give back and continually give of myself. They showed me how to do charity work and constantly guided me to serve others. It is an honor to be able to help others and my personal success would always be measured by the way I helped others, not by what possessions I had or what monies I earned,” she says.
Throughout the years, Marilyn and Mark have been actively involved in many of the community’s causes including the Lynn University Conservatory, the Boca Raton Community Hospital, Boca Museum of Art, The Red Cross, and many other worthy organizations, but her work with the GBRCC truly is her passion.
“We do several events during the year and last year, raised almost $400,000,” she stated. “So I am really hoping that we are able to have another amazing year!” If you would like to help find a cure for cancer by attending this event or making a donation, please call 561-637-8398.