Pink Party helps Reds raise awareness in fight against cancer

June 24th, 2022

The second annual Pink Party presented by St. Elizabeth took place Wednesday night at Great American Ball Park.

In the spirit of raising awareness for the continued fight against breast cancer and supporting those who have battled the disease, the Reds and St. Elizabeth Healthcare once again teamed up for a special night at the ballpark. With June’s Reds Country Cares initiative focusing on Health and Wellness, also presented by St. Elizabeth, and it being National Cancer Survivor month, Wednesday’s ballgame was the perfect opportunity to put on such an important event.

“The Pink Party is a great fit for St. Elizabeth,” said Matt Hollenkamp, vice president of marketing and public relations at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “It gives our community a wonderful opportunity to honor all those affected by breast cancer and every other form of cancer. It’s also meaningful because it’s a platform to help us spread important messages about cancer prevention and education. We’re a very proud sponsor of the Pink Party and all those involved with making it happen.”

The event began with a pregame party in the First Star Fan Zone, emceed by former local news anchor and breast cancer survivor Kathrine Nero. The Fan Zone festivities included live music, a special “Pink Drink,” cotton candy, photo opportunities, and a Reds player wives basket raffle benefiting the Karen Wellington Foundation (KWF).

The foundation was established in 2007 after the passing of Karen Wellington, who battled breast cancer from the age of 30-40. The KWF organizes special trips and fun-only activities for women and families living with breast cancer.

"We are thrilled to be back at Great American Ball Park for the second annual Reds Pink Party with St. Elizabeth,” KWF marketing manager Angeline Wellington said. “This night is all about celebrating countless women and families LIVING with breast cancer. We are incredibly grateful to be honored on such a special evening, especially considering all Pink Party and raffle donations will continue to help us fuel our KWF mission: a mission that encompasses our vision to put FUN on the calendars of ALL women and families LIVING with breast cancer."

Ticket packages were available leading up to the game that included a ticket for the Reds vs. Dodgers game, Pink Party T-shirt, and the opportunity to take part in a pregame, on-field parade. A portion of each ticket package also benefited the KWF.

Reds players wore pink wristbands for the game to show their support. During the game, there was activation on the video and LED boards around the ballpark, including pre-submitted photos of fans with their loved ones who are battling or have battled cancer that were shared during inning breaks. Additionally, representatives of St. E’s and the KWF participated in various in-game features throughout the evening.

The night’s most impactful moment came later in the night. Upon entry into the game, all fans received a Pink Party placard they used to write the name of a loved one who has battled or is battling cancer. At the end of the sixth inning, fans participated in a “stand up” moment where they stood while holding their placards to honor those individuals. Both Reds and Dodgers players and coaches participated on the field. It was a moving moment that was broadcast live during the telecast on Bally Sports Ohio, with broadcasters John Sadak and Barry Larkin among those taking part in the tribute as well.

“What a special night at Great American Ball Park, as we came together to honor those impacted by cancer while having fun at a Reds game,” said Karen Forgus, Reds senior vice president of business operations. “It was a powerful moment when the players and fans stood in silence, holding up the names of those close to their hearts. We hope everyone in the ballpark and those watching at home felt encouraged by this tribute.”