When many people see pink and it is October, they might remember that October is breast cancer awareness month. However, not many would be thinking of a pond that is almost full of pink, like the community experienced last week, thanks to SOMC.
This year’s theme from SOMC is ‘Light It Pink.’ SOMC’s Director of Cancer Services, Wendi Waugh said, “We had lanterns that we launched on the pond up at Hill View Retirement Center. It was like a paper lantern with a pink tea light We allowed members of the community to decorate the lanterns write special messages to loved ones and then they launched a lantern either in memory or in honor of that they made have lost, someone who is fighting the battle. They could also launch a lantern that we called a hope lantern that was a hope for a world free of cancer. It really was meaningful, powerful and as we launched the lanterns, we had a moment of silence collectively, all of us together. It was just beautiful, it was a beautiful night together.”
Waugh said they launched the lanterns at dusk about 7:00 p.m., where it was just getting dark. She also said it was so nice, where people had decorated their lanterns. Hill View partnered with them and that many of the residents had tailgates and were just out there with them.
The event was open to the public and with SOMC partnering with Hill View, it was as Waugh stated, a collaborative effort. This was the sort of kick-off for breast cancer month, so the event was held on last Monday. “This year was the first time, our paint it pink campaign, we looked back and this was year number nine. We painted almost every way we could paint, we decided to light it pink this year.
Waugh stated the reason they did it on the first day of October, was that the first 300 people who came, received a bag. And inside the bag was a pink light bulb. They just wanted people to put a pink light bulb in their porch light, or decorate with it. They wanted them to put something pink out to show light it pink, she mentioned again in memory of, or hope for a world free of cancer.
Waugh said she thought there were between 400 to 500 people in attendance that night. “We were really surprised at the response, because it was our first year. In the past we have had a 5K Walk and other ideas, but this idea really catered to the survivors and the families with people from the elderly down to children decorating the lanterns. It was a very family friendly event. We plan to make this an annual event. I just think just the success of the first year, will really catapult the success of it in the future.”
To get the word out for the event, SOMC ran ads in all the local newspapers, they were on the radio, they were on social media and we sent a mailer to all of our existing breast cancer patients.
Making something that is painful to both the individual with breast cancer and their families, feel special, is just what SOMC did on this beautiful night by the pond.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928