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Missouri Community Shows Their Pink Pride

By BCRF | July 10, 2015

Paint the Parkway Pink Raises $115,000 for Breast Cancer Research

Each year, Franke McDowell spearheads a fundraiser unlike any other. Her close-knit community of St. Joseph, Missouri, dons pink as they walk down their local parkway to honor those affected by breast cancer. For Franke, the cause is personal. Her mother Teresa died of the disease when she was 34 years old.

“Losing my mother at only 14 was life changing. She was only 34 and her life had just begun,” Franke said.

In her mother’s memory, Franke rallied her town and started Paint the Parkway Pink in 2009. Two years later, a portion of the event’s proceeds was directed towards BCRF. Since then the event has raised $115,000 for the Foundation.

“After researching several organizations, we found that BCRF guaranteed a high percentage went to research. We were impressed with BCRF’s publicly posted financials especially regarding where the proceeds go and how much is donated to research itself,” Franke said adding that in 2013 the committee decided to donate a portion of its proceeds to the local Breast Cancer Auxiliary located in St. Joseph.

The event’s committee, comprised of a few of Franke’s friends, have played an integral role from the start. Thanks to their outreach efforts, local sponsors have supported the event and interested participants have poured in. The goal the first year of Paint the Parkway Pink was 500 registrants; an overwhelming 926 people registered that year.

Now in its seventh year, Paint the Parkway Pink continues its mission to raise awareness on early detection, prevention, genetics, causes, and risk factors.  This year the walk will be held on October 3 to kick off breast cancer awareness month.

“I want to help save lives so that no one has to go through what my mother experienced,” Franke said, “and that no one feels what it’s like to have to loose someone close to them to breast cancer.”

To learn more about Paint the Parkway Pink visit