Breast cancer survivors are encouraged to attend the Pink Ribbons and Hearts Reception this coming Saturday, Oct. 12, at the historic Rogers Hotel.
Hosted by the Dinah Weable Breast Cancer Survivors Event Foundation, the reception seeks to provide a network of support and encouragement for survivors while also raising awareness about the disease.
The reception will run from 2-3 p.m., with survivors and their guests, sponsors and contributors asked to enter through The Dessert Spot, which is catering the event. To facilitate parking, a golf cart shuttle will run between Singleton Plaza and the hotel.
After the reception, survivors are invited to participate in a Diva Walk around the historic Ellis County Courthouse. The Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association has also lent its support to the event by hosting its Pink Diva Sip ‘n’ Stroll from 3-6 p.m., with all proceeds benefiting the foundation. Tickets for the stroll are $20 and available at The Dessert Spot.
The foundation has a twofold purpose: One is to provide mammograms for women who are uninsured or underinsured, with the second that of raising awareness about breast cancer, the need to get a mammogram and the importance of early detection.
Foundation board members Ray and Dinah Weable, along with Cindy Smith, spoke with KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM owner and Hour of Hope host Jim Phillips for the Saturday, Oct. 5, broadcast of the program, which airs at 2 p.m. each Saturday.
“The key to all of this is women getting an early mammogram for early detection,” Ray Weable said, noting that the foundation has paid for more than 1,100 mammograms for Ellis County residents since its inception in 2004.
It was after Dinah was diagnosed at the age of 61 that she attended a similar event elsewhere. When she returned home, “she was uplifted by the event and I felt called to do something here in Waxahachie,” Ray said. “From there it grew into a luncheon and a foundation to raise money for mammograms.”
The luncheon, which was free to breast cancer survivors and their guests, grew from about 30 women to almost 300 at the 2018 event, outgrowing its space. The foundation then made the decision, rather than spend donations on renting a larger space, to rethink how the foundation could still honor and support breast cancer survivors – and the downtown dessert reception was born.
The foundation also has seen “the torch passed” from the Weables to Cindy Smith, also a breast cancer survivor. Cindy, who had lost her mother at age 36 to cancer, was diagnosed herself at age 34.
“I was not able to go to the first luncheon,” she said. “The second one I went to and I was the youngest survivor there. … I initially thought I was going to die but I went to this luncheon and thought, ‘I’m not going to die. I can do this.’ ”
She became involved with the foundation and now takes the lead on continuing its work. From her “Pink Power” license plates to the pink power suits she wears in her role as an executive vice president of Citizens National Bank, she’s passionate about the foundation’s purpose and message.
And there will be “lots of pink” at Saturday’s reception.
“It’s come and go but it’s still a celebration of life and a celebration of our pink sisterhood,” Cindy said.
The Weables couldn’t be happier with Cindy in the lead role.
“We knew that it needed a future and a future with someone younger than we are – and we found the perfect person in Cindy Smith,” Dinah said. “She has a love and understanding for what we’re doing.”
Another move in 2018 was the foundation donating its funds of $95,000 to the Baylor Scott & White Foundation, which will administer them through the Dinah Weable Indigent Mammogram Fund. The foundation added another $20,000 to the balance in 2019.
“Our goal every year is to continue doing that,” Dinah said, noting that referrals for mammograms are handled through Hope Clinic. “Our money stays local.”
The trio extended their appreciation to the foundation’s many supporters over the years, including sustaining sponsors, the Waxahachie Firefighters Association and Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Waxahachie. Also recognized were Interbank for underwriting the reception and Jim Lake Companies and Moreno-Lake Property Management for providing the reception space. Additional contributors this year have included Kevin and Darla Chester and Nola Pearman.
“We cannot thank people enough for the involvement we’ve had,” Dinah said. “It has been a wonderful experience and a rewarding experience. We have helped others.”
The foundation welcomes donations toward its work to continue providing mammograms for those in need. Its members will also continue to raise awareness and they encourage those who’ve been diagnosed to reach out.
“Any of our survivors would be happy to talk to them,” Cindy said, noting also that Baylor has a support group that meets monthly.
“It’s important to stay positive and know that it’s not a death sentence,” she said. “It won’t beat you. You can beat this.”
To support the work being done, donations can be made to the Dinah Weable Breast Cancer Survivors Event Foundation, P.O. Box U, Waxahachie, TX 75168 – or drop them off to Cindy Smith’s attention at Citizens National Bank at its downtown offices.
For more information about the reception or the foundation, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-351-5170.