By Caitlin Coyle
More and more businesses are looking for ways to give back to the community through volunteerism, fundraising, or spreading awareness about an important cause.
In Monmouth and Ocean counties, more than 600 businesses have joined forces to support the mission of Paint the Town Pink in 2014.
It takes a village to achieve the ultimate mission of Paint the Town Pink, spreading awareness about the importance of annual mammography. In addition to the countless volunteers in Pink towns, Pink Partners are vital to the success of the campaign. These Pink Partners come in many different shapes and sizes, from restaurants and coffee shops, to retail stores and boutiques, to banks, media and more.
The reasoning behind getting businesses involved in this community-wide event has been twofold. One, it allows local businesses to support a meaningful cause in the community. Two, women are the health care heroes of their family; caring for children, partners and aging parents while putting themselves, and their health needs, last. This includes putting off an annual mammogram. Paint the Town Pink encourages businesses to pink their windows and put out educational material about breast health to remind women about the importance of annual mammography as they shop, dine and go about their daily routine.
Participating in Paint the Town Pink as a Pink Partner is free and in return, businesses receive a Pink starter kit containing items to turn the business pink plus educational material for customers.
What began as an idea to add a punch of pink to the landscape has taken off in very unique and creative ways over the past eight years. Many partners go above and beyond the usual bow display or pink promotion. Diners turn their windows into a mammography message mural, media partners (including ***ITALThe Two River Times***END) pink sections of their paper, many bars and restaurants offer pink drinks and menus. The pink passion is insurmountable.
The amazing involvement from Pink partners, coupled with town participation and events, has led to an increase in the mammography rate in Monmouth County by nearly 5 percentage points – that’s thousands of women – between 2006 and 2011, according to a Community Health Needs Assessment.
While 5 percent may not seem heroic at first, when you consider the numbers of women – our mothers, sisters, aunts and friends – who have been motivated to take control of their health and get their mammogram, those in Monmouth and Ocean counties should feel tickled pink about their efforts.
The community is invested in the mission and everyone has a reason for getting involved in Paint the Town Pink. Here are just some of the reasons our Pink Partners love Paint the Town Pink:
“One of my employees is a cancer survivor and I feel that knowledge is power and being proactive in regard to your health is even more powerful. Paint the Town Pink is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and shine the spotlight on screening and early detection to the women in our community and I am proud to be a part of this campaign!” – Owner, Belmar
“It is imperative that people are aware of the importance of an annual mammogram. I personally have had some issues and without my yearly mammo I would have never caught it.” – Matawan
“I lost my best friend to breast cancer so it hits close to home. Getting involved in some ways gives me a feeling of control over something that we have so little control over. Raising money for breast cancer awareness and mammograms in some small way feels like I’m fighting back!” – Owner, Red Bank
Caitlin Coyle is a marketing specialist for Riverview Medical Center in red Bank and Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel
The Two River Times™ is once again a sponsor of “Paint the Town Pink,” a breast cancer awareness initiative sponsored by Meridian Health System. Additional information about 2014 Paint the Town Pink effort can be found at www.PainttheTownPink.com.