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Chelseas Closet to be featured in Glamour

by: Jaime Valdez THE BEST – Winner of the “Best of you” sweepstakes, Alison Hicks and her non-profit the Chelsea Hicks Foundation, will be featured in an upcoming issue of Glamour magazine. The Chelsea Hicks Foundation donates

Glamour isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Chelsea's Closet. The Tigard-based nonprofit provides costumes and fun activities for sick children battling cancer.

But that didn't stop the people at Glamour magazine from recognizing the organization in its 'Best of You' contest, and presenting the closet with a $1,000 grant. Sally Hansen beauty products also sponsors the contest.

In addition to the grant, co-founder Alison Hicks will appear in an upcoming issue of Glamour.

The yearly 'Best of You' contest honors what it considers to be 'the nation's most inspirational women.' Winners are selected through a vote on Glamour's website. In January, Hicks was named as a finalist, and people were asked to vote for Hicks or several other finalists who work for different nonprofits around the country.

As first place winner, Chelsea's Closet will receive $1,000 for the nonprofit and Hicks will appear in a special photo shoot in Glamour magazine later this year.

Hicks was the only finalist from Oregon, and she said that it wouldn't have been possible to win without the support of local people who took to the Internet to vote for.

'My heartfelt thank you for everyone who supported the foundation and getting the word out,' Hicks said Tuesday. 'Without people voting there's no way this would have happened. Now we get to go to New York and tell more people about the foundation and help even more kids.'

Since 2009, Chelsea's Closet has provided children battling cancer a few hours of escape and fun each month by delivering outfits and costumes to patients at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

'We want to give them a couple of hours to get out and do something different,' Chelsea's Closet co-founder - and Allison's husband - Jason Hicks told The Times in August. 'It gives them a chance to think about something other than being sick.'

Jason Hicks knows firsthand how important it is for sick children to have the chance to play and unwind.

Hicks' daughter, Chelsea died from Wilms' tumor - a type of children's kidney cancer - in 2009. Her favorite pastime was playing dress up.

Allison was nominated by a family member and said she had never heard of the 'Best of You' contest until she got a call from Glamour.

'We were so excited when we heard we won,' Hicks said.

For every vote received, Glamour donated $1 to DKMS, a bone marrow donor center working to treat leukemia patients.

The $1,000 grand prize will go toward purchasing about 50 new costumes and accessories that the closet needs for children.

Because of infectious disease restrictions at hospitals, the foundation is limited to only new costumes.

Currently, the Closet only visits children at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, but plans are in the works to expand to other hospitals around Portland

The closet is expected to start monthly trips to The Children's Hospital, at Legacy Emanuel in April or May, Hicks said.

Hicks is expected to appear in the September issue of Glamour.