The 21st Annual Pink Affair, TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation’s signature fundraiser, returns in-person March 19 at the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta.

The Pink Affair was set to take place in 2020 only to have to move to a virtual format with only two weeks to go. The 2021 event was also virtual. This year’s event will feature a seated dinner, complimentary wine and beer, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing. Auctioneer Dean Crownover is back to lead the event and Dana Barrett will emcee.

TurningPoint is the only nonprofit of its kind in metro Atlanta and the entire Southeast in terms of its focus on providing critical survivorship services to breast cancer patients of all backgrounds, including some men, and has been in existence since TurningPoint was founded in 2003.

Pink Affair Committee Chair and Board of Directors member Kathy Smith started with the organization as a Zeta Tau Alpha alumna. The sorority had routinely supported Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure, but in 2001, decided to support a local nonprofit. That year the very first Pink Affair auction was held in the living room of one of the alumnae raising $1,800.

“In 2007, sorority members left a message with TurningPoint asking if they could use some of the funds they had raised at The Pink Affair,” Smith said. “Jill Binkley, founder of TurningPoint, returned our call and said, ‘Yes.’ I continue to volunteer as TurningPoint’s gala Committee Chair because of the wonderful work they do for individuals and families affected by breast cancer.”

There have been some 40,000 patient visits since that time. TurningPoint’s services include physical therapy, massage therapy, emotional support, nutritional counseling, educational programs, and exercise classes. In the last couple of years, the organization has expanded its footprint by providing tele-rehab and then through partnerships in other cities, states and even overseas.

“TurningPoint provides women and men with the means to become the person they want to be, instead of the person left behind by breast cancer,” Smith said.

Each year, funds raised from the Pink Affair support three of the nonprofit’s primary programs — delivery of reduced-fee and complimentary services, direct financial assistance that allows all patients access to care and outreach programs to underserved and unserved patients in our community and beyond.

Less than 10% of breast cancer patients are told the importance of incorporating exercise and rehabilitation into their treatment plans, particularly considering how it can not only increase the pace of a patient’s recovery but can prevent recurrence.

Breast cancer survivor and mother of three Ashley Franks was a patient with TurningPoint in 2014. Franks was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2013. After going through six months of chemotherapy, she underwent a double mastectomy and hysterectomy at the age of 32. One of the hardest things about cancer, Franks said, was not being able to physically hold her baby boy after the surgery. Following her surgery, her plastic surgeon recommended TurningPoint.

“After one physical therapy session at (TurningPoint), I was able to come home and hold him,” Franks said. “As you can imagine, I was crying tears of joy. I am passionate about supporting (TurningPoint) in any way possible, because I can’t imagine going through my journey without them. They helped me thrive after cancer. I want to give back so that other women/men that may not be able to afford it, can receive the same treatment that I did.”

Since then, Franks has been a guest speaker at Pink Affair and served on the Host Committee. Current Host Committee chair Angie Dumler also volunteered with TurningPoint after being the daughter of a TurningPoint patient. Dumler was also a board member for five years.

“After my Prophylactic Mastectomy last year, I turned to the organization for my recovery and they truly delivered,” Dumler said. “My daughters were able to see the positivity and light in my journey as they witnessed my strength come back and their mom return to her pre-surgery self. I have seen this organization from many different angles, and my support is unwavering.”

The 21st Annual Pink Affair is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at myturningpoint.org/the-pink-affair.

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