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Local Jeweler Sponsors Oct. 11 Monongahela Valley Hospital/Ducoeur Breast Cancer Walk

Local Jeweler Sponsors Oct. 11 Monongahela Valley Hospital/Ducoeur Breast Cancer Walk photo

MarBill Diamonds & Jewelry will support the MVH/Lois Orange Ducoeur Breast Cancer Walk as a major sponsor this year on Oct. 11 in Charleroi. From left at the Belle Vernon store are Alexa Miller, Carey Wickerham, Karen Johnson, Bill and Linda Horrell, Kim Bruno, Marsha Fragello, Rebekah Ross, Kylie Horrell and Michael Horrell. Absent is Sally Imbrogno.
(September 4, 2014 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Touched by cancer in both their home and in their workplace, Bill and Linda Horrell, co-owners of MarBill Diamonds & Jewelry in Belle Vernon, have recently expanded their efforts to support cancer education in their community through events at Monongahela Valley Hospital.

"We interact with a lot of ladies here (at the Belle Vernon jewelry store) so it's a perfect opportunity to reach out in our community and help educate people," said Linda.

Long-time supporters of Monongahela Valley Hospital's annual Breast Cancer Screening and Luncheon each October, the Horrells have recently stepped up their commitment by becoming a major sponsor for the 11th annual MVH/Lois Orange Ducoeur Breast Cancer Walk on Saturday, Oct. 11.

"We supported the walk two years ago and got more involved this last year," said Bill, who was a sponsor and donated a heart-shaped pendant worth $500 that was used for a raffle. "As a sponsor this year, we think we'll be able to reach out to more people, and to educate them about getting their mammograms and taking care of their health."

At a recent staff meeting, Linda polled her employees and asked who would attend the MVH/Ducoeur Walk on Oct. 11. She said every one of their nine employees raised their hands to attend the one-or two-mile fun walk. She said Bill jokingly asked, "Who will run the store that day?"

"We even thought about getting a MarBill team together with some friends and maybe pink T-shirts this year for us," said Linda.

"I see MarBill as being a role model in the community and for the MVH/Ducoeur Walk," said Office of Fund Development Director Melissa Marion. "Bill, Linda and one of their employees Marsha Fragello have personally solicited 75 businesses in the community to support the walk; they've made personal visits and delivered letters. They're talking with people to tell them, 'hey, we're in, you should be in too, it's a valuable cause, because cancer touches everyone."

Bill said he lost both parents to cancer, and one of their employees, Sally Imbrogno, has been going through her second bout with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, a rare blood cancer. Bill said the store staff has rallied to support Sally during this round of treatments.

Sally's niece, a fashion designer from New York, has even created a line of scarves for women like her aunt who did not want to wear wigs when they lost their hair but had few "pretty" head scarf options. Linda displayed the scarves at the annual Breast Cancer Screening and Luncheon at MVH last year.

The Horrell Family, who just celebrated their 50th anniversary in business, has been consistently generous in supporting MVH's cancer awareness efforts. In addition to supporting the annual Breast Cancer Education and Luncheon each October and the MVH/Ducoeur Walk, the Horrells donated $6,000 to the cancer center from a special store promotion for breast cancer month in 2009.

Bill's parents, the late Anna Louise and Bill Horrell Sr., originally opened their business on Broad Avenue in Belle Vernon in 1964 as a catalog store. They named the store after their children, Margaret and Bill - MarBill.

In 1987, the Horrells added the jewelry department. Bill Jr. is now president, Linda is the vice president and the couple is transitioning the family business to its third generation in its store in the Shoppes at Rostraver. Their son Michael is a jeweler who will eventually take over the helm. The Horrells' daughter-in-law and future daughter-in-law also work at the store.

Linda added that she likes the MVH Ducoeur Walk's new "Valley goes PINK" campaign that features a pink bridge. She sees the bridge not only as a symbol of the Valley, but as a symbol of connection. This program and event are connecting the Valley communities together, while helping the hospital continue to serve residents of these communities
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