When a Hope & Cope volunteer brought a sample of a beautiful turban to hat manufacturer Bernie Fersten, owner of Fersten Headwear, and asked him if he could find a supplier, Mr. Fersten eagerly accepted the challenge. Little did he know that this would mark the beginning of a relationship with Hope & Cope that would span over three decades and that has continued to this day.
Rather than look for a supplier, Mr. Fersten decided to make the turbans himself. He took the sample apart, copied the pattern and using fabric from his inventory, donated the completed turbans to Hope & Cope. “The ladies were very happy with them and it felt good to help out and give back to the community,” Mr. Fersten recalled.
Since then, every year without fail, Mr. Fersten has supplied Hope & Cope with fashionable turbans in the latest colours and styles. As the demand grew, so, too, did the number of turbans supplied. Last year alone, Mr. Fersten donated 4,000 turbans, with a retail value of $30 a piece. Even though he is retired, he insists on personally taking care of the logistics, choosing the fabric and ensuring that it is cut, sewn and delivered to his specifications, all at no cost to Hope & Cope, going so far as to finance the project when necessary. “I can’t imagine the trauma of losing one’s hair. Knowing that these turbans help women regain their self esteem is very rewarding,” said Mr. Fersten.
Giving back is a Fersten family trait. Mr. Fersten’s sister, Miriam Klein, is a longtime fundraiser and patron of Hope & Cope. Both are admirers and friends of our Founder, Sheila Kussner. “As long as I am able to do it, I am happy to help out,” concluded Mr. Fersten.