WINTER PARK, Fla., Sept.1, 2011- Look out for the pink flamingos flocking through Winter Park this September as Winter Park Memorial Hospital, the City of Winter Park, Park Avenue and Hannibal Square merchants officially launch Pink Out, an awareness effort turning the city pink with large pink ribbons, store fronts and even pink fountains to support women in need of financial assistance for annual mammograms. Anyone touched by breast cancer can purchase a pink flamingo in honor of a loved one or friend and together the "flock" will spread awareness around the city.
All along Park Avenue and Hannibal Square, participating local retailers and food and service vendors will donate proceeds from sales through the month to the Winter Park Memorial Hospital Mammography Scholarship Fund which provides free diagnostic services to women who cannot afford their yearly recommended screenings. Each year, 78 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Winter Park alone.
"Pink Out encourages everyone in the community to get involved and serves as a powerful reminder about breast cancer awareness that will not be able to be overlooked this year," said Winter Park Mayor Ken Bradley. "Breast cancer can affect women unexpectedly. The scholarship fund helps to ensure that all women can receive the proper screenings at the required times."
Dr. Mary Lynn Brown, an athlete, mother and successful hand surgeon is a testament to this scary truth. Consistent with her yearly mammograms since the age of 40 and no history of breast cancer in her family, Brown was shocked to find out she had breast cancer after finding two lumps during a self exam.
"You always hear that, 'It could happen to anyone,' but you never expect it to be you, especially as a physician," said Brown. "Although diligent about my mammograms, I was not about self breast exams until my daughter asked me about them. Both are important in early detection, and women need access to screenings and knowledge about giving a self exam to be certain they are being proactive."
Now in recovery after multiple surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy at Winter Park Memorial Hospital, Brown is ready to support the power of Pink Out in Winter Park.
"I am so thrilled to spread the word about such a creative fundraising and awareness effort," she said. "What could be more fun than a little retail therapy that helps others at the same time?"
As the shopping takes off through the month, the Pink Out flamingo flock will as well to iconic locations and homes around town. For $10, show breast cancer support by purchasing a pink flamingo at Doggie Door on Park Avenue, Winter Park Memorial Hospital Outpatient and Women's Center, FRi Oviedo or the Crosby and Winter Park YMCAs. For $10, participants will receive a flamingo that can be placed in the yard and another that can be added to the growing flock of flamingos on Park Avenue, along with a name tag honoring a survivor or loved one affected by breast cancer.
Visit www.pinkoutwinterpark.com to see the Pink Out event schedule and for more information on participating vendors and the scholarship fund.
For media inquiries only, please contact Florida Hospital Media Relations at 407-303-8217.