Saturday night, the Susan G. Komen Austin chapter will present “MAD about PINK!” … a glam, 60s-themed evening inspired by the characters from the acclaimed television series Mad Men. We caught up with 2016 co-chairs Karin Foster and Amy Mosier to find out what we should expect, how they got involved with Komen and their own personal stories that brought them into the world of fundraising for breast cancer awareness and treatment.
ASP: How did you originally get involved with Komen?
KF: My husband’s family has a long history of breast cancer, he lost his mother to breast cancer while we were still in college over 30 years ago. After his sister (and my best friend) was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 45, I flew to Denver to be with her during her second chemo treatment to help take care of her and her then 3 year-old son. After returning to Austin I knew I had to do more to help other women battling breast cancer, so I emailed the Komen Austin office asking to volunteer. That was in October of 2011 and I’ve been volunteering ever since.
AM: I became involved with the local Susan G. Komen organization many years ago, participating in several Race for the Cure events in honor (and in memory) of family members and friends who battled breast cancer throughout the years. However, more recently, I became actively involved by volunteering and fundraising following my own breast cancer diagnosis in June, 2014. During treatment almost two years ago, I formed a team, “The Breast Is Yet To Come,” which has raised almost $25,000 for Komen Austin.
ASP: What about PINK? Did you both serve on a committee in the past?
KF: This will be my third year serving on the PINK committee and fourth year to attend. The first three years I managed the invitation list to try and make it more personal with each person invited having a “point of contact” from the committee. I like to think of Komen Austin as a great big family where our supporters are lifelong breast health advocates, so we want to nurture those relationships. I also helped craft some fun pre-event emails to get people excited about all the terrific components of the party that came directly from their points of contact.
AM: I was asked by my dear friend, Karin Foster, to co-chair this year’s gala, MAD about PINK. Prior to the gala, I served on the fundraising committee for the 2015 Race for the Cure, coaching new and returning participants in their fundraising efforts, providing encouragement and resources.
ASP: What’s your favorite part of the evening at PINK?
KF: The people .. our people! Amy and I are so excited to help grow the Komen Austin community. Of course, there is so much amazing fun happening all around you that it’s hard to say which part is my favorite. I can tell you that when the survivors are asked to stand during the program, it makes your heart smile. This is why we’re all here. Fighting breast cancer is a BRUTAL process and no one should have to fight it alone or without the services and support they need. Oh, and CLUB PINK is pretty darn fun too!
AM: Overall, the PINK gala is an evening of inspiration, courage and support. It is a demonstration of just how important a community is to those battling such a devastating disease. Simply witnessing the commitment and unified goal of everyone in the room, from the volunteers, staff, survivors and co-survivors, is truly overwhelming and empowering.
ASP: Tell us about what the proceeds from PINK support and how it makes an impact on the community.
KF & AM: Of the monies raised during MAD about PINK, 25% goes to national research, with the remaining 75% staying right here in Austin to serve the LOCAL community through grants to Komen Austin community partners. Komen Austin staff, board members, interns and volunteers provide year-round women’s health advocacy and community education initiatives, while our community partners provide a continuum of care that includes patient navigation, screening services, medical procedures, in home help, transportation, support groups and survivor forums. We’re the complete package!
ASP: The gala has undergone a lot of changes over the years – what kind of experience can attendees expect this year?
KF: Let me start by saying how proud I am to carry on the vision of the PINK party founders, Deb Davis Groves & Martha Coons. This is truly the little party that could, having grown from a house party for 50 to a gala for over 400 in five short years. This year’s fun includes perennial guest favorites like Pink & Pizzazz (a champagne and whiskey pull .. limited quantities so you have to get in and get on it), Premium Raffle packages, and a rocking Live Auction. New this year is our Lucky Strike “big board” .. think interactive silent raffle experience (with a comedian/magician running the board .. how can that not be a blast)? Nothing better than closing out the evening dancing the night away at CLUB PINK featuring music by Beatles cover band THE EGGMEN.
AM: Complete MODness! We have been incredibly blessed with an amazing group of volunteers and staff members who have worked tirelessly to pull together a dynamic evening filled with non-stop, groovy entertainment! Karin did a great job of listing all the fabulous things to look forward to Saturday night!
Thanks, Ladies … we can’t wait!
MAD about PINK! takes place Saturday, April 30th from 7:30-11pm at the JW Marriott. For ticket information, please contact Komen Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.473.0900 or online at this link.