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Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes center stage at Excela Westmoreland

October 3, 2018
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Visitors to Excela Westmoreland Hospital’s hospitality shop this month may notice an explosion of pink.

The pastel shade showcases October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a month-long “Comfort and Hope Exhibit” collaboration between the Westmoreland Hospital Auxiliary and the Greensburg Art Center.

Raffles, purchases and donations all will benefit Excela’s cancer care, according to a news release.

The auxiliary runs the hospitality shop, says volunteer member Sally Ann Novak, during a Sept. 26 open house.

The work done by the “Pink Out” committee chairs -- Novak, Joan Stairs, Jo Ellen Numerick, Kaaren Tintori, Nora Kemp, Sue White and Barb Wieser -- and other auxiliary members is evident.

Guests enjoyed an array of pink cookies, fruit and lemonade, donated by auxiliary members.

Among the giveaways were 100 pink carnations, donated by hospitality shop floral vendor Matt’s Designs Florist.

Shop aisles were crowded with women -- and men, including Excela Health System CEO Robert Rogalski, sporting a pink tie -- dressed in the color of the day.

For a $5 donation, gift shop visitors can add a ribbon in memory or honor of a loved one to a pink decorated tree.

For a $30 donation, visitors can choose from a tea cup filled with candy or a pink tie for men.

“The women of the auxiliary wanted to do something to support ... another group of women,” Novak says.

“We were talking about how we want to make sure we don’t forget our (auxiliary) purpose is our patients,” she says.

“When we created a partnership with the Greensburg Art Center, an Excela doctor introduced us to a patient who was painting to manage the stress of breast cancer,” Novak says.

Members reached out to the art center’s Rosemary Sovyak regarding breast cancer awareness.

“The art center got behind it. Our group took and ran with it. All of a sudden, every kind of pink accessory was coming into the shop. It just grew into this collaborative effort that exceeded our expectations,” Novak says.

Artistic plan comes together

Numerous Greensburg Art Center artists and instructors are participating in an exhibit, offering paintings and note cards for sale or raffle.

June Drexler Robertson of Greensburg’s donation is entitled “Comfort and Hope.” It shows her own dog embracing a pink teddy bear. Shop visitors can purchase three chances for $2 to win the painting.

A painting of a love letter penned to medical caregivers and support staff, and a photo of her family, both draped in pink ribbon, is the contribution of art center member and instructor Catherine M. Rosensteel of Greensburg.

Rosensteel is a breast cancer survivor who credits her “team,” from those who called to remind her of and supported her through treatments to the Arnold Palmer Pavilion receptionist’s smile to volunteers who made colorful radiation jackets, for not letting her give up.

Her watercolor is on display and for sale at the hospitality shop.

Also contributing paintings are Sovyak and Jane Nespoli, whose vibrant “Jane’s Flower.” A raffle on the painting is being sold for three chances for $2.

On Oct. 11, Excela will host an “artful presentation” on breast cancer awareness at the Greensburg Country Club, including food, wine, door prizes and painting instruction.

Register by Oct. 8 by calling 1-877-771-1234.

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