Shelton jewelry store hosts fifth annual 'Diamond Dig' for cancer research

Kathleen McNichols-Marks, owner of Marks of Design, greets customers on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Kathleen McNichols-Marks, owner of Marks of Design, greets customers on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

SHELTON — When the topic of breast cancer is mentioned, Kate Marks’ thoughts turn to her nana and her battle with the illness.

Marks, a local goldsmith and award-winning jeweler and owner of Marks of Design, recalled that her nana underwent a double mastectomy, the standard treatment of the day. When Marks was screened for cancer, she again thought back to her nana to give her strength.

“I thought of my nana and the bravery of other women I have known who fight this disease with grace and courage,” Marks said. “My outcome was positive, but I knew the results could have been very different.”

These experiences are what prompted Marks to become an advocate for ways to eliminate this deadly disease once and for all.

Marks of Design is hosting its fifth annual “Diamond Dig” in support of breast cancer research on Thursday, Oct. 21. The event will be held at Marks’ shop, 389 Bridgeport Ave., Suite 3, from 3 to 7 p.m. The proceeds from this year’s event will benefit Seymour Pink.

Marks said she started the event five years ago to raise funds and help promote awareness. To date Marks of Design has raised $75,000 to benefit local breast cancer organizations.

Participants can purchase buckets in advance for $45 and have the chance to “dig” for 3,000 carats of gemstones, jewelry raffles from top designers and the grand prize of a one-carat diamond from Antwerp, Belgium, known as the diamond cutting capital of the world.

There are a limited number of buckets and pre-sales have begun so Marks encourages people to purchase their buckets and guarantee their spot at the dig.

“This is a really fun event with fabulous prizes,” Marks said, “But at the end of the day it’s about awareness, the community coming together and women encouraging women to stay strong.”

Buckets can be purchased at the Bridgeport Avenue location and online. Links are also available on Instagram or Facebook at the Marks of Design page.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Kate Marks has never had breast cancer.