It all started one evening in 2008 with a few great friends, some good wine and a heart-to-heart discussion. You see, these friends shared a mutual desire to make a difference for others and, especially, to help women who’d been diagnosed with cancer. That evening, the idea of designing a non-profit for that specific purpose was born. And, soon thereafter, that idea became a larger vision that became The Pink Pamper, a 501(C)(3) whose top priority was to support women with cancer. Women who desperately needed extra encouragement during a very difficult time in their lives and who, quite often, also needed help paying for things like prescription copays, healthy organic foods, gas for their cars and natural-looking prosthetic wigs.
In the beginning, this group of passionate friends began to raise money by taking their rather unique concept for a “Health and Beauty Fair” to the ground floor of a local Crowne Plaza Hotel. Their “take” on the idea was to turn one of the hotel’s ballrooms into a combination Shopping Mall/Day Spa/Fashion Show/Restaurant & Bar where women could shop, enjoy various beauty services from some of The Pink Pamper’s trusted allies in the health and beauty industry as well as eat and drink at the many tasting stations situated throughout the venue. In addition, guests could watch as models walked by in outfits the clothing vendors had provided and bid on some (or all!) of the many gift baskets and auction prizes that had been donated by the sponsors, all while enjoying a special camaraderie of hope and support with their fellow attendees. The money raised from these fairs, which continued annually for 5 years, supported the UPMC Cancer Center Patient Assistance Fund. In turn, this particular UPMC Fund provided money as well as helpful tools and resources to cancer patients for things that were not/are not typically covered by health insurance policies. Things like copays, deductibles, groceries, gas and prosthetic wigs, etc.
The success of the Health and Beauty Fairs grew over the years as both attendance and net proceeds rose steadily. Before long, that success inspired The Pink Pamper to explore other opportunities for fundraising. In 2014 and 2015, they partnered with a local Macy’s Department Store location and held an event at the store called “Sip, Sample and Save.” This after-hours event allowed ticket holders to “shop until they dropped” as they enjoyed tremendous savings throughout the store. The lucky shoppers also loved being “wined and dined” as they visited a variety of restaurant and spirit vendors stationed around the store. Then, in 2015, the first-ever casino night which was called “Blackjack and All That Jazz” was held. It received rave reviews from the guests, vendors and sponsors and was held again in 2016.
May of 2017 saw the inaugural Bubble Ball Event which was held at The Carnegie Science Center to raise money for the recently created HaLo Fund to benefit women with hair loss resulting from chemotherapy. The evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies was Ashley Dougherty from Pittsburgh’s local ABC affiliate, WTAE. It included plenty of food, shopping, dancing and fun activities for girls of all ages. Of course, all the proceeds benefited the same worthwhile cause. The 2018 Bubble Ball moved to the Circuit Center and Ballroom in the South Side of Pittsburgh. This event featured the first “Woman of Courage Award” and was presented to WTAE-TV News Anchor Kelly Frye for her battle with breast cancer. On the heels of the very successful 2018 event, plans are underway for the 4th Annual Bubble Ball which will be held again at The Circuit Center & Ballroom on March 30, 2019. To find out more about the Bubble Ball go here.
As time went on, The Pink Pamper not only ramped up its fundraising efforts but also expanded its efforts to help these women and their families by establishing new funds. For example, the G.I.F.T. Fund (Getting Involved For Women in Treatment) was established to help patients currently undergoing treatment with gift shopping for their families during the holiday season. The HaLo Fund was established to help women who had experienced the trauma of hair loss due to chemotherapy by providing a $350 voucher towards the purchase of a beautiful, natural-looking wig at Hair Enhancements of Pittsburgh. To find out more about either the G.I.F.T. Fund or the HaLo Fund and how you can help, please visit Our Charities page.
And finally, everyone who has been involved with The Pink Pamper, whether from the beginning or at any time since then, feels strongly that God puts certain people in our lives for a particular reason. It may last for just a moment, for a season or perhaps even for a lifetime. But no matter why that person was put there or how long or short our association with them lasted, everyone at The Pink Pamper is very grateful for every single one of them. We consider all of them “friends” and believe that to be true whether they were on the giving or receiving end of our efforts or partnered with us in any way, shape or form. So, we want all of our friends to know how much we appreciate the time they gave and the help they offered to us and especially to all of the brave women who needed it most at that exact moment.
With Warm Regards,
The Pink Pamper