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Monday, July 18, 2011

Join Project Pink'd Aug. 25 for its 2nd Annual ‘Exposed: Real Women for A Real Cause - Take Two’

Pink has a different connotation these days. Today it tells a survivor's story. Those who are adorned in its vibrant color wear it as a badge of honor in the fight against breast cancer. An Omaha-based nonprofit has embraced this new found sisterhood attitude. Introducing -- Project Pink'd -- started by founder and breast cancer survivor Cynthia Sturgeon.

“Pink'd got started in a very simple way and then just snowballed. I was looking for a way to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. I was actually talking with a few friends on ideas for fundraisers and one of them suggested a calendar, like the movie ‘Calendar Girls,'" Sturgeon said. "Well, anyone that knows me knows that I don't do anything simple. We dove right in and after 8 weeks, we were ‘Project Pink'd.’”

In August, Project Pink'd will celebrate its marquee fundraising-event at its 2nd Annual “Exposed: Real Women for A Real Cause - Take Two.” Leading up to the event, cancer survivors, family, friends and significant others will bare it all as “Calendar Girls.” Proceeds from calendar sales fund research for finding a cure for breast cancer.

One such Calendar Girl Jil Briggs Sturgeon said, "As many of you may, or may not know...I have joined up with an incredible group of women and have now added 'Calendar Girl' to my many titles (daughter, mother, sister, wife, friend, etc.). I am literally taking it all off for a great cause! My family, like many others has unfortunately been touched by breast cancer, and it is my mission to do whatever I can to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Together, we are a group of bold, beautiful, and strong local women who want to make an impact on the fight against breast cancer."

All of the calendar girls will be in attendance, when the official calendar is unveiled for the first time, at this August's Project Pink'd Cocktail Benefit. Calendars can be purchased online at The cost is $20 per calendar. You can choose to receive a calendar by mail or in-person at the Thursday, Aug. 25, benefit.

“We realized that we wanted Pink'd to continue and wanted it to be more than a calendar. We decided to continue the calendar and benefit this year and we have grown in so many ways. We are working to add interesting and fun fundraisers all the time. We also look for ways to make a more personal difference with the calendar,” Sturgeon said. "We want every newly diagnosed patient or 're-diagnosed' patient to receive a calendar. We want them to see that there are ‘Real Women’ fighting for them and will stand WITH them in their fight. Instead of reading a brochure with a bunch of words, or reading the Internet, we hope that the calendar will offer a ‘Vision of Hope.’”

Pink'd Founder & Calendar Girl Cynthia Sturgeon at 2010 Unveiling
Event tickets are now available to the official unveiling of this year's calendar at Omaha’s Historic Paxton Ballroom. Tickets are $25 and include two signature drinks including a special signature Pink’d cocktail, hot hors d’oeuvres, free parking, live entertainment by award-winning singer/songwriter Daniel Christian and a chance to win an IPAD2. The benefit will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Silent Auction items, raffles and door prizes will also be available. Calendars and Aug. 25 event tickets can be ordered online at

"Though I feel like I’ve just started on this journey I can honestly say that already it has been life changing for me. I have stepped out of my shell and way out of my comfort zone, but when I think about the bigger picture and what so many women and men have to endure because of this disease it makes everything else seem so small and insignificant," Briggs Sturgeon said. "I hope you will consider helping out, and I would love nothing more than to have my family and dear friends there to support me as the calendar is unveiled for the first time."

Facebook users can get updates leading up to and after the unveiling event. Visit the Official Facebook Project Pink’d Like page ( Click on the "Like" button so you can get updates and “sneak peaks” of some of the photo shoots and other events that Pink'd staff and volunteers will be doing all year long.

“I am thrilled to be beating the odds. I will celebrate 4 years of survival this year. I realize that although I wouldn’t have chosen to be a sister in the ‘breast cancer sorority,’ I have received more blessings than the curve balls that cancer tried to pitch,” Sturgeon said. "Because of cancer, I wake up each day grateful for the gift of ‘today’ because the gift of ‘tomorrow’ may never come.”

So, next time you wear pink remember Project Pink'd: Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, honoring the taken, and never, ever, ever giving up H-O-P-E!

“I will Fight Like A Girl ALWAYS, not just for me, but for those that have come and gone before me, those fighting this with me, and those that will fight the battle tomorrow,” Sturgeon said.
- population-we blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
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