‘Shades of Pink’ gala returns

Published 11:04 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

The “Pink is Powerful” Cancer Support Group is hosting the Third Annual “Shades of Pink” Gala on on  Sunday, Oct. 25. Pictured is the cancer group at the 2014 Relay for Life. -- SUBMITTED

The “Pink is Powerful” Cancer Support Group is hosting the Third Annual “Shades of Pink” Gala on on Sunday, Oct. 25. Pictured is the cancer group at the 2014 Relay for Life. — SUBMITTED

The “Pink is Powerful” cancer support group, along with the Empowerment and Uplifting Foundation, will host its third annual “Shades of Pink” gala on Sunday, Oct. 25. The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Regional Workforce Development Center of Paul D. Camp Community College.

The event will include dinner, entertainment, guest speaker Shannon Smith Harris, door prizes, a silent auction and a fashion show by Gwendolyn Wilson.

This year’s honorees are: Eddie Oretha Ricks Warren (Supporter and Survivor); Nikki Outlaw (Survivor of five different types of cancers); Ernest and Shirley Cutler (Supporter and Survivor); Shirley Reid (Survivor for over 40 years); and Bo and Kenya Branch (Supporter and Survivor). The gala will also have special memorial recognition this year for Sandra Baxter Smith (1954-2015) and Joyce Holloway Overton (1951-2015).

The first gala was given in honor of Audrey H. Lee by the Empowerment and Uplifting Foundation. Lee is the founder of the “Pink is Powerful” cancer support group, which was founded in Oct. 2013. She started the group as an advocate for cancer survivors through personal experience.

“I am a breast cancer survivor, and when I was going to radiation I saw people who needed help with funds and other things,” Lee said. “People needed to vent and talk about what was going on and I just felt that I really needed to start a group.”

The group meets on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at the Workforce Regional Development Center of PDCCC.

The mission of the group is to educate, encourage and empower individuals during their journey with cancer. From the money raised at the last gala, they were able to assist with gas money in order for patients and survivors to get to appointments and treatments, send flowers during hospital stays, encourage them throughout their journey and bring counselors, oncologists and survivors to speak to the group.

With the funds raised from the gala this year, Lee said, “I hope we can continue what we have been doing. Each one of our meetings we either serve brunch or lunch and we always give away prizes. This year we were even able to take them on two outings, to the Hampton Jazz Festival and two weeks ago on the Spirit of Norfolk. We wanted to get them out of their normal environment and give them a chance to think about something other than what they are going through.”

Harris, the guest speaker, lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and was born to Michael and Sandra Smith of Newsoms. She is a Franklin High School graduate from class of 1996. In 2000 she received a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Harris spent 15 years working for Proctor and Gamble and is working for Global Startup Leader new manufacturing platform.

Harris is active in African-American Ancestry Leadership Network including serving as a mentor to young African-American female managers. She is also a volunteer for Hospice and Community Care in Rock Hill. Her mother and grandfather died from cancer and her dad is a cancer survivor.

The hostess for the evening will be Theressa Brown, who has worked for WVKL 95.7 R&B for 14 years and has a show on the station called “Midday Moment.” Her show has been rated number one for the past eight years.

Brown has also done tremendous amounts of community work that hasn’t gone unnoticed. To name a couple, she created a program called “Reading and Succeeding with Theressa” in which she is out in the community reading and talking about the importance of literacy to school-aged children. She also adopts schools, and gives to school supply drives, etc. Brown was awarded the “Media Professional of the Year” and “Back to School Award” from the Champions for Kids for her community work.

Brown said, “The thing I am most proud of, though, is my two children Kristin Bria and Collin Stephen.”

Tickets for this year’s gala can be bought at Classy Corner, Mr. D’s Restaurant and Piltons Palace Restaurant. They are $25 per person and a table can be reserved for eight at the donation price of $200. Donations can also be made out to “Pink is Powerful” CSG and sent to PO BOX 401, Franklin, 23851. If you need further information or have questions you are asked to contact audreyasurvivor@gmail.com or call 556-5765.