CROWN POINT — For the last 19 years, the Pink Ribbon Society has helped men and women affected by breast cancer.
Now, the nonprofit is seeking the community's help.
Recently, the Pink Ribbon Society sent out an SOS (save our society) call after it had to cancel its only major fundraiser of the year, said Founder Ann Peters.
"Everybody's struggling right now. All the businesses and not-for-profits, maybe even more so than other businesses," Peters said. "Because we depend 100% on donations, it's been pretty rough for us."
Peters said the nonprofit canceled its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which put a "big hole" in the Society's budget.
"People are so disappointed that we're not doing the tea this year, but ... the safety of our supporters and our staff and our volunteers, that has to come first," she said. "We are hoping to be able to pick up where we left off next year, so that we won't have to cancel the tea again."
With its signature fundraiser off the calendar, Peters said the organization needs to "find other ways to keep our doors open."
To continue providing services to the community, the nonprofit started a GoFundMe and also will be a part of the checkout challenge at Strack & Van Til in October.
"We're very proud of what we've done in the community for 19 years now, and we're just hoping that we've done well enough that people will want us to stay around, and they'll continue to support us," Peters said.
A 43-year breast cancer survivor herself, Peters said she would be heartbroken to see the Society close its doors.
Peters said the Society is going to continue its efforts, though it may have to reduce its contributions. On average, Peters said the organization disburses around $80,000 annually for its programs.
Every year, the Pink Ribbon Society underwrites patient compression sleeves, as well as 250-300 mammograms and ultrasounds, totaling more than $50,000; donates $10,000 to help patients who lost their hair during treatment afford wigs; provides Bundles of Hope bags for patients arriving to their first treatment; and gives gift cards to patients in treatment and in need of financial help.
"We're going to try to find a way to keep ourselves in the community, helping other people, even if we can't do it at 100% of the capacity that we've done in the past," Peters said.
She later added: "It would break my heart to have to go away. ... If we can't do it, it won't be because we haven't tried. And we'll give it everything we've got and hope that the community will be out there to support us."
For more information, visit pinkribbonsociety.org or call 219-472-0704.