Mather Hospital and the Fortunato Breast Health Center in Port Jefferson have announced a new event called “Paint Port Pink,” focused on promoting breast cancer awareness and education in the community.
The mission of “Paint Port Pink” is to stress the importance of screening, early detection and education about breast cancer. The initiative includes the development and maintenance of partnerships with the Village of Port Jefferson, area organizations, businesses and corporations, and will include a month-long series of events in Port Jefferson throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Events will include lighting the town pink by up-lighting landmark buildings in pink including Port Jefferson Village Hall and Mather Hospital, event banners on light poles and one event street banner across Route 25A in downtown Port Jefferson, and North Shore Art Guild’s “Artists United Against Breast Cancer,” an open, themed, juried art show from Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, October 31 in the Village Center. The theme of the show is Victors of Survival. A reception will be held on Saturday, October 3. A “Light Port Pink Ceremony” will take place on Thursday, October 1, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall. At that time, all supporting community sponsors will be asked to turn on their pink lights.
The Port Jefferson School District will also be a part of the month-long celebration through a spare change donation drive using the Mather Hourglass in the elementary school, bake sales, the sale of pink shoelaces in the middle school and pink flamingos at the senior high school.
Businesses, if they choose to participate, can decide to display pink lights provided by the Mather Hospital in store front windows, display event window clings, display event posters, offer breast cancer education cards also provided by the Mather Hospital, and/or offer donation cards to customers and collect funds to support the Fortunato Breast Health Center’s fund for the uninsured and underserved.
According to data from the New York Cancer registry, from 2007 to 2009 Port Jefferson saw a higher than expected number of female breast cancer cases, as did Port Jefferson Station, Stony Brook and Smithtown, all with rates 15 to 49% above expected. However, New York also has one of the lowest cancer mortality rates. According to a 2010 report from the New York State Department of Health, on Long Island an average of 2,400 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year with 440 women dying from the disease.