Power of Pink

Members of the Louisville Crashers and attendees dance during the Power of Pink at Kye’s in Jeffersonville last year.

JEFFERSONVILLE — The Power of Pink gala is gearing up to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer, but equally as important, to honor those individuals battling the disease, and the survivors who have conquered it.

The seventh-annual Power of Pink gala will take place Oct. 18 at The Refinery in Jeffersonville. The event, which is sponsored by the News and Tribune, raises money to support Norton Cancer Institute’s Pat Harrison Resource Center.

The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a buffet dinner, cocktails, music, dancing and both live and silent auctions. The gala is being held in the same spot, 500 Missouri Ave. in Jeffersonville, but the event venue, formerly Kye’s, now operates under new ownership and a new name: The Refinery.

Julie Kruer, development coordinator for the Norton Healthcare Foundation, said one of the new additions this year includes bourbon and wine pulls.

“You can basically pay, and you’re going to get a bottle of either wine or bourbon that is valued for at least what you bought it for, but you might get a much nicer bottle,” she said. “Everybody can use it to restock their bars before the holiday season starts.”

The silent auction will for the third year include mobile bidding site BidPal, which allows people to easily place bids through their cell phones, even if they are not attending the event.

“They’ll be texted a link, so it’s just a link that they’ll open in your browser on your phone, and you can bid online,” Kruer said. “Some of the advantages of it that are nice are, if you have an item that you really want, and you have an amount in mind you’d be willing to pay for it, you can set a maximum bid at anytime you like after the auction has opened, and it will automatically bid for you up until that amount. You can spend more time socializing and less time having to watch the items that you want.”

Plus bidders don’t have to safeguard the bid sheet for items they really want. They are notified by text when they are outbid, and they can in turn up the ante.

Auction items include a furnace with installation, Churchill Downs tickets, restaurant gift cards, jewelry and more.

Gala attendees can also enjoy live music by the band Tony and the Tan Lines.

“They are really fun, and they really know how to keep the dance floor full, so we’re excited to have them this year,” Kruer said.

Bill Hanson, publisher at the News and Tribune, said he looks forward to the excitement on people’s faces and speaking with the cancer survivors who attend the gala. He is also always excited to see how much money is raised by the end of the evening for the Pat Harrison Resource Center; Power of Pink aims to raise more than $50,000 this year.

“This is a passion thing for me, and it’s obviously something that the newspaper’s engaged in, but for me, it’s personal because my folks both passed away from cancer, and I just lost a brother in August due to cancer,” he said. “When we get to the end of the event, I like to see where we came out — the excitement of knowing all of our hard work has come together to generate money to make a difference at the resource center. That’s what keeps me going every year.”

The Pat Harrison Resource Center was designed to be a “really warm and homey and nonclinical space” for cancer patients to receive free support services, Kruer said. Resources include music/art therapy, support groups, Tai chi, a lending library, nurse navigation services, financial counseling, breast prosthetics, and wigs, hats and turbans.

“It’s just really a lot of different resources available to support the kind of mind, body healing, because healing is not all medicine, we really try to be there for people in the community to make the healing part of their journey a little bit easier,” she said.

Kruer said Power of Pink is a fun night out, whether it’s a date night or a get-together with friends, but “it is also really powerful and moving to see how our community comes together to support those fighting cancer in our community.”

“That’s the best part of it for me,” she said. “Everyone in our community has been touched by cancer, whether it’s themselves or someone that they love, so just to watch that support all come together in one room that night is really special.”

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