PARKER COUNTY —
Every year, weeks before the event, the Pink Luncheon sells out. And, every year, those in attendance gather and comment about how a bigger venue in Weatherford would surely continue to sell out — it seems no matter how many seats are offered, there are plenty who want to attend the luncheon.
The repertoire is funny as the hosts banter back-and-forth, the buffet food lines move quickly, there are goodie bags filled with freebies and raffle items to win — and it’s all topped off with a pink cupcake for dessert.
But, beyond the fun and jokes, beyond the luncheon with friends and the raffle winners joy there is a deeper purpose that makes the event popular — the money raised by the Parker County Health Foundation goes into a grant given to Careity Foundation and that money stays here in Parker County to help women in all stages of breast health care.
A local connection
Careity Foundation founders Lyn Walsh and Beverly Branch have a particular interest in Parker County because they live here. The foundation is based here (though the organization’s P.O. Box is technically in Fort Worth). Branch’s family has been in Parker County for more than 100 years. Walsh emphasized the importance of using funds raised in a community to help people in that community. Careity does the same with the other donations that come in from neighboring counties where help is also provided.
The money that Careity gets from the PCHF grant — which was about $60,000 this year — goes to help women in Parker County with a variety of services. It can be as simple as a yearly mammogram check-up. But, if a woman has a lump and, therefore, needs a diagnostic mammogram, it can be more complex — getting her to a doctor, who then must write her a prescription for the specialty mammogram and going to see a radiologist for that mammogram. There may be a follow up biopsy — and there are various types of biopsies, which might require more doctor visits. If cancer is found, then there is the continuing care — chemo, radiation, nutritional supplements, doctor’s visits.
The type of women they see in need aren’t just women who are out of work. There are those who are underinsured or who can’t meet their insurance’s deductible, Walsh and Branch said. However, any women who comes to Careity needing help will receive it.
“We don’t ask questions,” Walsh said.
In addition to the PCHF grant from the Pink Luncheon, the pair started a fund raiser in May — Hats off to Heroes — which also stipulates funds go directly to Parker County residents’ care. Money from that event not only helped pay for mammograms and biopsies, but helped Careity hire a chaplain, to pay for gas cards to allow cancer patients to get to and from appointments and other necessities, said Walsh. The money benefited the Careity Breast Care Center in Weatherford. Careity Foundation, along with the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders, Dr. Robyn Young, Dr. Amy Gunter, Dr. Denise Wise and Solis Women’s Health worked together to open the center for Parker County residents.