Twenty-seven organizations and businesses joined The Outer Banks Hospital’s Get Pinked! Campaign to raise more than $32,000 for breast cancer awareness, detection and treatment in Dare County. The campaign, which began this past August and ran through October, urged community members to join the campaign’s mission to see that every woman and man in Dare County be given the very best chance to survive the disease of breast cancer. The campaign pledged that 100% of all partnership donations would be dedicated to the detection and treatment of breast cancer in Dare County.

According to the American Cancer Society, 60% of all cancer deaths are preventable. In addition, many other cancers are treatable when diagnosed in early stages. Breast cancer, the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, falls into this category. Early detection has been the key to reducing the mortality statistics associated with this disease.

However, many in Dare County cannot afford a mammogram. Or cannot afford a biopsy if a mammogram indicates the need for follow-up. Or cannot afford treatment. Armed with this knowledge, the Get Pinked! committee, formed by The Outer Banks Hospital’s Development Council, vowed to raise funds to ensure that all women and men in Dare County are screened for the disease and have access to follow-up treatment.

Under the leadership of Carl Curnutte and Linda Willey, the Get Pinked! committee launched their campaign in August. “I am both humbled and astounded,” said Carl Curnutte, co-chairman of the event. “Our community not only embraced our challenge but exceeded our expectations.” Committee members Luanne Hege, Gail Hodges, Dee McManus, Courtney Quillin, Charlie Read, Kim Stetson, Karen Warlitner and Margaret Wells, along with co-chairs Curnutte and Willey, distributed packets of information up and down the beach. “The Get Pinked campaign brought out the amazing spirit of generosity in the people of Dare County,” said Willey.

The campaign concluded with a sold-out party at Kelly’s Restaurant & Tavern. Proceeds from the party and a raffle offset the expenses associated with the campaign.

“I am exceptionally proud of this group of dedicated volunteers,” said hospital president Van Smith. “By their actions, our Get Pinked! committee members have declared that they will be relentless in supporting our breast cancer patients. The hospital’s development council as a whole has dedicated more than half a million dollars through the Flights of Fancy galas to our cancer patients and their families on the Outer Banks. They embody what anthropologist Margaret Mead said: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.’”