If there’s a magic spell for making breast cancer awareness festive, JoAnne Christman, founder and president of Witches Wear Pink, has it perfected.

In its fifth year, the Witches Wear Pink cocktail party moved from its home base in Falmouth to the Portland Club on Oct. 6 and raised more than $25,000 for the Maine Cancer Foundation.

Christman, having seen “too many family and friends” deal with breast cancer, decided to start a fundraiser. Undaunted by competing with Halloween season, she combined the two.

“One in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime,” Christman said. “I’m standing here because I want to make a difference.”

Maine Cancer Foundation Executive Director Tara Hill said, “We are very grateful that year after year JoAnne and her team have been passionate about changing the story of cancer in Maine. All the money raised stays in the state and goes toward prevention, early detection and access to care.”

As the Witches Wear Pink organization has grown over the past five years, it has become not only a fundraiser but an informal support network for survivors, a way to honor those who lost their lives and a push to remind women about mammograms.

“I had a pretty aggressive cancer and had I not had my mammogram done – it really saved me,” said board member Donna Wieland of Scarborough. “I’m alive, and that’s the best gift ever.”

Event emcee Eva Matteson of Coast 93.1 was diagnosed 12 years ago after she had a mammogram done in an on-air segment. “I got on the passion train for this because it affected me,” she said.

“We’ve all been touched by breast cancer in some way,” said Sarah Abbott, a Witches Wear Pink board member from Falmouth.

“My mother-in-law, Roni Feuer, passed away from breast cancer and my mother, Amal Saad, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago,” said Simone Feuer of Falmouth. “So it’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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