BY BRANDY WHITE
The women at the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester (BCCR) are getting ready to, once again, re-define pink at the 11th annual ‘ARTrageous’ Affair.
Since 1997, BCCR, a local not-for-profit organization led by activists who strive to provide support to those touched by breast cancer, has used advocacy and empowerment to raise breast cancer awareness.
The Coalition has put on many events over the years, but none quite like the ‘ARTrageous’ Affair held at the Rochester Plaza Hotel. Holly Anderson, Executive Director, and Patti Cataldi, ARTrageous Affair Co-Chair, look forward to this event every year.
“It is a night of celebration,” said Cataldi. “We’ve come to sort of use re-defining pink and carried it forward. It’s not your mothers support group. Last year I walked into the room and saw so much shocking pink. It was so gratifying because they get it.”
The gala that is taking place on Saturday October 6, 2012 will not only entertain guests with cocktails and dinner, but with silent and live auctions conducted by professional Auctioneer Carol Ritter Wright. According to Anderson, guests might expect to see artistry from Ramon Santiago, Paul and Christine Knoblach, Wendell Castle, Nancy Jurs, Constance Mauro, Frank Argento and many more.
Anderson went on to explain that live auction packages often include Jazz Festival tickets with dinner, ski trips as well as trips to Las Vegas, New York City and Nantucket, spa packages and restaurant gift cards.
As if works of art by local artists and packages weren’t enough, Kitty Van Bortel donated a Ford Mustang. “We raised $30,600,” said Anderson. “The money was directed to go toward The Mammography Project at the Anthony Jordan Health Center.”
“We also do a Pink Balloon prize,” said Cataldi. She explained that they sell between 50 and 100 balloons sold at $50 a piece and containing a prize valued at $50 minimum. One balloon, however, holds the grand prize. “Everyone pops their balloons before dinner,” said Cataldi, “It’s ceremonious and exciting.”
Each year Glen Moscoe, of Moscoe Jewelers, designs a special ring for the event that is used as their grand prize. This year’s design is a necklace.
In between all the festivities, The Coalition will be giving out the 2012 Harriet Susskind Rosenblum Advocate’s Spirit Award to Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Ph.D., who is the Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core and Department of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester. The 2012 Laurie Pask Heart & Hands Award goes to Alexander J. Solky, MD an oncologist at Interlakes Oncology and Hermatology, PC; Solky is also greatly loved by his patients.
Over four-hundred people attended the 2011 event that raised $120,000. “We would love to hit the $100,000 mark this year as well,” said Cataldi. “It’s climbed steadily over the past 11 years.”
“The Coalition is growing each year,” said Anderson. “We continue to grow and offer more programs and services to the community.” Anderson also explained how she desires for the community to be fully engaged and to understand why breast cancer demands our attention. “It is devastating and serious,” she said. “Mortality rates have barely budged and we can’t let the world become complacent about a disease that shatters families and takes far too many lives.” The Coalition is extremely grateful for the support they receive.
“We are grateful to our local community,” said Cataldi. “We are able to build strong relationships and that’s part of the beauty of supporting local.” As for anything new and exciting this year, guests will have to wait and see. “There are always new twists,” said Anderson. “That’s the challenge-new needs to add unexpected excitement to keep people coming back.”
Both agree that they come up with new ideas every year for the upcoming years ahead. “We can’t stop what we’re doing here,” said Anderson. “We’re always thinking about what next.”
For details about the event please http://bccr.org/event_artrageous12.html.