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Breast cancer awareness effort celebrates successful year

Over the past decade, Paint the Town Pink has served thousands of women and raised thousands of dollars, but it all began as a small, casual conversation between friends. The partnership, between St. Joseph’s/Candler and the Savannah Morning News, renews each October to raise breast cancer awareness and encourage women to get mammograms.

“This is kind of a big deal now, but when you start to pitch something in the beginning it really isn’t a big deal. It’s an idea. So it takes people with a vision to want to do it, and now it’s a huge event and I can’t thank you enough for doing it,” St. Joseph’s/Candler President and CEO Paul P. Hinchey said of the partnership with the Savannah Morning News/savannahnow.com and Publisher Michael Traynor during a press conference Friday.

The month-long event culminated with the annual Day for Mammograms on Oct. 30 with more than 215 women in the area receiving mammograms.

The annual October SmartWomen Luncheon &Expo, a St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundation event, raised more than $160,000 for the Telfair Mammography Fund, which Hinchey said was the event’s most successful year.

“On the hope side of it, if you get a mammogram and catch it early, it’s curable unlike some other cancers like lung cancer or colon cancer, which is more problematic. With breast cancer, because of all the advancements, if you catch it early it can be cured,” Hinchey said.

“So that’s the thought, to make sure, very simply, that no woman in Savannah, Chatham County is denied a mammogram because of the ability to pay.”

Traynor also presented Hinchey with a check for $6,500 raised during campaign for the Telfair Mammography Fund. The Savannah Morning News raised money throughout the month through subscription sales in support of the Mammography Fund.

“There are a lot of ideas that come up all the time. Folks work on them and they go by the wayside. This is not. We feel very strongly that our job is to educate and promote early detection and prevention, and I think we’ve been very successful at that,” Traynor said.

“… If we just save one life through this program, then this program is worth it. So we’re very excited and proud to be a part of it.”

In addition, a pink kayak was raffled from entries collected during the month, and the winner was Barbara Wind.

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