Oakley's Kate Voegele Delivers Message of Hope for YSC
Kate Voegele, pure and simple? Here it is: she gives people a reason to hope.
For all of us who have wondered if we’d ever see a young entertainer with something authentic and valuable to say, someone with an interest in social action instead of social buffoonery, there’s Kate: bright, self-aware, and gifted as hell.
Yes, she is a major recording artist slash television star slash Oakley sunglasses model, but her actions illustrate that she is also the kind of human being who gives of herself. And that spirit of selflessness is what has drawn Kate to a nondescript, second-floor office at Oakley’s Foothill Ranch headquarters. Earlier in the afternoon, Voegele sang and spoke to Oakley employees in celebration of the partnership between the company and Young Survival Coalition, an organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women with breast cancer.
But her allegiance to YSC was born not of chance but of solidarity with the women YSC supports. Her connection to the disease was born just a few years ago when a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of twenty-four.
“It was just so shocking,” she says, “partly because it’s something we didn’t think was really possible. You read all of these stories in magazines and think, ‘Well, that’s so rare that it’s never really going to happen to anyone I know.’ But it did happen, and she handled it with more strength than the rest of us did. That was really inspiring and empowering to me to see that she was the one in this situation but she was so brave and strong about it.”
Voegele is now twenty-four herself. She has a recurring roll on The CW Network’s “One Tree Hill” and recently released her second album. Her “cover” version of Leonard Cohen’s haunting “Hallelujah” (also made famous by the late Jeff Buckley) has won her both critical and popular acclaim. Yet through it all, Kate still beams with pride over her affiliation with YSC.
“It’s so cool for me to be involved with YSC because to know that there’s an organization out there to help people like my friend, people living with breast cancer in that specific demographic and age group, is so encouraging and inspiring,” she says as she looks out through the large window to her left. “(Our) mission is to give these women hope and empowerment and to tell them there are people out there just like them.
“I think it’s huge to know you’re not alone out there.”