Barnegat Could Be Bathed in Pink in May

Mar 20, 2014

In May, Barnegat Township will have a new name – Barne“pink”gat.

For the first time, the township is participating in Meridian Health’s “Paint the Town Pink” campaign to spread awareness of the essential role of annual mammography as a tool of early detection in the fight against breast cancer.

The objective is to alert women 40 and older that it’s time for regular mammography screenings, said Randi Russell, marketing specialist for Southern Ocean Medical Center. The awareness campaign began in Monmouth County in 2007.

“Last year, Manahawkin became Pinkahawkin for the month, and they’re doing it again,” said Russell. “We’re also adding a new one where Forked River will become Pinked River. Residential and business areas – everywhere in town – are welcome to set up pink decorations to support this program.”

The addition of Barnegat and Forked River brings the number of participating communities to 25.

“This gives businesses a unique opportunity to integrate breast health education into a woman’s daily routine as she shops and dines in the many businesses in the towns,” said Russell.

She said businesses must sign up to be a “Pink Partner” by April 11. In addition, each participating establishment can enter a contest for the pinkest window, pinkest message and most creative.

Coordinating the campaign in Barnegat are Carol Holmes and Janis Franco, who recently made presentations to the Barnegat Township Committee, Barnegat Chamber of Commerce and the Barnegat Rotary Club.

Franco said she has visited more than 50 businesses and has “received great positive feedback.”

In addition, Franco said she is urging people in her Horizons at Barnegat community to participate with pink decorations on their properties.

“When you drove through the main business area in Manahawkin last May, there was pink all over the place,” said Holmes. “I’m hoping that will be the same in Barnegat. We’re mostly targeting the business corridor along Route 9 and Bay Avenue, but anyone in town can participate. The only places we can’t go to are the chain stores, like Wawa, because they have to go through a corporate structure to get approval.”

Holmes said that for example in Manahawkin, Moester’s Deli displayed pink cakes and cupcakes. She said the Scissor Sisters Salon had pink bows on its exterior as well as a pink slogan, “May Women Be Aware.”

In Barnegat, Karen Barchi, owner of Bay Avenue Antiques, said she’ll make the business “look as pink as possible.”

“We’ll discount any items in the store that are colored pink, or anything remotely related to the color,” she said. “We’ll do some painting on the outside of the business. We’ll put pink decorations on the windows.”

Karen Fitzpatrick, marketing director for the Barnegat Rehabiliation and Nursing Center, said she’ll look to put large pink bows on trees and bushes.

“We’ve been trying to make our facility more community-oriented and have sponsored various health awareness programs and this is a great way to get involved and remind women the importance of getting mammogrpahies,” she said.

Jeff Melchiondo Sr., owner of Tobacco Road, said he is also planning on a window display. 

“It looks like a lot of businesses want to do this, and I’m in favor of it,” said the former mayor. “It got a good response last year in Manahawkin and it looks like it will do well here, too.” 

Township Committeeman Albert Bille said the campaign hits home.

“I lost a sister to breast cancer and she was in her 50s,” he said. “I’ll certainly favor anything that will promote breast cancer awareness and prevention.” 

For more information, log on to paintthetownpink.com or call 855-PINK-411. 

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

 

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