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Power of pink: Breast-cancer awareness focus of upcoming events

PAINT THE TOWN PINK: Support the Paint the Town Pink campaign by buying a Breast Cancer Support Day T-shirt and wearing it Friday.

PAINT THE TOWN PINK: Support the Paint the Town Pink campaign by buying a Breast Cancer Support Day T-shirt and wearing it Friday.

Two local events in the remaining days of Breast Cancer Awareness Month are expected to help bring attention to breast cancer.

The third-annual Pink Power luncheon, hosted by Vidant Beaufort Hospital and Vidant Pungo Hospital, is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Building 10 on the Beaufort County Community College campus. The annual Paint the Town Pink observance — Breast Cancer Support Day — is Friday. (See more information — in italics — at end of article.)

Two area health-care professionals explain the importance of the two events.

“It’s part of our hospital’s and health system’s outreach efforts. It’s part of what we do to meet our mission of enhancing the quality of life of the people we serve, touch and support,” said Pam Shadle, marketing and development director for Vidant Beaufort Hospital, about Pink Power. “More importantly, it’s just to bring awareness to breast cancer. What we hope Pink Power does is educate women about how early detection, regular screenings and advanced treatment options can give them the power over breast cancer.”

As of 10 a.m. Friday, the Pink Power luncheon’s registration limit was about 90 percent full, with 20 seats remaining. Pink Power originated about 10 years ago at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, now Vidant Medical Center, according to Shadle.

DeLores Pressley, a sought-after expert on confidence and motivation, is the featured speaker at the luncheon. She is expected to use portions of her highly sought after program: Believe in the Power of You: Putting Your Strengths Forward during her presentation. Pressley had a personal experience with breast cancer several years ago. Though she was lucky to have a benign tumor, she will share that experience and the experience of caring for a mother and husband with cancer with the audience.

Pressley is being featured at five other Pink Power events in the region, Shadle said.

Also speaking at the luncheon will be Dr. John Inzerillo, an oncologist with the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington, and Dr. Eleanor Harris, a radiation oncologist at the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center in Greenville.

“We’ll have a nice, healthy lunch and also giveaways for the ladies to take with them,” Shadle said.

The fifth-annual Paint the Town Pink observance, spearheaded by Eastern Radiologists, features a change in the T-shirts associating with the event.

“This is the fifth year. Being the fifth year — we’ve done the pink shirts every year — this year, we have black shirts so we are kind of standing out a little better. We are making a statement for the fifth year,” said Tanya Dixon, marketing and public relations manager for Eastern Radiologists.

“We developed Pain the Town Pink because there are so many national campaigns for raising money for (the fight against) breast cancer,” Dixon said. “We see a lot of these patients, and you feel like that they’re part of your family. Everybody knows someone personally that’s been affected by breast cancer: a neighbor, a co-worker, a family member. So, this is just our way of saying to our local community, ‘Hey, you’ve got people who have your back. We support you. We stand behind you. We know you’re going through a tough time. We’re here for you,’”

Paint the Town Pink is also about raising awareness of breast cancer and reminding women to have breast-cancer screenings, Dixon said.

All funds raised by the Paint the Town Pink event and its T-shirt sales benefit the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center.

Paint the Town Pink raised $6,000 in 2009, $14,000 in 2010, $12,000 in 2011 and $8,250 in 2012.

For those living in the Belhaven or Aurora areas, they may take the Vidant Health “Pink Power Express” vans to Beaufort County Community College.

Riders should meet their vans in front of Vidant Pungo Hospital or Vidant Family Medicine-Aurora. The vans depart the pick-up sites at 10:30 a.m. and return passengers to the Belhaven or Aurora sites at 2:15 p.m.

The vans are identified by “Pink Power Express” decals.

Paint the Town Pink T-shirts may be purchased at Eastern Radiologists, 630 E. 11th St., Washington; Vidant Wellness Center, 1375 Cowell Farm Road, Washington; Up Front Café, Vidant Beaufort Hospital, 628 E. 12th St., Washington; and the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center, 310 W. Main St., Washington. T-shirts in sizes small through extra large cost $12 each. T-shirts in sizes 2X and 3X cost $14 each

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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