A rosy glow was cast on Downtown Howell Thursday as community members clad in pink converged on the city for the 10th annual Pink Party.

Proceeds from the yearly town-wide fundraiser are donated to St. Joseph Mercy’s Brighton Cancer Center to support breast cancer research and the expansion of related services. Pink Party President and CEO Diana Biermann says the event is held “for the community, by the community”, as party-goers continue to extend their impact. Since the party's inception, the generated funds have been used to purchase imaging technology, a sterotactic add-on device to the mammography unit and a breast MRI coil. The money is also used to fund a genetic counselor and to aid uninsured and underprivileged women.

Biermann says they aim to “fight fear with fun”. There was no shortage of fun at this year’s party, which included fitness sessions, traveling entertainment and a parade of survivors and supporters. The evening ended by crowning the “Queen of the Night”, who is Tiana Mammoser, a first-time party guest who recently moved to Houghton Lake from New Mexico. Some of Mammoser’s family members are new residents of Howell and encouraged her to come to the party with their group, “We Came For The Mammaries”. Mammoser tells WHMI she wants to spread a message of hope, adding, "...that’s the great part of humanity-projects like this.”

Also in attendance was Pamela Dilucia of Howell- a two-time breast cancer survivor who was first diagnosed in 2014, and then diagnosed with stage-four terminal breast cancer when it returned in 2016. She was later started on a trial chemotherapy pill and has had immense success, with one lesion on her hip becoming non-active and one on her other hip healing entirely. Though she is still technically classified as having stage-four cancer, her doctors have labeled her as showing no evidence of the disease. She says she wants to tell her story because she too needed a story of hope and encouragement while in the hospital.

Through the years, the Pink Party has raised approximately $200,000 for St. Joe’s Cancer Center. Biermann says they’ll know in a couple of months what was raised at 2018’s event. St. Joe’s recently opened its new breast imaging center at the hospital’s Brighton location, offering screening, diagnostic and biopsy services. (DK)