Pink Day fundraiser founder contracts cancer, yet ups game with new Leechburg event

A Leechburg woman diagnosed with cancer hasn’t let personal hardship diminish her passion for fundraising.

Sherry Price, founder and organizer of Pink Day, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February during a routine mammogram.

“Never in a million years did I think I’d get breast cancer,” said Price, 57. She said her diagnosis of infiltrating ductile carcinoma is common and caused by an over-production of estrogen in the body.

Price created Pink Day in 2011. It’s a daylong festival held in downtown Leechburg that typically draws about 5,000 people.

Since Pink Day’s inception, the event has raised more than $110,000.

The money has been donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which is based in New York. It bills itself as the largest private funder of metastatic breast cancer research in the world.

Price said she went public with her diagnosis to help other woman.

“I’m blessed to have had this happen during the early stages — stage 1 — and I am cancer-free currently doing preventative radiation therapy,” Price said. “I found it to be very ironic. But I decided I was going to use it, share it. A lot of women have reached out to me for advice, and I’m happy to help.”

Price had to cancel last year’s Pink Day event because of the covid-19 pandemic.

She still managed to raise $27,000, through an anonymous triple-match donation and Pink Day T-shirt sales as well as smaller events held in 2020.

Music, food fundraiser Saturday

Pink Day returns this year on Sept. 18 in Leechburg.

But Price planned a new event this year called Pink Day Notes for Hope Music and Food Festival 2021, an effort to boost donations and raise funds before Pink Day.

It’s being held Saturday.

Price submitted a request to council in March, hoping to book Leechburg’s Riverfront Park for her fundraiser, but her request was denied because the borough was still under covid-19 emergency declarations.

“I completely understood, and they didn’t want to say no to me, but they had no choice,” Price said.

Hyde Park Volunteer Fire Company volunteered the use of the Hyde Park Heritage Pavilion grounds on Railroad Street in Hyde Park.

“There are so many musicians who want to perform at Pink Day, and we only have a limited amount of space. So we thought we would have a festival focused on just music and food,” Price said.

Those attending can expect to hear classic rock, blues and country. The performances are family-friendly.

Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for seating options.

Price relies on sponsor support from the local businesses and organizations and Sprankle’s Markets is one of the main supporters of Notes for Hope.

“Sherry Price has been a pillar of the community and a cornerstone to Pink Day’s success. It’s going to be a great event, and we’re glad to take part as an advertising partner,” Sprankle’s co-owner Doug Sprankle said.

Honoring ardent supporter

Price said she plans to honor Wendy Shearer of Hyde Park during Notes For Hope.

Shearer, a longtime ardent supporter of all things Pink Day, died last month.

“She was a faithful follower,” Price said. “We want to dedicate Notes to her. She always donated, and if I needed anything she was always bringing donations. She was there from the beginning.”

Price range for the food trucks are $5-$15.

Here are the food trucks that will be offering their specialties: Blue Ribbon Kettle Corn; Hot Ash Doughtastic Sandwiches; Claudette’s BBQ; DelVecchio’s Sausage and Fries; Anything Rolls Egg Rolls; Lisa’s Shaved Ice; Studecakers Cupcakes; Wok On Wheels; Kaczor Ravioli Co.; Vandergrift #2 Fireman’s Lunchbox.

DelVecchio’s owner and chef Tommy Scanga of Vandergrift said he never misses a chance to participate in Pink Day-related events.

“Our family is so proud to be a part of Pink Day. Sherry and her crew do a great job of making it a perfect event, and it’s a great cause for us to help out,” Scanga said.

Mayor Wayne Dobos said he wishes the venue situation would have worked out, but he’s looking forward to Pink Day returning to the borough.

“It’s a special day because Leechburg shows it’s finest on Pink Day,” Dobos said.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725 , [email protected] or via Twitter .

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