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College Park Partnership, City of Orlando and Florida Hospital for Women kick off Pink Out College Park

The College Park Partnership, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 3 City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart, in partnership with Florida Hospital for Women, are excited to launch Pink Out, an initiative that will raise funds for breast cancer screenings and support awareness efforts through the sales of the iconic yard flamingo at local businesses.

“As a local business owner, I am excited that Pink Out is coming to College Park. This is a great way for our businesses and community to not just show our support for breast cancer awareness, but to make a real impact in women’s lives right here in our neighborhood,” said Melissa Hart, owner of Cookie Cousins and president of the College Park Partnership, an Orlando Main Street.

As part of this initiative, Edgewater Drive is turning pink throughout October, and on Wednesday, leaders formed College Park’s first flamingo “flock” in Albert Park. Additionally, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 3 City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart officially proclaimed October 2015, “Pink Out College Park Month.”

“The City is proud to support this initiative and innovative idea of our College Park Main Street and we are grateful for the support from Florida Hospital to help bring attention to the important issue of breast cancer,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “As a Mayor, a husband, a son and a father, I urge our residents to talk with your friends and loved ones about the importance of breast cancer screening and early detection, diagnosis and treatment.”

“Pink Out College Park is a great opportunity for College Park residents and merchants to come together and show our support for women in our community,” said District 3 City Commissioner Robert F. Stuart, whose district includes College Park.

Pink Out College Park is a unique way local businesses are joining together in the fight against breast cancer and helping to raise funds to provide for breast cancer screenings in the Central Florida community. Proceeds from the College Park flamingo sales will go to the Florida Hospital for Women Mammography Scholarship Fund, which is available to women who are uninsured or otherwise can’t afford a mammogram.

A similar fund at Winter Park Memorial Hospital has helped nearly 180 women who otherwise could not afford breast cancer screenings. Several of those women were diagnosed with cancer and received treatment.

“Florida Hospital has a long-standing commitment to women that is demonstrated in many ways, including breast cancer treatment, research, and awareness, and by making screenings accessible through our mammography fund and mobile mammography program,” said Dr. Lori Boardman, medical director of Florida Hospital for Women.

Pink Out College Park comes just a few months before Florida Hospital for Women opens its new 12-story patient tower nearby. Services at the new hospital will range from oncology to obstetrics to mental health.

Although the nation’s goal for breast cancer screening is 81 percent, only half of Central Florida’s women received a mammogram last year, Boardman said.

Among those who helped kick off the launch of Pink Out College Park was Maria Guthrie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and treated at Florida Hospital.

“I encourage all women to make their health a priority. Stop, take a break from your hectic schedules, and make an appointment for a mammogram,” said Guthrie, co-owner of The College Map in College Park. “It could be the screening that saves your life.”

Several College Park businesses will sell the pink flamingos throughout October for $10 each. For every flamingo purchased, Florida Hospital will add a flamingo to the “flock,” which was started Wednesday in Albert Park.

For a list of participating businesses, visit pinkoutcollegepark.com.