Buddha Love Team. Left to right: Bri and Matthew Taylor and Tracy Appleton.

Local Collaboration Launches the Buddha Love Necklace Project

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Thursday September 12, 2013

Appleton Partners with Matthew Taylor Designs to Benefit the Cancer Patient Support Program

A unique collaboration between Tracy Appleton from South Burlington and Matthew Taylor Designs in Shelburne will benefit cancer patients and their families throughout Vermont and upstate New York.  Little did Tracy Appleton know when she was working with designer Matthew Taylor to create a commemorative piece of jewelry for her daughter’s school, that a new partnership would evolve.  Realizing how talented Matthew was, Tracy asked if he would be interested in carving a small wax interpretation of Buddha and casting three of them in silver with her niece’s birthstones below the Buddha’s hands to be worn as a pendant.  Matthew was willing and worked to create the small wax image of Buddha overnight.

Quite impressed, Tracy decided to act on a dream of a much bigger plan for the Buddha pendant.  Having attended Evening Song, the Cancer Patient Support Program’s (CPS) annual fundraiser for several years, Tracy was moved by stories of patients who had been helped by the program’s emergency funding and wanted to be able to use the peaceful Buddha image embodying  “love, light and compassion” to ensure that the fund would continue to be available. According to Tracy, “I wanted to create a jewelry line in partnership with Matthew Taylor Designs to benefit the Cancer Patient Support Program’s Emergency Fund by donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of the Buddha Love jewelry to help cancer patients throughout Vermont and upstate New York with financial assistance for housing, food, gas, medicine, and other basic needs during their treatments.”

Tracy’s Buddha Love efforts took on a more personal meaning through the illness of her cousin Elizabeth. Just 44 years old and the mother of three children, Elizabeth did not belong to any organized religion, but was drawn to the Buddha symbol that Tracy had shared with her and with others.  In fact, a large Buddha statue greeted visitors on the front porch of her home, and the jewelry she purchased and many pieces of clothing she wore displayed the peaceful Buddha.  With that in mind, Tracy presented her with a beautiful string of pink opals and rose quartz, Buddha blessed Mala Beads, along with a large picture of the Peaceful Buddha signed by many relatives and close friends.  The beads were never far from her from that moment on, and she asked that they always be placed under her pillow. 

Sadly, during planning for the launch of the jewelry, Tracy’s cousin Elizabeth lost her battle with cancer after a five year fight. And now, in her memory, the Buddha Love Necklaces will support the needs of other cancer patients served by the Cancer Patient Support Program.    Necklaces can be ordered online at Matthewtaylordesigns.net or purchased at his shop in Shelburne. In addition, the necklaces will be for sale at this year’s Evening Song gala to benefit CPS on Saturday, September 28th at the Robert E. Miller Center at the Champlain Valley Expo, 6 p.m.  Tickets to the event are available at   cpspvt.org/eveningsong2013 and more information on the Cancer Patient Support Program  can be found at cpspvt.org.