FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Two local breast cancer survivors are establishing a new awareness and education event in the River Valley.

According to a press release, “Paint Chafee Pink” will take place on Saturday, October 1 at The Vue Venue in the Chaffee Crossing Historic District at 12105 Ward Avenue in Fort Smith. Lorie Robertson and Sarah Meek Howe are presenting the “survivor brunch, film and fashion show event.”

Advance registration is available for $20 on Eventbrite. Pink flags can be purchased for an additional $5 donation, and they will be placed around the venue.

Check-in is from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., with opening ceremonies beginning at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith.

Co-chairs Robertson and Howe, along with other survivors and supporters, were determined to bring a breast cancer awareness and education event back to western Arkansas because there has not been one since 2019. Robertson said the inspiration for the event is very simple.

“There needs to be a renewed spotlight on breast cancer awareness in western Arkansas. Following the pandemic, many women have not had annual mammograms for as many as three years,” she said.

Consequently, many recent cases of breast cancer being detected are in advanced stages. Research clearly shows that early detection of breast cancer through manual exams and mammograms saves lives and may result in less stressful treatment plans. That means breast cancer education is very more important. The Reynolds Cancer Support House provides support services, programs, and cancer education for people all over western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma free of charge. The Paint Chaffee Pink event is a way we can increase awareness and support their mission.

Lorie Robertson, co-chair, Paint Chaffee Pink

The inaugural event will feature:

  • Breast cancer survivor brunch sponsored by Golden Corral
  • A live musical performance
  • Performance of the National Anthem by Israel Yamen, a Community School of the Arts vocalist
  • A short film about the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House sponsored by the River Valley Film Society
  • A survivor fashion show sponsored by M. Marie Salon & Boutique
  • A breast cancer medical update by keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Mackey, Mercy Fort Smith Oncology
  • A group photo
  • Door prize drawings

Each guest must purchase a ticket that will include a goodie bag and a t-shirt. Seating is limited.