October will be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Sault’s Breanne Huopalainen has used her passion and organizational skills to plan, with the help of friend Deanna Plath, a breast cancer fundraiser known as ‘Positively Pink.'
Breanne, 28, was born and raised in the Sault, and has worked in the social work field locally for the past six years, known as ‘Bre’ to friends, family and coworkers.
Her mother, Donna Biagini, died of breast cancer Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2010.
“Christmas is definitely not the best time of the year for me,” Bre said, speaking to SooToday.
The loss of her mother, along with Tracy’s Dream, inspired Bre to put Positively Pink in motion.
Tracy’s Dream is a fund to support parking costs for Sault Area Hospital (SAH) patients receiving cancer treatments, named after its founder Tracy Dinelle, who died of breast cancer in 2016.
Bre and Deanna Plath will put their own crafts on display, to be sold along with crafts by 40 other local vendors, at Positively Pink, to be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22 at Grand Gardens North, located at 1324 Great Northern Rd.
Bre makes vinyl crafts, Deanna a variety of items, including popular dog bandanas.
“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and normally, as a family, we used to go to the Run For The Cure event but it’s not something I’m ready to go back to yet, but I love crafts, and my friend Deanna is also into crafts, so I just reached out to her and said ‘hey, let’s do something for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.’”
Admission to Positively Pink will be by donation, with most of the proceeds from vendor table fees and merchandise sold by vendors going to Tracy’s Dream.
“I didn’t know Tracy, or her husband Dennis, but parking fees at the hospital are a big burden, so I called up Dennis and said ‘would you mind if we did a fundraiser for your charity?’ and he ran with it,” Bre said enthusiastically.
“We have 42 vendors ready, with space for two more. We’re pretty much full,” Bre said.
“There’s a lot of great local stuff. We have bath and body products, some people who work with wood, vinyl crafts, homemade baking. There’ll definitely be something for everybody. We’ve got some great door prizes as well. We couldn’t do this without all these vendors. They’ve been great.”
Positively Pink marks the first time Bre and Deanna have organized a fundraiser.
“There are a lot of good organizations and support for cancer in the Sault, and I want to give back,” Bre said.
More information may be found at Positively Pink’s Facebook page.