Pumpkins and Hope
This October, UF&Shands adds a twist to the fall tradition of decorating pumpkins to spread breast cancer awareness.
UF&Shands, the University of Florida academic health center, will host the Pink Pumpkin Fest this weekend as its main effort to engage the local community during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event’s purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of breast cancer research and the life-saving capabilities of annual mammograms.
The weekend begins with a Salmon dinner fundraiser from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the Micanopy Masonic Lodge. The fundraiser costs $20 per person. The funds go to UF&Shands’ cancer counseling program, Nurse Navigation.
On Saturday, the Pink Pumpkin Pedal-Off charity bicycle ride kicks off the day’s events at 8:30 a.m. at Archer Road and Gale Lemerand Drive. Participants will pledge $45 to ride 20, 40 or 55 miles throughout Gainesville to honor loved ones affected by the disease and to benefit UF&Shands’ cancer research.
Following the bicycle ride, the pumpkin painting begins at 10 a.m. along with other events for the entire family. Though the event is free, UF&Shands asks participants to register beforehand due to limited pumpkin supplies.
Throughout the festival, health care professionals will be available to provide a multitude of free screenings and general health counseling. The hope is not only to raise awareness, but also to help community members take action regarding their own health.
For the UF Shands Cancer Center, the event is a way to promote its many research programs. The research includes how genetics and the environment impact a person’s chances of getting breast cancer, says Lindy Brounley, the center’s communications director.
For more information regarding the event or to register, visit the Pink Pumpkin Fest’s page on UF&Shands’s website.
— David Williams (3PR)
To make a gift to fight cancer, visit the UF Shands Cancer Center website at http://cancer.ufl.edu/administration/office-of-development/.