If you don’t know what Sprinkle Pink is all about then you must be pretty new to the Bitterroot. Over the past seven years, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital’s Sprinkle Pink campaign, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide free mammograms through the Aid to Mammography Fund. The program was so successful in focusing the community’s attention on the issue of breast cancer that, today, according to hospital marketing director Amy James-Linton, “There is no reason for any woman in Ravalli County to go without a mammogram.”
James-Linton said that the Aid for Mammography Fund, which is currently sitting on $350,000, has the means to support Ravalli County for years to come. Not wanting to let the momentum raised by the Sprinkle Pink campaign dwindle due to the coffers being full, the hospital got together with the Daly Hospital Foundation and hatched a plan to multiply the coffers, or in this case the ribbons. They turned the Sprinkle Pink campaign into a multi-ribboned campaign to raise money for diagnosis and prevention of all kinds of cancer, not just breast cancer. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital has pledged to match all the funds raised in this year’s Colors of Cancer campaign. The funds are used for care, treatment and diagnosis of cancer related illnesses, as well as for capital construction, equipment and charity care.
“We are going to go after all these cancers now, not just breast cancer,” said James-Linton. She said that some cancers are very treatable and some not so, but that generally the earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the better the patient’s outcome.
Daly Hospital Foundation Director Stacie Duce said that “color teams” were being formed to focus their efforts on raising awareness and funds for some particular type of cancer. Each cancer is represented by a different color ribbon and there are a lot of colors. It’s almost overwhelming.
We all know what the pink ribbon stands for – breast cancer. Orange stands for Leukemia. Sky Blue for prostate cancer. Kelly Green for gallbladder cancer. And the list goes on and on, or you can just go for the Lavender ribbon which represents all cancers. Duce said that so far, teams have been formed for Breast, Leukemia, Melanoma/skin, Colorectal, Sarcoma/Bone, Childhood Cancers and All Cancers.
The teams can be sponsored by making a $500 tax-deductible donation.
A host of events is planned for the whole month of October. The kick-off began Monday, October 1 with a picnic on the east lawn of Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. From the 1st through the 20th, businesses across the valley will support the campaign with fundraisers, raffles and promotions. High school ball tosses at football games and volleyball matches, and other student led projects throughout the month will be announced.
On October 12, inspirational cancer-themed quilts will be on display at Mikesell’s Fine Jewelry in Hamilton.
On October 13, there will be a Pink Bull Round-Up at Evans Ace Hardware at 1 p.m.
From the 19th through the 21st, the Sprinkle Pink Tennis Tournament will be sponsored by The Canyons Athletic Club.
The Color of Cancer Celebration Event is set for October 20 and includes a 5K Fun Run with participants donning color costumes. There will be memorial activities, food vendors, kids’ activities, and a .5K Survivor Walk and Survivor Quilt Squares, also at The Canyons Athletic Club.
On October 28, there is the Turn & Burn Barrel Race at the Sapphire Event Center in Corvallis.
For more information go to www.MDMH.org/ColorsofCancer. To make a donation go to www.MDMH.org/Give.