The color pink conjures up many images: cotton candy, baby girls, flamingoes.
For the women of Davidson College's Connor House, pink means only one thing - breast cancer awareness. With a personal connection to the cause, they are planning their annual Bosom Buddies gala March 12, in the Lilly Family Gallery - and already broke a few records along the way.
The Bosom Buddies event began 11 years ago for the women of Connor House, a service and social organization consisting of 150 girls on the Davidson College campus. But the tradition took a personal turn when one of the founding members, Lauren Pragoff, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Lauren was diagnosed so young, and it just makes everything we do more meaningful," said Margot Zipperstein, who serves as a publicity chair for the event. Pragoff served as 2010's keynote speaker.
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Last year, the event raised more money than any student organization in the history of the college. The young women of Connor House hope to bypass that record this year and are already on their way. This year, the Bosom Buddies gala sold out in a record two hours.
The night's proceeds will benefit Greensboro-based Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test, the country's only nonprofit whose funds go solely to research for a biological test to detect the disease in the first year of onset. The gala includes a live and silent auction, a cappella groups, dinner and a raffle. Keynote speaker will be Beth McCamey Harris.
A South Carolina resident with no family history of the disease, Harris was diagnosed at age 34 with stage 3c breast cancer and endured chemo, radiation and five surgeries.
The Bosom Buddies gala is not the only way these women contribute to the breast cancer cause. Each year, they pair up with Charlotte's Circle Up team to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. They've partnered with Davidson's Flatiron Kitchen and Taphouse to sponsor several Drink Pink events to raise money to fight breast cancer.
Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test has also named one of their research grants in the house's name.
They remain focused year after year because of a startling statistic: One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.
"In this house, that one in eight number is always on our mind," said Zipperstein. "Our cause is such a point of pride for us, it's what we are known for on campus, and what we think is the most important thing about Connor. These women are so passionate about what they are doing, and it's contagious."