Full house for ‘Pink By Poolside’ event

VIENNA – Several hundred area residents attended an event to raise money and awareness for breast cancer Thursday evening in Vienna.

The Camden Clark Foundation and Crown Event Rentals/Crown Florals along with partnering sponsors held a “Pink By Poolside” event Thursday night. The venue, Dr. Abdi and Manijeh Ghodsi’s house, was offered to the hospital event free of charge, and graciously decorated by Crown Event Rentals and Florals throughout the day on Thursday.

Tickets sold for $100 and 100 percent of the proceeds went to funding mammograms for women who can’t afford proper healthcare, said Kim Couch, executive director of the Camden Clark Foundation.

“What most people don’t know is that in your lifetime one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer,” Couch said.

During the past two years, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has given $70,000 to the Camden Clark Foundation to provide 500 free mammograms to West Virginia women 40-49 years old.

These women were underinsured or uninsured and relied on the free screening to detect breast cancer, Couch said. The Camden Clark Foundation lost funding this year for the screenings, but Couch said they simply couldn’t live with letting those mammograms go.

“The community stepped right up,” she added. “This is a great turnout for the public.”

West Virginia first lady Joanne Tomblin was among the guests expected to show up for the event Thursday night.

Although the event was established to raise money for the screening of cancer, hospital administrators said they are concerned with helping people stay healthy.

“As many people as you see here that’s as many mammograms as we will be able to give,” said Tim Brunicardi, marketing director for Camden Clark Medical Center. “This pink is going to remind them of the cause.”

Brunicardi said the goal of 250 tickets – to provide 250 mammograms -was reached.

“This is one way to educate the public,” he added. “(The hospital) is very much concerned with people staying healthy.”

Four women who were gathered at the edge of the house on Thursday were discussing the importance of the event to each of them. Kellie Casas, Mary Rossana, Carla McCay and Donna Pamfilis, all of Parkersburg, said they came out to the event to help their friend (Couch), and to raise breast cancer awareness.

Casas said she and her family have been directly affected by breast cancer. Her mother and grandmother both passing away from the disease. She said they each passed away before the age of 60 and it has taught her to check herself on a daily basis.

Pamfilis said she has a friend who is a breast cancer survivor and that gives her the inspiration to help other women who are trying to overcome the disease.