Hospital's annual 'Pink' campaign nets thousands

Henry Medical Center's "Real Men Wear Pink" 2010 breast cancer awareness campaign received more than $35,000 in financial support from Tanger Outlet Center, Tussahaw Elementary School, Chick-fil-A at Eagle's Landing and Westbury Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Tanger Outlet Center in Locust Grove raised $32,509, Tussahaw Elementary School in McDonough raised $1,200, Chick-fil-A at Eagle's Landing in Stockbridge raised $971.93, and Westbury Health and Rehabilitation Center in McDonough raised $610.

The hospital's campaign was held during the month of October.

"We're very thankful," said Adam Stanfield, Henry Medical Center Foundation executive director. "This is a wonderful illustration of how the community can rally around a cause, and help a large cross-section of Henry County's population."

Stanfield said the funds collected will be used to promote "Real Men Wear Pink" activities next year.

"The money is going to have an impact on future efforts," he said. "We have a great baseline for making it a better fund-raiser next year."

Stanfield said the annual campaign is an important tool in getting the message out that the disease does not recognize age, sex, or socio-economic status.

"The overall effort is important, to raise the level of awareness of breast cancer in our community," he continued. "Cancer hits men as well as women."

Holly Duffey, mall manager for Tanger Outlet Center, said the center held three separate fund-raisers of its own.

The stores enlisted the support of shoppers to raise part of the money.

"We sold 25-percent-off "Pink" coupons for $1 each, from Sept. 15, through Oct. 25, that shoppers could use towards one item purchased in any participating store," Duffey said. "Coach [handbags] is our national partner, and helped our center raise over $12,000 alone."

The mall held a Pink Classic Car Cruise car show on Oct. 2, which raised over $1,000.

Tanger also organized a 5K Breast Cancer Walk/Run on Oct. 9. "We had nearly 300 participants, and were able to raise nearly $4,000 from the event," said the manager.

Duffey said Tanger carefully planned how to best support Henry Medical Center's Pink campaign.

"When we started planning for our Pinkstyle Breast Cancer campaign earlier this year, we took a step back to evaluate what else we could do to maximize our contribution to not just fight against breast cancer in general, but how we could fight breast cancer in our local community," she said. "After all, the majority of our shopping patrons are local, or in neighboring counties, and we thought, why not give back to our shoppers?

"It became obvious the largest medical care center in our county was the primary candidate," added Duffey. "In addition, being named into the prestigious Presidential Category among 52 hospitals in the state of Georgia, and opening a state of the art radiation oncology center this year, we knew Henry Medical Center's priority was to not only increase the quality of life providing the best quality care to our community, but to also dedicate more resources and energy to help fight against cancer.

"All these reasons, plus more, is why we chose Henry Medical Center as our beneficiary for our 2010 Pinkstyle fundraising efforts," continued Duffey. "What better [way] to achieve a common goal than teamwork?"

Carl Knowlton, principal at Tussahaw Elementary and one of the 2010 Real Men Wear Pink representatives, said his school raised money for the Henry Medical Center campaign through sales of hearts made from pink construction paper.

The fourth and fifth-grade students in the school's "O Ambassador Club" made the hearts, which were sold for $1 each. Other students, as well as parents, teachers and faculty members, bought them, said Knowlton.

"The community, and the students, just loved it," he said. "The money just rolled in for that."

Knowlton spoke to the children early-on about the goal of the campaign, he added, and his participation motivated the entire student body.

"They were so excited that I was one of the ‘Real Men.' We talked about it, after the brochures came out, with all the pictures of the ‘Real Men,'" said Knowlton. "They thought I was a superstar at that point. I was celebrity status for the month of October. It was a humbling experience for me," said the principal.