Gloria Gemma Kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Gloria Gemma Kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Press Conference

At October 1 Press Conference, Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation Celebrates10-Year Anniversary and Announces Plans for October 10-12th Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™.
 
PAWTUCKET, RI (October 1, 2014)
– Wednesday marks the first day of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In Rhode Island, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed and second deadliest form of cancer among women. One out of every six Rhode Island women will be diagnosed with the disease during her lifetime.
 
The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation's journey began a decade ago, two years after the local nonprofit's namesake lost her fight with breast cancer. At the time, there were hardly any local support and education resources available for this disease. Since then, the organization has directly touched the lives of tens of thousands of individuals affected by breast cancer with life-changing information, programs, and services.
 
“10 years later, we're still here for individuals and families affected by breast cancer and are proud to continue our work of providing education, awareness, and support to people in our local communities,” said Maria Gemma, the organization's executive director. “While breast cancer—and our work—is year-round, the month of October is a time when the entire state really pays closer attention to this very serious disease.”
 
At a press conference that took place at the Rhode Island State house on Wednesday morning, the Gloria Gemma Foundation was joined by people from the community and elected officials at a press conference kicking off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Rhode Island.
 
During the press conference, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse shared brief remarks about the statewide impact of the Gloria Gemma Foundation. “There are very few mothers who could be proud of what their children have done. She must be looking down—when the dome [of the State House] lights up pink and the river lights up on fire, you'll feel the flames of her inspiration.”
 
Two-time breast cancer survivor and Providence resident Mary Jane Bohlen also spoke about her personal experiences since connecting with the local nonprofit four years ago.
 
Additionally, the Gloria Gemma Foundation made a check presentation to the Rhode Island Department of Health's Women's Cancer Screening Program (WCSP)—continued support made possible through proceeds from the recently completed first round of Gloria Gemma's Ribbon of Hope license plate. The WCSP will use the donation to expand life-saving breast health screenings for uninsured, underinsured, and low-income women.
 
Representative Thomas J. Winfield—who along with Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, sponsored the legislation to create the new license plates—also joined the Foundation in the check presentation.
 
On Wednesday morning, the Gloria Gemma Foundation also announced a special collection of charcoal drawings called the “Fight and Flight Exhibition” by award-winning illustrator and children books author and breast cancer survivor Mary Jane Begin. The exhibit will be on display through October 21st in the Bell Room at the Rhode Island State House. On Saturday, October 11, the Fight and Flight Exhibition will be temporarily relocated to the 9th annual Flames of Hope: A Celebration of LifeTM.
 
Now in its ninth year, the Flames of Hope event has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the Northeast and will take place in “Celebration Village”—located in downtown Providence's Station Park across from Providence Place.
 
Wednesday's press conference concluded with an overview of the October 10-12 event:
 
Friday, October 10
2015 ‘Celebrate Hope, Celebrate Life' Calendar (Invitation Only)

At a special ceremony, The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation will unveil the 2015 ‘Celebrate Hope, Celebrate Life' Calendar, which features individuals who have tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation and is made possible by sponsorsSouth County Hospital, Admirals Bank, and 21st Century Oncology, as well as supporting sponsors RI Rehabilitation Center and Dr. David L. Renaud, DDS. The calendar will be available for a minimum donation of just $1.00 throughout Flames of Hope weekend, as well as at Gloria Gemma's Pawtucket location or at any of its events throughout the state.
 
Saturday, October 11
Free Education, Support, and Fun for the Entire Family

“Celebration Village” at Station Park will come alive at 2pm, and will be bustling with free resources and fun. Come explore breast health demonstrations, fitness exhibitions, screenings, information, support, and plenty of activities for kids. 
 
Food, Celebrity Chef Mary Ann Esposito, and More!
Mary Ann Esposito, one of America's most beloved chefs, will be on-site conducting a free food demo, using ingredients courtesy of Venda Ravioli. Additionally, attendees will have access to a rare meet and greet and book signing. Order Esposito's newest cookbook, Ciao Italia Family Classics by calling 401-861-4376. Net proceeds benefit Gloria Gemma.
 
Bon Jovi and U2 Fans, Mark Your Calendars!
Come rock out to Bon Jovi tribute band One Wild Night and U2 tribute band The Joshua Tree. And to top it off, both acts are free and open to all Flames of Hope-goers!
 
Illuminations of Life Ceremony
That evening, the captivating Illuminations of Life Ceremony takes place on the State House steps facing downtown Providence, and concludes with a torch procession—considered as the pinnacle of the three-day event. Register today and don't miss the chance to carry a torch in honor of a loved one or friend affected by breast cancer!
 
Exclusive ARS VIP Pink Party
End Saturday's celebration in style at an exclusive party that includes an all-you-can-eat food station courtesy of Trattoria Romana, pink cake from Gregg's Restaurant, beverages, and live music by singer/songwriter Kelsey Kaplan— whose “music comes from the heart.” Tickets are $50, and can be purchased online.
 
Sunday, October 12
Run/Walk Series

There's no better way to conclude the three-day celebration than by lacing up for the signature Gloria Gemma 5K presented by The Walking Company, Kids Fun Run presented by Macy's, and Pink Pump Palooza presented by Nordstrom's. To register, visit www.flamesofhoperi.com.
 
A local non-profit and still going strong 10 Years and Still Going Strong
The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation's journey began a decade ago, two years after the local nonprofit's namesake lost her fight with breast cancer. At the time, there were hardly any local support and education resources available for a disease that 1 in 6 Rhode Island women are diagnosed with.
 
Since then, the organization has directly touched the lives of tens of thousands of individuals affected by breast cancer with life-changing information, programs, and services.
 
“What began as a small family foundation has transformed into something we never imagined, and it would not have been possible without our community partners and volunteers,” said Maria Gemma, the organization's executive director. “10 years later, we're still here for individuals and families affected by breast cancer and are proud to continue our work of providing education, awareness, and support to people in our local communities.”
 
Throughout October, cities and towns in Rhode Island will be shining bright with pink lights for the first-ever “Paint the State Pink” campaign to spread breast cancer awareness—an effort led by Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien. So far, the following municipalities will illuminate structures and buildings in partnership with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation:

•      Coventry
•      Cranston
•      Little Compton
•      North Providence
•      North Smithfield
•      Pawtucket
•      Smithfield
•      Warwick
 
For more information and the complete schedule of the October 10-12th Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™, visit www.flamesofhoperi.com.
 
For more information about Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, visit www.gloriagemma.org

(Release from Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation)