Elida Gollomp always was given regular mammograms, but the lump in her breast discovered five years ago didn't turn up in any of those annual screenings.

It was a self exam that prompted the Westport resident to see a doctor, and after several tests, she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

"We have to be self-advocates," said Gollomp, who's in her early 50s and has two children. "We have to stay on top of things."

On Thursday, Gollomp joined other women, many who volunteer for Norwalk-based CancerCare, to model designer fashions at Saks Fifth Avenue in Greenwich. The fashion show benefited CancerCare, which provides free services -- including counseling, group support, education and financial aid -- to people whose lives have been affected by cancer.

As dozens of spectators sipped mimosas, Gollomp paraded on the makeshift runway at the back of the store in a black dress by Diane von Furstenberg, and then a silky purple and black frock from Oscar de la Renta.

The event also kicked off the department store's national Key to the Cure campaign. Through Sunday, 2 percent of sales at Saks will be donated to women's cancer charities, and stores are also selling limited-edition T-shirts designed by Donna Karan and modeled in ads by actress Uma Thurman. At Saks on Greenwich Avenue, sales of the $35 shirt will benefit CancerCare.

This is the fourth year CancerCare has partnered with Saks for the event, said Lisa Cannella, regional director of CancerCare of Connecticut.

Alexis Donovan, the manager of Tiffany & Co. across Greenwich Avenue from Saks, participated as a model.

Donovan said the jewelry store often sponsors events held by CancerCare, including a Girls' Night Out at Lillian August in Norwalk this past August. There will likely be a similar event in Greenwich.

"I was happy to dress up in fancy clothes," said Donovan of Fairfield, who modeled a multicolored M Missoni dress at the end of the show.