Great Pink Pumpkin donations helping area cancer patients, survivors

Area cancer group representatives hold up checks donated by moraine park technical college

This holiday season, several area organizations dedicated to helping breast cancer patients and survivors will have more ways to help thanks to a special event hosted by Moraine Park Technical College each year.

Moraine Park donated $10,000 on Dec. 8 to four different cancer-related groups sharing close ties to the communities the College serves. The donations stem from money raised by Moraine Park’s fourth annual “Great Pink Pumpkin” 5K Run/Walk, held Oct. 21.

three women and one child wearing pink wigsAmong those receiving donations this month were Agnesian Women’s Imaging in Fond du Lac, Small Stones in West Bend, Beaver Dam Community Hospital Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Recovery of Monona, Wis.

Small Stones in West Bend received $1,000 and has plans to create a free, community resource with the donation.

“With the generous donation from Moraine Park Technical College’s Great Pink Pumpkin Run, Small Stones will be able to start a mobile reference library, which will be located in the lobby of the Kraemer Cancer Center for all of our patients, family members and caregivers to check out supportive books and materials for free,” said Launne Murray, aesthetic wellness coordinator. “We are truly grateful for Moraine Park’s charitable support.”

Small Stones Wellness Center is an organization supporting healing processes by providing patients supportive products and oncology services like massages, facials, reiki, aromatherapy, wigs and free cosmetology services.  Small Stones also provides free or affordable wellness classes and events to help patients through their cancer journey.

The Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Foundation, Inc., also received $1,000 and will be designating their funds to the BDCH Breast Health Program. The money will be used to purchase wigs, hats and scarves for cancer patients, along with providing counseling support throughout their journey.

BDCH Breast Health Nurse Navigator, Julie Marks, accepted the donation on behalf of the BDCH Foundation.

Agnesian Women’s Imaging in Fond du Lac also received $1,000.

Agnesian is using the donation to help women afford the choice of a 3D mammogram versus a 2D mammogram, which can detect breast cancer at a higher rate.

Breast Cancer Recovery, which has received donations from each of the Great Pink Pumpkin’s previous three outings, received the largest donation this year at $7,000.

Breast Cancer Recovery offers wellness retreats named Infinite Boundaries. These retreats are for women in all stages of breast cancer – newly diagnosed, in treatment and many years finished with treatment. Women ages 21 to 80 have attended these retreats, with the total costs of attending coming in around $1,500 per woman.

The donation from Moraine Park will nearly eliminate the entire costs of the retreat for several women once again, which has become an ongoing tradition for the College.

“Due to very generous donations, all women receive a scholarship of $1,100. The Great Pink Pumpkin Run has helped send over 13 women to our Infinite Boundaries Retreats,” said Megan Purtell, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Recovery.

Overall, Moraine Park’s 2017 installment of the Great Pink Pumpkin race featured 525 participants.

College President Bonnie Baerwald said giving back is an important component of Moraine Park’s culture, and bringing awareness and relief to cancer is certainly a cause that hits home to many.

“Moraine Park encourages our students and staff to become engaged with community projects that make a meaningful impact. This is one of those projects that touches the lives of so many, and I’m very proud of the effort and impact we make,” Baerwald said.

Baerwald is heavily involved in the Great Pink Pumpkin planning committee each year. Instructors Jeff Stueber and Brenda Schaefer co-organized the first event in 2014 and have retained large planning roles since, along with other staff who volunteer for the run.

For more information on Moraine Park, visit

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