Pink Tie Ball raises funds for charities helping those battling cancer

NOW: Pink Tie Ball raises funds for charities helping those battling cancer

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. – The 6th annual Pink Tie Ball in Benton Harbor kicked off Saturday night. The fundraiser helps benefit two programs, both of which help those battling with cancer.

The event was started 6 years ago to show community members struggling with cancer that there is help out there and that they’re not alone.

“It started with Denice Bohn who is no longer with us. She was a breast cancer survivor. She started the event, we all came together to help out and it just kinda grew and we decided to keep the event going after she passed,” Kim Thumm, the Co-Chair of the event said. “The highlight of the evening is the fashion show now.”

“All of our models are survivors of some sort of cancer,” Lori Miller said. She’s the Manager of Studio 1 Boutique the entertaining sponsors of the event.

“None of them are professional models or have had any coaching really and it’s just about them feeling comfortable and getting themselves back out there because they’ve gone through a lot,” Thumm said.

“I’m just here so that people understand that just because you’re in a spot that is looking pretty bad, doesn’t mean you can’t move on and you’re going to be okay,” Yvette McCoy, a model and breast cancer survivor said.

“It means a lot for me to be there for someone. I was kind of alone going through it at that age. I didn’t feel the support that you see a lot more now. That was always my thing. I wanted to do something to get involved and this was the perfect opportunity,” Katie Hess, the other Co-chair of the event, said.

“We just wanted the public to know that just because you have been touched by cancer, doesn’t mean that there aren’t choices out there for you,” Miller said.

“It has grown quite a bit, last year we had about 253 people and this year we’re at about 350,” Thumm said. “We ended up giving $20,000 to Pennies for Heaven and about $5,000 to Susan B. Coleman. So numbers will be much higher this year.”

“We have no plans to stop,” Hess said.

All the money raised in the event by either ticket sales or the silent auction is going to two organizations.

Pennies from Heaven 5 is one charity that provides financial assistance to young adults battling cancer.

The second charity is Hope Grows, which has two programs the LiveStrong program and the StayStrong program, two free exercise programs put on by the Y for those struggling with cancer as well as those in remission.

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