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home : news : news Friday, June 24, 2016

10/6/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Ribbons to remember. Sherry Stauffer of DeWitt shows the ribbons tied to a ficus tree, or “Tree of Hope,” on display at Westwing Place, each of which contain the names of either survivors of or those who lost their battles with breast cancer. Survivor’s ribbons are pink, while ribbons representing those who have died are white. Stauffer is hopeful the city-wide “Wear Pink for the Cure” day she has organized for Wednesday, Oct. 17, will create a better understanding of breast cancer and how it affects the individuals — and their loved ones — who have been diagnosed with the disease. Photo by Kate Howes
Entire city urged to 'Wear Pink for the Cure' Wednesday, Oct. 17

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

The morning of Wednesday, Oct. 17, Sherry Stauffer of DeWitt hopes when she steps out her front door, the city is a virtual sea of pink.

From the decorated windows of local businesses right down to the way residents are dressed - Stauffer hopes to see lots and lots of pink, the color symbolizing the disease that, according to the American Cancer Society, will have taken the lives of nearly 40,000 women in America by the end of this year - breast cancer.

A nutrition services employee at Genesis Medical Center(GMC)-DeWitt and a breast cancer survivor of 11 years, Stauffer believes increasing awareness about this disease is her calling in life.

"Everyone has a mission in life," Stauffer shares. "This is mine. The way I see it is God is using me as his instrument to bring good health to people."

For the past two years, she has organized a "Wear Pink for the Cure" event at GMC, an event she once described as one hospital, in one very caring community, showing tremendous support for survivors, battlers and victims of the disease for just one day.

This year, Stauffer wanted to expand the event to include the entire community.

"My intent for this year is to get the whole town - businesses, everyone - to wear pink," she explains. "Last year I did things within my comfort zone of the hospital. This year I want our whole town to be recognized for its awareness of this very serious issue. We have to encourage people to talk about it."

Contest entries still being accepted

Stauffer knows just how deeply personal and difficult breast cancer is and it's not an easy subject for people to talk about openly. Her goal for this year's event is to include as many people as possible to bring it forward in both an earnest and uplifting manner.

Everyone is encouraged to wear pink Oct. 17, and in addition, Stauffer is inviting businesses and their employees to paint their windows, decorate their offices, wear pink costumes, create a window display, hold a fund-raiser and anything else they can think of to promote the power of pink and what it stands for.

Prizes will be awarded (for first-, second- and third-place) to those whose displays/decorations meet the judges requirements: creativity and effectiveness of spreading awareness.

Judging will take place Oct. 17 10-11 a.m.

To participate, interested persons may contact wearpinkforthecure@gmail. com, or leave a message at 563-212-9227.

Members of the DeWitt Hospital Foundation have partnered with Stauffer to help cover any financial expenses, and having their energy and enthusiasm makes this year's event even more special, she notes.

Stauffer adds, she is thrilled by how many local businesses have agreed to show their support Oct. 17.

"I wanted to include the businesses to allow them to find a way to spread awareness without asking them for money," Stauffer shares. "All they need to do for this is to bring forward whatever their creativity and imaginations can come up with. Fund-raising is not my goal; awareness is my goal."

Putting DeWitt on the map for promoting pink and what it symbolizes is something Stauffer intends to do year after year.

After all, breast cancer is affecting more and more people every day and so long as it continues to forever change the lives of its victims and their loved ones, she will continue to push the power of pink.

"This (disease) touches so many people's hearts and souls," Stauffer shares. "We need a way to help them heal not just physically, but emotionally, too. I don't want this to make people sad . . . I want this event to bring about understanding."

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