Thinking pink pumpkins to benefit breast cancer patients

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

LLH network pressBy Kate Day Sager Olean Times Herald

ALLEGANY — After Laurie Anzivine lost her life to breast cancer six years ago, family members decided to honor her by making blankets in her memory.

In the past two years, family and friends of Laurie Anzivine have taken the honors a step further by decorating and selling pink pumpkins to raise money for local breast cancer patients. The group also is raffling off tickets for several prizes.

The current fundraiser was coordinated by Laurie’s sister-in-law, Lynn Anzivine, who recently decorated and sold 46 pumpkins to area residents with the help of other volunteers. The event is being held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is observed in October.

“Last year, my niece and I started decorating pink pumpkins … and my son, Lou, drew the breast cancer ribbon on it,” Lynn Anzivine said. “It was Lou’s idea to sell the pumpkins (last year) for Peter and Parker Harris’ mom (Pearl Harris, a breast cancer patient.)”

Lynn Anzivine said the pumpkins were decorated in her garage and sold this year to benefit Mrs. Harris, as well as two other breast cancer patients from the community.

“Everything we have has been donated. All the pumpkins have been donated by Miller’s Farm Market, Pumpkinville and Pleasant Valley Greenhouse,” she said. “If anyone wants to make a donation of smaller pumpkins, we will gladly accept them.”

Materials for the decorations also were donated, as well raffle items that include wine glasses with breast cancer insignias, KA-BAR dozier knives, crocheted pink caps, breast cancer canvas signs and blankets.

Venues where raffle tickets can be purchased include the Jason Clemons Salon on East State Street and DBP Realty on Wayne Street.

Lynn Anzivine said the group hopes to hold the fundraiser annually and would be willing to help other local breast cancer survivors in the future.

“We’re just a group of people who got together for a common cause,” she said of volunteers who include Kim Ackerman, Pam Pezzimenti and several youngsters.

Another volunteer, Jean Wright, said she contacted Lynn Anzivine to help after she read about it on Facebook.

“I just wanted to help,” Ms. Wright said.

Students who have joined in on the fundraiser include Olivia Noelle, a ninth-grader from Olean High School. She said Laurie Anzivine was her aunt.

“I want to help out people like my aunt. She was the nicest person I ever knew,” Olivia said when asked why she helped make blankets for the raffle.

Parker and Peter Harris, both Allegany-Limestone High School students, said they were happy to help the fundraiser because their mother appreciates the support. They said their mother had breast cancer surgery this week in Buffalo and is doing well.

Lynn Anzivine said the group would welcome additional pumpkins, donations and materials to purchase decorations to sell more items before the end of the month.

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