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story.lead_photo.caption Lucy Ford, 6, of Batesville sells lemonade outside her father’s insurance company, Carter Ford State Farm Insurance. Lucy raised more than $1,700 for the Paint the Town Pink initiative, sponsored by the White River Health System Foundation.

— The White River Health System Foundation is using the month of October — Breast Cancer Awareness Month — to raise funds for breast-cancer screening and prevention with the foundation’s Paint the Town Pink initiative.

The featured event is something new — a block party on National Pink Day, Friday.

“We had a couple of kickoff parties in June and July, just to let people know what we were gong to be doing for the month of October,” said Tiffany Cox, White River Health System Foundation project manager. “Honestly, I didn’t know it was going to explode like it has. I’m very thankful and blessed that it has.”

The block party is something Cox has wanted to do in the past, but because of conflicts with other events, the block party never materialized.

“I have wanted to do this for a couple of years,” she said. “It just never worked out. After our golf tournament, I went to my boss, Amanda Roberts, and said I had an idea and told her not to panic. So here we are.”

Friday is National Pink Day. At 11:30 a.m., Stanley Wood will present a check for T-shirts and other items that have been sold at the White River Medical Center Meditation Garden in Batesville. A photo will be taken with hospital staff wearing pink shirts.

From 5-9 p.m., the block party will take place on Main Street.

“We’ll have a live band, a Baggo tournament, a luminary ceremony,” Cox said. “We’ll have vendors down on Main Street. It will be shut off for two blocks. It’s just like a fall festival, but it’s not. It’s going to be a pink festival.”

The foundation is attempting to raise $300,000 to purchase two 3-D mammography machines.

“We’re at 80 percent of our goal right now,” Cox said. “And we just started in October.”

Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh said he’s excited for his city to be able to help the White River Health System.

“We’re always open for festivals,” he said. “For this cause, it makes it even that much more special for our community, being able to give back.”

Elumbaugh said White River is the largest employer in the city of Batesville.

“They are a huge part of our economy in the city,” he said.

Other events during Paint The Town Pink for October included a movie night at the Melba Theater on Oct. 1, when Patch Adams was shown, and Paint It Forward at U.S. Pizza Co. in Batesville on Oct. 5, when Paint the Town Pink received 10 percent of sales from 2-10 p.m.

The Dink for Pink pickleball tournament will be held Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. at the Batesville Community Center. A conference on health first will be held Oct. 22 at the Batesville Community Center.

Additionally, schools have helped raise funds toward the $300,000 goal.

“We have reached out to all the surrounding schools, including Batesville, Southside and Cave City,” Cox said. “Last night (Oct. 1), we had a Paint the Court Pink volleyball game between Southside and Batesville. Southside does this every year and raises money and gives it to us. They also do a silent auction and bake sale. They will do a check presentation at their next home game. With any events that the foundation does, we try to show up there and show support.”

Cox said pink T-shirts featuring the mascots of Southside, Batesville and Cave City have been sold at various games.

“Sept. 26, Batesville had a volleyball game, and we sold Paint the Town Pink Shirts,” Cox said. “We went to the Cave City football game last week and sold them there.”

Cox said the community has been supportive of this undertaking.

“We wanted to do this whole project and get everyone involved,” she said, “whether you could only give a dollar or whether it be a couple of thousand dollars. We wanted to be able to include everyone.

“Typically from a Foundation standpoint, we go for sponsorships or ask for a donation. This year, we’ve done it a little bit different.”

Cox talked about Lucy Ford, a 6-year-old Batesville resident who opened two lemonade stands and raised just over $1,700. She set up stands at Carter Ford State Farm Insurance and at the hospital.

“She wanted to hit the status of big wig so she could have a pink wig,” Cox said.

Cox said donations are always welcome. For more information, call her at

(870) 262-1834 or email her at tcox@wrmc.com. Information is also available on the Foundation Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/whiteriverhealthsystemfoundation.

Staff writer Mark Buffalo can be reached at (501) 399-3676 or mbuffalo@arkansasonline.com.

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