For one day in September, almost everything in downtown LaGrange turns pink.
Including the fountain in Lafayette Square. And this year will be no different as hundreds, if not thousands, of supporters turn out for the ninth annual Paint the Town Pink. The event honors breast cancer survivors, remembers those who lost their fight, and educates everyone on the importance of mammograms, plus breast cancer awareness.
This year’s theme: The War on Breast Cancer.
“The theme is something that we wanted to do for a long time,” said co-organizer Carly Byrd. “It’s time to declare war on cancer. When people leave the Paint the Town Pink event, they will be armed with information and ready for battle.”
At 32 years old, Byrd is already a three time breast cancer survivor. She went to her first Paint the Town Pink event back in 2010, just after having a double mastectomy. and has joined several cancer survivor groups including Breast Friends for Life. This year, Byrd has been chosen as the emcee for the event.
“I’m very, very excited,” she said. “I embrace my awareness of the disease. I hope to keep everyone entertained and put a positive spin on the day.”
This year’s event, which is sponsored by Breast Friends for Life, Hope for A Day Inc., West Georgia Health, the West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition, and the Department of Public Health District 4, will feature African Drumming, entertainment, raffle drawings for a handmade quilt and a beach cruiser bicycle, plus plenty of information booths including one from the Georgia Department of Defense.
There will also be doctors and nurses on hand providing free exams. Byrd said if they determine someone needs a mammogram, they will hand out a voucher for a free screening.
“The resources on the square are invaluable,” she said. ” There’s so much help if people will come out for it, financial help, emotional support, art therapy, music therapy, yoga, and more. Our goal is to service our women here so they don’t have to go to Columbus or Newnan. They stay here where they are most comfortable.”
The HOPE for a Day Walk will also be happening that day. The event is a 10-mile journey to raise money and awareness about breast cancer. It will also end at Lafayette Square. Byrd said both events bring hope to breast cancer survivors and their families, plus all the money raised stays in the community.
“There’s so much love … the pink is so joyful and the people are too…even in the midst of being scared,” she said.
Paint the Town Pink will take place from 9 am - 1:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 27, in Lafayette Square.
Organizers are also looking for an armed service member who is either in the midst of a battle with breast cancer or is a survivor. The group would like to honor them during the event. To nominate someone, buy raffle tickets, or for more information, you can log onto the Breast Friends for Life (B.F.F.L.) Facebook page.
The group is also looking for more sponsors and volunteers to help out during the event. If you’re interested, please contact Sherry Callaway at firstname.lastname@example.org