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Paint It Pink activities on horizon

by The Western News
| September 24, 2010 10:43 AM

The fourth annual Paint It Pink Friday returns to Libby on Oct. 29.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2010 approximately 207,090 women and 1,970 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and approximately 39,840 women and 390 men will die.

Although these numbers may sound frightening, research reveals that the mortality rate could decrease by 30 percent if all women age 50 and older who needed a mammogram had one.

“Numbers like these are staggering, but they are also the catalyst behind the development of programs like Paint It Pink,” said KC Hoyer, marketing director at St. John’s Lutheran Hospital. “We may not be able to convince every woman to get a mammogram, but we can make it possible for them if finances are the reason they are putting it off.”  

Paint It Pink is a free mammography program for women and men that is organized and sustained by Glacier Bank and St. John’s Lutheran Hospital. 

The program and fundraising effort began in 2007 while the hospital foundation was raising dollars to purchase digital mammography equipment. Based on its success, a committee was formed to switch the fundraising focus from equipment to community and a free mammography program was born.

Since that time, the Paint It Pink program has raised more tan $8,000 and has expanded to help 57 area women receive mammograms.

The fundraising for Paint It Pink only happens in October, which is Breast Health Awareness Month. The fundraising kicks off the first week with the PIP 5K Fun Run/Walk and ends the last Friday in October with the Big Pink Blast.

On Oct. 29, individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate. For a donation of any amount, people can join other supporters by wearing something pink on that Friday.

All other individual donations can be made in the PIP Paint Cans located at Glacier Bank, Pamida and at the front desk of St. John’s Lutheran Hospital. Participants are encouarged to wear pink on Oct. 29 and gather for a community picture and reception in the St. John’s front parking lot.

PIP packets will go out to participating businesses from last year very soon, Hoyer said. Other businesses interested in involving their employees can obtain a packet by calling 293-0106.