News Column

Pink Days in Bloom breast cancer research benefit events on through Saturday

June 20, 2014

By Konstantine Fekos, The Meadville Tribune, Pa.

June 20--BLOOMING VALLEY -- While recent rainfall put a damper on the first of three Pink Days in Bloom, organizers and sponsors expect the turnout to blossom as the event continues today and Saturday with more live music, free food, demonstrations and more -- all in support of breast cancer research.

Event coordinator Deanna Howles described Pink Days as a miniature fair set up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Blooming Valley Landscape and Supply with all proceeds split 50-50 between The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute.

"We wanted to do something where we gave back to the community and get the community involved," Howles said. "The amount of support was overwhelming."

Blooming Valley Landscape and Supply partnered with more than 40 sponsors, many of which were local businesses that donated supplies, auction items and food to the event.

In addition to entertainment and interactive demonstrations, the event includes guest speakers representing health and landscape-related topics, several vendors, a silent auction, children's activities and store sales.

The event has been in the works for at least the past several months, according to Lacy Kinney, office manager for Blooming Valley Landscape and Supply.

"As soon as you say the event benefits a good cause, everyone wants to get involved," she said. "I'm really glad we're doing it and thankful to be part of it."

Howles caught wind of the Pink Days idea from other gardening and landscaping centers doing similar events around the country and decided to make it a three-day extravaganza to try and raise even more money for the oncology institute and breast cancer research, Kinney said.

"We were delighted to learn that a portion of the proceeds from the Pink Days will be coming back to support our Breast Cancer Patient Benevolent Fund," Valerie Waid, oncology institute director, told the Tribune on Thursday.

Waid said the inaugural Pink Days event helps provide financial assistance to local breast cancer patients, funding expenses like medical bills, prescription medications, mortgage payments, utility bills and more.

Another exciting point for the oncology institute is the inclusion of one of its educators, cancer survivor Sue Kilburn, who is expected to share her story at the event, Waid said.

Kilburn's presentation is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

The first 200 guests each day are given a special door prize. Lunch is included in the admission charge (a suggested one-day donation of $10 for a single attendee or $20 for a family) as well as all entertainment, speakers, demonstrations and giveaways.

"We are blessed to live in a community where people put the needs of others ahead of their own," Waid said, expressing her thanks on behalf of the oncology institute to "all who make a difference in our patients' lives each and every day."

Pink Days in Bloom continues today and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Blooming Valley Landscape and Supply, 24213 Route 77, about five miles outside of Meadville. Suggested one-day donation admission is $10 for a single attendee or $20 for a family. Proceeds are split 50-50 between the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute. Pre-registration and a schedule of events are available at

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at


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Source: Meadville Tribune (PA)

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