Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Komen?s founder and CEO and a Palm Beach resident, joined Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio onstage at the Chapel by the Lake just after sunset to flip a switch to light the bridge pink?the signature color of the fight against breast cancer. The bridge will remain lit in pink until the end of January.
?Tonight, we light this bridge to celebrate 30 years of working together to change the world, even as we steel ourselves for the long fight that lies ahead,? Brinker said. ?We light this bridge because together, we are committed to leaving a legacy of a world without breast cancer, one of the brightest lights the world will ever see.?
Mayor Coniglio thanked Brinker and Komen for their roles in providing hope to women facing breast cancer. ?Our pink bridge reminds people of the great progress that Komen has made for women everywhere, and of the work that still must be done to end a disease that will be diagnosed in more than 15,000 women in Florida alone this year,? she said.
Mayor Muoio noted the generosity of the South Florida community. ?We?re so fortunate that Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are home to civic-minded and generous individuals who are pulling together for this vital cause,? Muoio said.
The bridge lighting ceremony will be followed Saturday night with the second annual Susan G. Komen Perfect Pink Party at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. Last year?s inaugural event raised more than $850,000 to support Komen?s work in national research and in the South Florida area.
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 $685 million 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.
Komen also funds an extensive global network of community partners providing real-time help for women worldwide. With $1.3 billion in community funding, Komen has helped reach millions of women with education and screening, treatment and aftercare programs. Last year alone, Komen and its 123 Affiliates paid for 700,000 breast screenings for poor and uninsured women in the U.S., and provided social and financial support to another 100,000 women and their families.
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.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure¬ģ
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 50 countries with a special focus on low-resource and developing nations. Visit komen.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.