MERRILLVILLE | Hugs, smiles, tears, music and applause filled Avalon Manor Banquet Center on Sunday for the 12th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Tea hosted by the Pink Ribbon Society.
Cancer survivors, their families and well-wishers illustrated the sold-out event’s theme, No One Fights Alone.
The Pink Ribbon Society, founded by Ann M. Peters in 2001, has bestowed more than $220,475 to both individuals and organizations to date in Lake, Porter, Jasper and Newton counties.
“We were sold out in the middle of July. That’s the second year in a row,” said Peters, a 36-year survivor of what was originally diagnosed as terminal breast cancer.
For the 12th year, The Times Media Co. was a platinum sponsor and Craig Chism, Times advertising sales manager, was one of the 27 celebrity servers. A record number of sponsors, 26, helped make the tea a reality.
Some 207 individuals and businesses from across Northwest Indiana and Illinois contributed items for the raffle baskets, while 21 businesses helped fill the gift bags given to each attendee.
The introduction of the 12 people chosen for the Pink Ribbon Society 2014 Calendar, all breast cancer survivors, remains the highlight of the tea, and the focus of the event.
This year, 11 women and one man were selected to represent each month of 2014. All were nominated by family and friends and selected by the 12-member committee.
- Ms. January is Flora Ann Ryan, of Portage, a four-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. February, Bridget Ann Schroeder, of Crown Point, has survived breast cancer for five years.
- Ms. March is Kathryn Clark, of Lowell, an eight-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. April, Veronica Faye McGill, of Gary, has been a breast cancer survivor for nine years.
- Ms. May is Sandra K. Scott, of Lowell, a 13-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. June, Linda Gintert-Armstrong, of Crown Point, is a 14-year breast cancer survivor.
- Mr. July is Larry Gardner, of DeMotte formerly of Glenwood, Ill., who has survived breast cancer for 15 years.
- Ms. August is Annette Pierce, a 20-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. September, Phyllis M. Eastman, of Highland, is a 22-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. October is Felicia A. Bryant, of Gary, a 24-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. November, Gayle B. Thornton, of Gary, is a 25-year breast cancer survivor.
- Ms. December is Linda M. Kuck-Miklusak, of Whiting, a 26-year breast cancer survivor.