The third annual Pink Tie Party at Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel on Oct. 18 raised nearly $70,000 for Maine Cancer Foundation, which provides prevention, early detection and access to care. The event also raised nearly $8,000 for Ben’s Fight, a nonprofit created to give funds directly to local families with a cancer diagnosis.

Amid the festive atmosphere with dance band Tickle and pink ties, pink dresses and pink cocktails with pink garnishes, many of the guests spoke of family experiences with cancer.

“I started this event three years ago with my boss at the time, Larry Stoddard, along with Deb Lennon and Lana Westcott,” said interior designer Sarah Welch of Arundel. “My mom’s here with me tonight, and she’s a two-time breast cancer survivor. Our family has been involved with cancer walks in the past, but I wanted to do something more.”

Her mother, Susan Wormwood of Biddeford, said, “I’m five years cancer-free. And I’m so proud of everybody for getting together to raise money for a good cause.”

“That’s how these events get started,” said Tara Hill, executive director of Maine Cancer Foundation. “People are touched by cancer and want to make a difference.”

“We wrapped this event around the design community originally,” said Stoddard, who owns Distinctive Tile. “But everybody has connections to cancer.”

“There’s a lot of cancer in my family,” said interior designer Jan Robinson. “I want to get some money raised.”

“My sister has had cancer and is living because of research,” said Sherrill Whetsell of Kennebunk. “That money we give to research is so important.”

Julie Ann Chase of Cape Porpoise, who recently had a double mastectomy and finished chemotherapy, said, “I started a blog because, at one period, I was the only person in my immediate circle who I knew had cancer. I was only 48.”

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

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