PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one city in Luzerne County has collectively raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for research over the last 10 years.
Every October, Paint Pittston Pink takes over the city as it raises money that goes 100% toward cancer research. An event in Jenkins Township Monday night was just one example of the huge effort this month.
The city of Pittston has been painted pink every October for a decade now, sparked by Barb Sciandra’s battle against breast cancer.
“We started 10 years ago, it was shortly after I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer on my left and stage two on my right. And we wanted something to stand apart from other non-profits,” said President and co-founder of Paint Pittston Pink Barb Sciandra.
A clinical study at the University of Pennsylvania saved Barb’s life and she soon knew she had to help others in her position.
“When we had raised a little bit of money to help her through that, she wanted to donate that money back and we were looking for a place to donate it and we really couldn’t find a cause that the money went straight to cancer research,” said co-founder of Paint Pittston Pink Qiana Lehman.
Paint Pittston Pink was created in 2014, a non-profit that donates all of the money it raises directly to cancer research.
The organization has grown year after year thanks to the support of the Pittston community.
“It’s the community that comes out and shows support, wants to donate to cancer research. They’ve supported us and that’s allowed us to expand, to change, to pick new venues, to do fun things to bring the community together,” Lehman said.
So far the organization has donated nearly eight hundred thousand dollars to cancer research through events like purse bingo, golf tournaments, and a closing competition that brings out the whole city.
“It’s a great little chain of events that we do to raise money every year and we end it on that day with the race and the gentleman’s dash,” Lehman explained.
Every year, runners lace up their sneakers while some men strap on their heels for the final day of fundraising on the first saturday in October.
Whether running or just watching, the community puts on their pink for the same purpose.
“The goal this year really is just to have a lot of fun, to raise as much money as we can, and to just donate it to cancer research. That’s the only way that there will be a cure for this terrible disease,” Sciandra said.
The next fundraiser for Paint Pittston Pink will be celebrity bartending at the Red Mill in Pittston this Friday.