The pink ribbons have been put away for another year and the money that was raised for the Sprinkle Pink Aid for Mammography Fund throughout the month of October in the Bitterroot Valley has been counted. A total of $51,015.70 was raised for the fund. That sum will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital and so the grand total for 2015 is $102,031.40.
These funds are in place so that women, and men, who are uninsured or underinsured, have access to mammography and have a clear path of where to go for treatment should they be diagnosed with breast cancer.
A few short years ago, the fund was in the hole and was about to be dropped. The Soroptimists stepped in and began raising money to keep the program going. From there a committee was formed and Sprinkle Pink was on its way. One of their first donors was First Security Bank (when it was Citizens State Bank).
There are many events to raise money and awareness throughout October. Mammo Men entertained and helped raise money. Kenyon McDaniel of Evans Ace Hardware was the winning Mammo Man with Allen “Woody” Jones, MD, of Bitterroot Physicians Clinic placing second. Josh Gulli of Sapphire Lutheran Homes was third. The winning merchants were Valley Drug and Variety, Stevi Community Merchants Bling-A-Bra and the Full Moon Saloon. The schools got involved with ‘Pink Out’ football and volleyball games. Florence won that with Stevensville and Hamilton following. Raffles, raffles, raffles. There were winners everywhere with these.
The events were varied as well. The Sprinkle Pink Turn & Burn Barrel Race was a sanctioned BRN4D UBRC race that brought barrel racers from across Western Montana and Idaho to the Sapphire Event Center. The event paid out over $6500 to over 120 barrel racers and brought in $4,000 plus to the fund. The barrel racers even brought their own baskets for a silent auction that organizer Jean Schurman hadn’t even thought of! When asked after the event during the awards ceremony if they wanted to do it again next year, there was a resounding ‘yes’ from everyone.
Wild Wendy and her Zumba party came in second in the events category and the Stevi Community Mammo Man Grand Finale was third.
One of the many events that happens in the valley is the Pink Bull Explosion in Darby. Although this happens in July, the funds are donated and counted for Sprinkle Pink. To mark their involvement in the Sprinkle Pink fundraising events, organizers Cal Ruark, Dr. John Harland of Tough Enough to Wear Pink, and local artist KJ Kahnle donated a piece of Kahnle’s art that will hang in the Imaging Department at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.
Kahnle said that after she had completed the work, which is of three of the original bulls that bucked out at Darby, she found a lump in her breast. Because of her involvement in Sprinkle Pink, she knew exactly what to do, even though at the time she didn’t have insurance. Fortunately, the lump was benign, but she had the peace of mind of knowing where to go for help.
This year the Elite Bull Connection raised $8,000. That was matched by Tough Enough to Wear Pink of Montana to total $16,000 donated to the Aid for Mammography fund. Ruark said he just can’t give up on this project. Bob Whalen, representing First Security Bank, presented a check to the fund also.
John Bartos, CEO of Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, said he is grateful for the Bitterroot Valley’s efforts for this fund. “For the patients who don’t have the ability to pay, not only for the X-rays but for the diagnostics too, it’s a financial help.”
For more information about Sprinkle Pink, the Aid for Mammography Fund, and how to apply, visit www.mdmh/amf.org.