Cancer survivor Linda Ryan is ending a season of Pink Days in Bloom with another fundraising event. — File photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
As fall begins its descent and the flowers tuck in for the winter, Pink Days in Bloom is about to wrap up for the season.
Linda Ryan, breast cancer survivor and organizer of the event, is hosting a fundraiser Thursday which will double as a thank-you party to all those who participated in Pink Days in Bloom throughout the province this summer.
Called “A Fairy Special Evening of Pink Fascination,” Ryan, who was diagnosed in 2010, said it’s the end-of-season signature event in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) Atlantic Region.
“It brings together everyone who has an interest in helping to grow a future without breast cancer,” she said.
“It’s for the Pink Days in Bloom hosts — these include garden centres and various business owners — people involved in the gardening and landscaping industry, breast cancer survivors whom their events support together with their network of family and friends who love and support them, and those who just want to help make a difference in some way. Breast cancer affects us all and all are welcome.”
Pink Days in Bloom has grown over the past few years when Ryan first had the idea of teaming up with garden centres to sell special pink hydrangeas called invincible spirit that were developed in the U.S. for the same fundraising effort.
For every one sold $1 is donated to the cause. More than $600,000 has been raised for research. The total for this year is not yet tallied.
The second annual Evening of Pink will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Bella Vista on Torbay Road in St. John’s.
Ryan said it’s a masquerade party and guests are encouraged to wear Venetian masks and dress in full fantasy costume.
There are some tickets still available and can be bought by contacting Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She said the price of the ticket, $67.50, gets you a three-course dinner, music, a surprise auction and an evening of high-energy entertainment that includes hoop and Flamenco dancing.
Guest speaker is Telegram columnist and freelance journalist Susan Flanagan.
“It is amazing to think that all the entertainment for this event is volunteered,” said Ryan.
“The prizes and even décor is donated to help maximize funds raised in support of the CBCF-Atlantic Region for innovative breast cancer research, program and equipment here at home and throughout the Atlantic Provinces. Everyone, it seems, is invested in its success because breast cancer affects us all in some way,” she said.
Ryan said it’s important to thank people for their contribution in helping raise funds and awareness about breast cancer and research and these events give women a chance to do it personally.
Plus, she said, it’s a night out for some during which they can escape their troubles, even if it’s only for a few hours.
“I believe it is particularly important for Pink Days in Bloom hosts to meet the people they are supporting and for everyone to get to know each other a little better and appreciate one another more,” she said.
“Ever since my diagnosis, I have felt compelled to help even just one person who might be experiencing similar emotions and challenges that come with the dreaded diagnosis that I have gone through myself. Someone once said, ‘To simply do nothing is too overwhelming.’ And so the real reward for me, personally, is seeing the camaraderie and bond between those rallying in the fight.
“It is truly an uplifting and inspirational evening — a joyous celebration of life — and it feels good.”