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Breast cancer campaign kicks off with party

An army of American Cancer Society volunteers will be painting the town pink over the next few weeks. They are preparing for “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer,” to be held on Oct. 24 at the Lakewood Ranch Polo Grounds. The day begins with a 5K walk and ends with a brunch featuring keynote speaker Lynn McDonald.

In the meantime, more than 100 teams of walkers will be out in the community, raising money for breast cancer research. More than 100 people attended the campaign kickoff last Tuesday evening at the Polo Grille.

Event chair Sondra Guffey was the emcee for the cocktail party/pep rally which included some very creative ideas for fundraising. Amy Tuten shared the plan used by “Team ACS.” She explained that the acronym means the “American Cocktail Society” and the volunteers hold monthly happy hours at different hot spots around town, with the proceeds going toward their team contribution.

Robin Hoefler’s team is “Bacon For a Cure” and she has placed artist-designed piggy banks around town to collect donations. She brought along teammates Nancy Looyengood and Blayne Thompson to cheer her on.

The annual walk has also inspired a new gala, the Pink and White Ball, to be held on the evening of Oct. 24 at the Fete Ballroom.

Lupe Garcia is chairing the black-tie party, with all the proceeds donated to the American Cancer Society.

The day of the walk and the preliminaries are lots of fun, but the purpose is a very serious one. Breast cancer survivor Bambi Kaine spoke about the importance of research and, at the end of her remarks, she was surprised with the 2009 Courage Award.