Local News

Event to increase awareness of breast cancer

SEBRING - For Cathy Albritton, who is an unofficial general of Florida Hospital's Pink Army, participating in the Pink Army Strut this weekend to increase awareness of breast cancer is more than just supporting a cause. "I'm a breast cancer survivor and that's why I'm so passionate about it," she said. Albritton said that Saturday's event will have something for everyone, including a car show, a concert and food vendors. She strongly urges people to wear pink and bring a lawn chair. The ultimate goal is to raise money to help women who cannot otherwise afford to get a mammogram, she said.
From now through December, Florida Hospital will offer mammograms for $99, she said. "We want all women in Highlands and Hardee counties to get mammograms," she added. For those participating in the strut, registration is $20 in advance and can be done online at www.jointhepinkarmy.com. They can join the army and then register for the strut by clicking on upcoming events. The strut will begin at 6 p.m. and survivors of breast cancer will lead the way, Albritton said. They will begin on the downtown circle and head towards the Highlands Art League and the Highlands Little Theatre. Susan James, manager of the Highlands County Art League, said the participants will have the chance to visit the art museum and the visual arts center and make some art. She said she's hoping some entertainment will be available. At Highlands Little Theatre, strutters will get to view a sample of a show and cocktails will be served during in the lounge, said Vanessa Logsdon, executive director. Art Harriman will direct a show that includes songs from the Book of Mormons, Mary Poppins and Cinderella. Downtown, attendees will be able to see a car show during the Saturday Night Cruise and be able visit shops and restaurants, said Lora Todd, who promotes downtown events. Budweiser will sell beer and several food venders will be part of it, Todd said. "We're excited to have them downtown," she said of the Pink Army. Last year's event was held at Florida Hospital. But this year it was moved downtown to open it up to more people. Todd said most people downtown know someone who has had breast cancer. Lotela Gold, a local band featuring '50s and '60s music, will perform from 8 to 11 p.m. in the circle. Jeff Saunders, a band member and local veterinarian, said the band donates the performance because of the cause. "Most of us have had a friend or a family member touched by breast cancer," he said. Besides being able to attend different events, participants in the strut will receive a limited edition drink tumbler and a swag bag filled with pink goodies. Teenagers from Avon Park High School's Key Club and South Florida State College's Circle Kiwanis International club, participated. Woodraun Wright, a 17-year-old junior at the school and vice president of the Key Club, said his aunt died from cancer. In deciding to help with stuffing the bags and supporting the event, he said, "I thought I would be helping others so they could get treatment before it is too late for them." meisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834