Strong turnout for PINK PARADE

Organizers of the 2nd annual PINK PARADE are pleased with the turn out in support of Breast Cancer Awareness last Saturday, October 1.

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On Saturday afternoon at 4pm marchers left the John Larmonie Center on the Longwall Road in Philipsburg, led by The Boys Brigade and Generation New Status marching bands, along with groups representing various businesses and individuals who wanted to support the cause, walked the length of Frontstreet and ended at Holland House on the Boardwalk where they were treated to live music and entertainment and also received important information about the disease.
Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot-Williams and Minister of Health Cornelius DeWeever were both in advance along with members of their cabinets. Foundations and businesses which sent representatives included St. Maarten Trails, St. Maarten Mental Health Foundation, Chuchubi Foundation, Safe Haven, St. Maarten Cable TV, GEBE, Hardrock Cafe, Scotia Bank, Heavenly Water and Chippie Cafe; the latter two were also sponsors for the event.
Shelly Alphonso, President of the Positive Foundation, said that the turnout had been impressive.
"We were very happy with the amounts of people who showed up to support the cause and also with their creativity. We had the ladies of St. Maarten out with their pink umbrellas decorated with pink ribbons and also we had Pauline Gumbs-Smith whose costume made us crown her ‘Queen of the Band’, because it really depicted breast cancer awareness and also recognized those who had passed on because of the illness," Alphonso said.
According to Alphonso the march was the official launch of a month of activities organized by the Positive Foundation in collaboration with local radio personality Mercedes "Elektra" Wyatt. Wyatt also took the opportunity to present the newly established Elektralytes Foundation to the public.
For Monday, October 3, the two entities have teamed up with GEBE NV for a special lighting ceremony at GEBE headquarters on W.J.A. Nisbeth Road. As a part of the breast cancer awareness campaign the local electricity provider has agreed to light its building pink. The event will begin with a few words by all organizations at 6:30pm and thereafter the switch will be flipped, lighting up the headquarters and a specially constructed pink ribbon. The lights will be within easy viewing of motorists traversing this busy street throughout the month of October calling awareness to breast cancer and the fight to eradicate it. Alphonso is encouraging the public to come out and view this lighting ceremony and to actively seek out information about breast cancer throughout the month of October.
"We must remember that early detection remains the best protection against this disease and we must all do our part to stop it," Alphonso said.