Pink! Gala Saturday to benefit MaryEllen Locher Breast Center of Excellence
UPDATE (Feb. 21st):
At this year's Pink! gala, the event raised a net total of $471,000.
Organizers say with this amount being a record high for the event it made the grand total for all 14 years of fundraising to $4.2 million.
All proceeds will stay in the local community benefiting the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center at CHI Memorial.
Next year's Pink! gala is already planned for January, 25 2020.
For 14 years, Chattanoogans have gathered together for a night of fun and fundraising at CHI Memorial's Pink! Gala.
In the days leading up to the Gala, dozens of volunteers worked diligently to transform a ballroom of the Chattanooga Convention Center into a Barnum & Bailey inspired celebration.
"The theme this year is The Greatest Show and it's shaping up," says President of the CHI Memorial Foundation Jennifer Nicely.
Like in years past, Nicely says all money raised will go "toward patients who are cared for at the Breast Center."
That's the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center of Excellence, named for former NewsChannel 9 Anchor MaryEllen Locher.
"We're a comprehensive center so we offer everything," says Nurse Practitioner and Breast Cancer survivor Casey Waddle.
Doctors diagnosed Waddle at just 33 years old, below the recommended screening guideline of 40.
Waddle says her husband found the lump "which is not uncommon for young women."
She has been cancer free for almost five years now and relishes the opportunity to help other survivors through their journey.
"If I can offer at least that much hope or peace to that woman then I've done something good," Waddle tells NewsChannel 9.
Waddle will be among hundreds of survivors attending the Gala Saturday night.
"It's very humbling," she says.
At $500 a piece, tickets for the Gala sold out.
Waddle says the money raised this year will go toward purchasing higher quality imaging machines for the Center's radiologists.
There are still plenty of opportunities for you to contribute this year.
To donate to the Center, text "GivePink" to 243725.
Volunteer Coordinator for the Pink! Gala, Karen Sloan, says those hoping to volunteer next year can visit the CHI Memorial Foundation.