Courthouse goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Published 10:27 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

Each year, breast cancer affects millions of women.

As October marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, those in Clark County who have been affected again are bringing awareness.

On Monday morning, a group of ten volunteers making up a breast cancer awareness club called Pink Ribbon Partners met on the front steps of the Clark County Courthouse and decorated the exterior with pink ribbons.

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The decorations will remain outdoors throughout October.

“All of us are survivors in one sort or another,” said Catherine Gatson.“When I was diagnosed, there was only a few days before I contacted them.”

Pink Ribbon Partners has long served the community since starting 25 years ago, and the decorative ceremony has occurred for at least 20 years since the early 2000s.

In terms of getting the ribbons, which also decorate the back lawn of the courthouse, they made collaboration possible with two other organizations – The Craft Nook and Haggard’s Flower House.

While the former is on Lexington Avenue, the latter is located along Bypass Road.

“I just walked in the flower shop, and I was like, ‘I need my pink ribbon,’” said Carrie Marstella. “I give them the date and everything, and they have them ready to go.”

Gatson and Marstella were far from the only individuals present at the event.

One could also find Carolyn Poston, Wilma Standfer, Jo Moore, Rita Vanlandingham, Phyllis Sweeney, Ada Rash, and Joyce Haggard.

Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham also appeared and was sure to express gratitude.

“[You have] been very faithful. [It] may be cold today, but I remember one day there was a little bit of snow”, he said, noting that the tradition has gone on despite adverse conditions. “I just want to thank you on behalf of the Clark County Government for what you do.”

The group also kept the activity going amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Saturday, Relay for Life of Clark County will put on its Let’s Give Cancer the Boot in 2022 event at the courthouse square in downtown Winchester from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The ladies of Pink Ribbon Partners will be sure to take part.

“We have the survivor’s tent. We always provide snacks and drinks”, Gatson said. “Usually, we sign people up if [they’re] not already enrolled or registered.”

The group meets once a month and looks to help others on their journey – understanding that each story is different.

They also want others to discover a place for understanding.

“Sometimes, the breast cancer journey is a really tough one, but there’s a really good survival rate,” Gatson said. “People who are new to it really need to hear those things.”

And it is a journey that one does not have to make alone.

“We can tell them our experiences with it and everything, and they’ll know what to expect,” Marstella added.

While beneficial in several ways, the years of working together have also created a strong bond.

“We’re like sisters,” said Gatson. “It’s not just helping ourselves; it’s being able to help others.”