The Royal Park Bridge connecting West Palm Beach and Palm Beach turned a shimmering pink Friday evening as Susan G. Komen and local dignitaries kicked off two weekends of events benefitting breast cancer programs.
Komen Founder, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker was joined by Komen CEO Judith Salerno, Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, South Florida Affiliate Executive Director Dayve Gabbard, male breast cancer survivor Joel Namer and Gala Co-Chairs Tim Gannon and Susan Bodnar Malloy at the foot of the Royal Park Bridge after sunset to flip a switch bathing the Iconic structure with pink lights–the signature color of the fight against breast cancer. The lighting was generously sponsored by Colonnade Properties, LLC.
The bridge lighting ceremony will be followed Saturday night with the fourth annual Susan G. Komen Perfect Pink Party at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. Last year’s event raised more than one million dollars to support Komen’s national research and for detection and treatment of breast cancer in South Florida area. This year’s gala theme is Venetian Splendor and features world renowned singing prodigy Jackie Evancho sponsored by Christie and Tim Gannon of PDQ restaurants.
The organization Brinker founded has grown since 1982 to become the world’s largest and most influential breast cancer organization, funding almost $2 billion to research and community outreach programs in more than 50 countries.
Komen’s research investment, the largest of any non-profit organization outside of the U.S. government, has helped deliver more accurate screening technologies, more personalized treatments and breakthroughs in understanding the disease. It also has helped drive mortality rates down by 31 percent since 1991, and improve relative five-year survival rates for early-stage breast cancer from 74 percent in 1982 to 99 percent today.
Locally, Komen’s South Florida Affiliate has provided more than $16 million to local breast cancer and women’s health programs, funding nearly $1.5 million for local breast cancer programs in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties last year alone.