OCEAN CITY – This week local municipalities vowed to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as the color pink will start to take over throughout the area.
At Monday’s Mayor and City Council meeting, Beverly Furst of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer reminded the public that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there will be several different pink ribbon events held in Ocean City.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has an event coming up on Oct. 20 at the Inlet with a run starting at 9 a.m. and a walk starting at 9:30 a.m. As of Wednesday, the event had raised almost $28,500 with 17 days to go.
Furst added that a few years ago Kathy Mathias had begun an initiative to “paint the town pink”, and asked the council as well as residents and businesses to decorate their properties in pink and post on their signs breast cancer messages.
Mathias, who passed away last August, was a longtime municipal employee and was probably best known for her tireless efforts in fighting breast cancer and spreading awareness throughout the shore.
The council agreed to work with town departments to light up the town pink and post where possible.
Councilwoman Margaret Pillas suggested establishing “painting the town pink” as an annual event by proclamation through Mayor Rick Meehan, and the mayor agreed saying he will be in contact with the organization.
On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council did just that and presented a proclamation to acknowledge national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Council chambers were lit up in pink with not just pink candles in the windows but members of the Salisbury Fire Department attended attired in bright pink shirts that they will be wearing all month, as well as representatives from Women Supporting Women also all dressed in pink.
County Executive Rick Pollitt explained he and Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton agreed to exhibit pink candles in the windows of the Government Office Building for the entire month in support of national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Here on the lower eastern shore, we are one of the higher areas in the country for breast cancer, it is a tragedy that I expect touches every one of us in some way,” Pollitt said. “If there is anything that we can do to raise the public consciousness about the insidious disease of breast cancer and teach ways to prepare for it, to avoid it, to deal with it once it’s here, then I think that’s something that is important for all of us to get together and do.”
County Councilwoman Gail Bartkovich presented the proclamation.
“It is quite a privilege and we thank you from Woman Supporting Women, and I would like to accept this for all of the people in Wicomico County, including the Salisbury Fire department, our survivors, our staff, and the Health Department,” Sue Revelle of Women Supporting Women said. “This also honors and celebrates all of those that survived breast cancer, and assists the woman and the men in our community to be aware of the early detection that helps us save lives.”
Breast cancer survivor Tammy McWilliams also thanked the County Council for the proclamation.
“Breast cancer is a devastating diagnosis however the services provided by Women Supporting Women and the support and recognition of the community at large makes fighting it a little easier,” McWilliams said. “You have done a good thing here today, thank you.”