Jackie Bertolini atthe first Pink Tie Ball®
Like Komen for the Cure itself, the North Jersey Affiliate was also founded on a promise— a promise made in 1997 by Deb Belfatto to make a difference to 10-year-old Jackie Bertolini, who lost her mother to breast cancer.
In its early years, the Affiliate's challenge was to develop a major fundraising vehicle to generate the dollars that a traditional Komen Race for the Cure® would have provided. The result was the Pink Tie Ball®, an event that has ultimately become a program for many Affiliates throughout the country.
To kick off its second decade, North Jersey will hold its first annual Race for the Cure in 2008 in Essex County Branch Brook Park in Newark, with Honorary Chair and spokesperson, Gloria Gaynor.
Caucus Educational Corporation Television ProgrammingThrough a partnership with Caucus Educational Corporation, the Affiliate is currently creating a series of PSAs on the topics of early detection, advocacy, clinical trials and the North Jersey Race for the Cure. Each of the PSAs will run for one full year and will be broadcast on such premium channels as Lifetime, Discovery, BET, Fox Family and The Weather Channel in the Affiliate's service region.
Comcast SpotlightAdditionally, the Affiliate partnered with Comcast Spotlight, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, to create a PSA specific to prevention and early detection. The team developed two variations of the PSA, one to announce the Central/South Jersey Affiliate Race and the other to announce the North Jersey Affiliate Race. The PSAs air on the Comcast network in each of the Affiliate's service regions as well as on Fine Living, The Food Network, Lifetime, BRAVO, Discovery Channel, USA Network, CNBC, ABC Family and Discovery Health.
Part III of the Affiliate's Journeys of Courage photo-essay exhibit was recently completed and is on display, along with Parts I and II, at The Mall at Short Hills and Jersey Gardens Mall. The33 women and one man portrayed in this photo essay generously agreed to share their stories to heighten awareness of the disease. The hope is that all who view the exhibit will be moved by the strength and courage of its heroes and will be inspired to join in our promise.
Along with Journeys of Courage, the Mall at Short Hills and Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth are currently hosting the Affiliate for a month-long breast cancer awareness, education and fundraising event. Affiliate representatives are available at tables throughout each Mall to provide breast health education materials and information on the North Jersey Affiliate, its events and volunteer opportunities.
In partnershop with North Jersey's Medical Advisory Council, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge hosted a presentation earlier this year on advances in the Early Detection of Breast Cancer. Topics discussed included guidelines for routine and high-risk screening, evaluation of lumps, mammography, breast ultrasound and MRI and genetic risk factors. Guest speakers included Memorial's Dr. Kenneth Offit, Chief, Clinical Genetic Service.
Currently, the Affiliate's Tie a Ribbon breast cancer awareness campaign is in full swing with over 15,000 ribbons—and counting—tied to trees in towns, on school and corporate campuses and in neighborhoods throughout northern New Jersey. The campaign was developed to increase awareness and spread the life-saving message of early detection. Each ribbon is accompanied by an "in honor" or "in memory" hangtag with the Komen life-saving three-step message to early detection on the reverse side.
Jackie Bertoliniand Deb Belfattoat a recent Pink Tie Ball
Saturday, October 27, marks North Jersey's 11th Pink Tie Ball to be held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Entertaining more than 1,000 guests will be Gloria Gaynor, Little Anthony and the Imperials and Tom Postilio (star of the hit off-Broadway musical revue "Our Sinatra"). Among this year's live auction items is a one-of-a-kind mixed media on canvas from a cherished photograph by internationally-renowned artist Peter Max.