Seven years ago, Patty Marschel didn’t know what to do after hearing about her best friend’s breast cancer diagnosis.
Mobile Mammography Program Coordinator Lori Ward and Brent Ham, EMT-IV, who drives the coach
But she knew she had to do something.
It dawned on Patty that perhaps all of her golf-playing female friends would come together to help raise some money so more women could get the early screenings they might need.
Then she pulled in some tennis-playing friends. Rita Ash and Leslie Akins joined forces with Patty, there was a wine and cheese party the next year and the name Power of Pink was born. After four years, the event was just too big for a few women to handle, and Patty, Rita and Leslie asked the MTMC Foundation to help.
In 2011 more than 400 people packed a local home, raising $82,000 to fund the 2011 Power of Pink. Those funds were spent within the past twelve months, providing 340 mammograms to local indigent women, two $3,000 biopsies, $15,000 to the “Our Mission in Motion” mobile mammography coach as it travels to Rutherford County, and $15,000 for part of the local nurse navigator’s salary.
Crammed into that house that night just a year ago, Patty and her good friends Rita and Leslie looked at each other and knew they had to do something different. There just wasn’t a house in Murfreesboro big enough to hold everybody any more.
“Don’t we all know someone close to us who has been diagnosed with breast cancer – a grandmother, mother, sister, wife, relative or friend?” said WATS Co-Chair Marschel. “When you stop and think about it, you realize it could just as easily have been you. And then the next thing you realize is there is something you can do to help, because we all know that screening mammograms save lives. That’s what we are doing here, working hard on this event for the seventh year in a row, working to help save the lives of all women in our community.”
Over the past seven years, dozens of people have gotten involved; this year a committee of 45 local women are working together to expand the MTMC Foundation’s Power of Pink Wine Around the Square (WATS) to new heights. This year, they’re taking Power of Pink to the streets.
This year, the “house” is the public Square in downtown Murfreesboro, and there are 800 tickets available for the Friday, Sept. 21 progressive wine tasting and juried art show and sale. The $75 per-person ticket also includes appetizers, an etched wine glass and live music.
“It’s going to be a great night that is a lot of fun,” said WATS Co-Chair Rita Ash. “We’re starting at Pinnacle Bank for check-in and where the art show and sale will be, and then we’ll all fan out around the downtown Square at 16 different locations to taste a wide variety of wines, enjoy some appetizers and listen to live music. It’s a fun, casual evening, and we want to invite the entire community to join us. Bring your friends, have fun and do something good for the women of our community at the same time.”
This year, the fund-raising goal is $120,000 – all to provide local women who are uninsured, underinsured and indigent with a screening mammogram, support the St. Thomas Health/Susan G. Komen/Power of Pink “Our Mission in Motion” mobile mammography coach and pay a portion of the nurse navigator’s salary.
Funds raised in past years have helped bring the very first mobile mammography coach to Rutherford County – taking the equipment and technology directly to where the women who need it are located.
“Our Mission In Motion’ increases availability and affordability of screening mammography services in Rutherford County through grant funding,” said Lori Ward, “Our Mission in Motion” program coordinator.
“Women in our community who are underinsured or uninsured are less likely to have a mammogram or follow-up due to their fears of not being able to afford these lifesaving tests. If Power of Pink could raise enough funds to cover biopsies, we can better serve the uninsured women in our community by assuring them that there is assistance available, should it get that far.”
“We know the need is great,” said Anne Davis, WATS Event Co-Chair and Major Gifts Director at the Middle Tennessee Medical Center Foundation.
“Every year, we use all of the funds we raise to make sure that any Rutherford County woman who needs one gets a screening mammogram. We need to expand our services to biopsies because once a problem is identified, the next step is a biopsy. And if you can’t afford a mammogram, you certainly can’t afford a much more expensive biopsy.”