Leechburg aims to break $100K mark with Pink Day this year | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Leechburg aims to break $100K mark with Pink Day this year

Tribune-Review file photo
Emily Talarico of Gilpin waits for her shaved ice being prepared by Kalee Wietrzykowski of Girls with Nice ICE of Gilpin during last year’s Pink Day celebration and fundraiser in Leechburg.

Leechburg continues to think pink for breast cancer awareness with a celebration and fundraiser on Sept. 21.

Pink Day, in its eighth year, has grown substantially, said organizer Sherry Price.

“We are excited about the growth. I’ve had to turn vendors away,” Price said. “Last year, we had about 3,500 attendees in Leechburg, and we try and make Pink Day bigger and better each year.”

Market Street will be shut down to traffic from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m., allowing more than 80 vendors and event-goers to enjoy a day of live entertainment, food, shopping and community unity.

The event raised $20,000 in 2018, an increase of $5,000 from the previous year, said Price.

To date, Pink Day has raised almost $83,000 for breast cancer research, with additional fundraising help in the form of contributions from an anonymous donor.

“Our 2019 goal is to raise $17,000, so we can breach the $100,000 mark,” Price said.

All proceeds benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The popular food court returns, located in the parking lot adjacent to Fox’s Pizza Den on Market Street.

“Last year, some vendors ran out of food, so this year I am telling my food vendors to be prepared,” Price said.

Food vendors include High Street Grille (specialty tacos), Anything Rolls (custom eggrolls), cold marble rolled ice cream, Del Vecchio’s Sausage & Fries (Italian specialties) and Cracked Egg Catering (pierogies and stuffed cabbage).

Claudette’s Catering returns for their third year as Pink Day participants, firing up their smoker and selling BBQ ribs and chicken dinners and lamb and chicken gyros.

“The last two years we sold out of food in a couple of hours, so we are cooking double this year,” said Claudette’s Kitchen owner/chef Antwon Knuckles. “We participate to support the cause because my mother passed away from cancer and it’s always a great event.”

New this year is a one-hour exotic animal show hosted by Wild World of Animals at 1 p.m. on Stage Two on Market Street.

Last year’s foam party was a highlight and returns this year beginning at 3:30 p.m., with hundreds of attendees, mostly kids, invited to frolic in hypoallergenic foam bubbles.

Participants are advised to bring a towel, wear a swimsuit and prepare to get wet with this event.

“This is a labor of love for me and I love doing this. You can feel the unity and support with Pink Day,” Price said.

“We are thankful to our local sponsors. I don’t have any huge corporate sponsors.”

Local sponsors since Pink Day’s inception include Kiski Valley Community Church, Leechburg Moose , The Gifted Garden and First Commonwealth Bank.

Other events and entertainment will include Popcorn the Clown balloons, performances by the Timbeleza Brazilian Drum Ensemble, an art show hosted by the Leechburg Area Art Club students and a Kid’s Zone at Kiski Community Church.

Gary Peterman, Pink Day participant and co-owner of The Gifted Garden in Leechburg said Pink Day is about more than just raising money.

“Pink Day shows that a small community like Leechburg can come together as one even if it’s just one day — for something worthwhile and it’s a very fun day,” he said.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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