9th Year a ‘Reason for Celebration’

By Mike Steely


The house was packed Thursday during the 9th Annual Pink Ribbon Celebration, which saluted Breast Cancer Survivors and raised funds for the Compassion in Action fund, at the Grande Event Center in North Knoxville.

WBIR’s Robin Wilhoit and B97.5’s Michele Silva welcomed the full house and introduced guests and speakers. Breast cancer survivors were recognized and applauded and one woman was celebrating 45 years of survival.

The theme was “Reason for Celebration” and Janine Mingie said that about 450 people attended.

“We had 63 tables and someone was at every table,” she said.

Following a buffet dinner Knoxville’s Emily Ann Roberts entertained and later Mike Willis also sang. Cancer survivor Michael Holtz spoke of his cancer battle and the aftermath of a successful struggle. Other speakers included Becky Dodson, Nic Mingie, Deborah Mauldin and Mingie.

“I think the highlight of the evening was when Emily Roberts came back out at the end and sang ”I Don’t Know Who Holds Tomorrow,’” Mingie said, noting that the song fit very well with the message of the celebration.

All funds from ticket and souvenir sales, the silent auction, the raffle and donations go to the Compassion in Action Fund.

Sponsorship of the annual event included Tennova Healthcare, Tennessee Cancer Specialists, Provision Care Proton Therapy, and Dr. and Mrs. James Craig. Table Sponsors included The Knoxville Focus, Premier Surgical Associates, Premier Radiation Oncology Services, North Knoxville Medical Center, Dr. and Mrs. Aaron Margulies, Dr. Lauren Chiles and Tina Callicutt, Dr. Kathleen Edmunds, Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center, Abercrombie Radiology Consultants and Merit Construction.

In-kind sponsors included Coleman’s Printing and Awards, B97.5, WBIR, Petree’s Flowers and Gifts, Scrumps Cupcakes, Fountain City Jewelers, Knoxville Focus and Hampton Inns and Suites.

The event also featured a photo booth of guests, a Silent Auction, and a “Heads or Tail” beaded necklace competition for a $250 bouquet of dollar bills.

Silent Auction contributors included Sweet P’s BBQ, Downtown Dive, Marble Hall, Devereaux Bedding Company, Sports Clips, Hooters, Wilderness of the Smokies, UT Vol Shop, Tennova Health and Fitness, Zoo Knoxville, Nothing Too Fancy, Markman’s Jewelers, Painting with a Twist, Pop’s Liquor, Bearden Beer Market, Fox Den Country Club, UltraSlim with Dr. Kathleen Edmunds, Riverstone Spa, Hard Rock Café of Pigeon Forge, Pure Luxe, Gettysview, Wonder Works, UT Football Operations, Universal Group, Hollywood Wax Museum, the Spa at Oak Haven, Earth to Old City, Regal Tuxedo, Knoxville Soap and Candle,  Balter  Beerworks and Archers.

The celebration’s regular comedian Leanne Morgan could not attend the event but sent a humorous and touching video and promised to attend next year’s celebration.

The Pink Ribbon Celebration began in 2009 to help uninsured and under insured women receive breast imaging. The effort has paid for mammograms, breast ultrasounds, biopsies and breast MRIs. Cancer patients are also helped with financial needs such as house payments, utilities, cancer medication, etc.

Contributions to Compassion in Action, a non-profit organization, can be made to Compassion in Action Corporation, 3201 Chantilly Drive, Knoxville, Tn. 37917. You may also find them on Facebook or online at www.pinkribboncelebration.com.