New women’s organization launches at Pink Parade

POSTED: 10/2/11 11:39 PM

St. Maarten- Organizers of the second annual pink parade, a march which raises awareness concerning breast cancer, is reminding the general public to come out and support their efforts on Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 p.m. The march is a collaborative effort between the Positive Foundation and local radio personality Mercedes “Elektra” Wyatt. The members of the Positive Foundation have been using their platform to provide information about breast cancer to the island community for the last 13 years. In recent years Elektra came on board to help get information on the issue out to the maximum amount of people.

“Elektra has the ability to grab the attention of a lot of men and women in our community and we want to reach them, so we are very happy that this collaboration is continuing and will continue into the future,” Positive Foundation President Shelly Alphonso said.
         The Pink Parade will begin at the John Larmonie Center on the Longwall Road, proceed onto Front Street and end at Holland House on the Boardwalk. Once at Holland House those in attendance will be a part of the official launch of the Elektralyets Foundation, which is being established by Wyatt to focus on women issues. There will also be live music and entertainment until 10:00 p.m. Those in attendance are expected to be dressed in pink, since the pink ribbon is recognized worldwide as the symbol for the fight against breast cancer. Everyone is encouraged to come out and participate, especially since vital information about their health will be provided.
“This year we wanted to make sure that we reach large amounts of people on both the French and Dutch sides of the island, so we created a full schedule for the entire month which includes a lot of entertainment events where the information would also be presented. We’re hoping this encourages more people to turn out and receive information which just may save their lives,” Alphonso said.
         She also explained that while many people still tend to view breast cancer as a women’s issue, the rates of occurrence in men are also on the increase and so everyone should be offered the opportunity to learn about the disease.
“Breast cancer awareness should be a community concern and attempts to eradicate breast cancer should be a community effort. Breast cancer affects not only our women, but also our men and children, both directly and indirectly,” Alphonso said.
“We are looking for a strong turnout, because it sends a message to those who are currently fighting that they are not alone. Also it gives us an opportunity to reach people and share with them what we know about protecting themselves against the ravages of the disease. Early detection is still the best way to fight this illness, because of this we encourage women to perform their breast self exams, annual screenings with a doctor and mammograms are all means to help women maintain control of their health,” Alphonso added.
People are also encouraged to like and look at the foundation’s page on Facebook for more information about all of the events scheduled throughout the month of October.

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