Manistee ready to ‘Get Pink’d’ Thursday

Fourth annual Paint the Town Pink Ribbon Walk to benefit WSMC breast health services

MANISTEE — The committee behind the fourth annual Paint the Town Pink Ribbon Walk has planned several new additions for this year’s event, which features the theme “Get Pink’d.”

“It’s grown by leaps and bounds each year and that’s because of the collaborative efforts of many people,” organizer Nancy Day said. “The committee members come with different ideas, we get input from the community and feedback and each year, the scenario has changed because our lives change continually.”

The event takes place Thursday, rain or shine, with registration and social hour happening between 4 and 5 p.m. near the fountain at the west end of River Street.

The event will culminate in a one-mile fun walk, east along the Riverwalk — which, despite construction, will be open for the event — and back west along River Street. But before that, there will be a ceremony recognizing survivors as well as people battling breast cancer and their families.

“We also know that support family is extremely important in terms of the recuperation — family and friends — it helps them through the difficult times so that they can enjoy life together,” Day said.

The goal behind the annual event is to promote awareness of the importance of regular breast cancer screenings and to raise funds to support West Shore Medical Center breast health services. The walk is free, but donations are accepted for the cause.

Along the route, participants will have the opportunity to view the entries to the annual window decorating contest, which will again be judged by a panel of expert judges: Circuit court judge James Batzer, Probate court judge Thomas Brunner and West Shore Medical Center president Burt Parks.

The winner of the contest will be the window that most represents the theme of this year’s event — “Get Pink’d.”

New this year, downtown businesses that aren’t on River Street have been invited to host “pit stops” along the Riverwalk and many merchants will be featuring special deals promoting the event and its cause.

Local schools are getting involved again this year, with the Manistee High School girls swim team again holding its A Splash of Pink event for the home meet Thursday evening. Jefferson Elementary students will decorate the sidewalks for the events and students from all the Manistee schools will be making inspirational posters that will line the route.

Other fundraising efforts include the sale of sweatshirts, available at WSMC radiology department, Goody’s Juice and Java, Surroundings, Northern Spirits, Sports Ink or at the event. Pink ribbon cards are also available for sale at the hospital, Oleson’s Market and Blarney Castle gas stations.

The fundraising will continue on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., when Parkdale Wesco will host a free car wash, with complementary snacks, with all tips going to benefit the cause.

More information about the event is available by contacting Day at (231) 887-4066 or her fellow organizer, Julie Raymond at (231) 510-8533.

The event Day and Raymond began four years ago has turned into an annual community event. Last year, more than 600 people participated and over $10,000 was netted for the cause.

Day and Raymond said it’s evidence of the strength of community spirit in Manistee.

“The Manistee community is not just a community,” Raymond said. “It’s a family and they just put their arms around you.”

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