The Chicagoland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure presented the second annual class of Pink Tie Guys at the Tribune Media Group's Pink Tie Gala at the Riverfront Theater Oct. 19.
Overall, the evening was dedicated to vibrantly thinking pink. Throughout the gala, attendees enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and DJ'd music while encouraged to make donations as well as hear a variety of personal stories.
In the spotlight, however, were this year's Pink Tie Guys, a group whom the community nominated and the Komen Chicagoland Board of Directors selected. The honorees include a range of male leaders residing in the Chicagoland community that hold a personal connection to breast cancer or dedication to philanthropy. As Pink Tie Guys, they will serve as ambassadors to the Chicagoland Affiliate by attending signature events and advancing resources to support the mission of Susan G. Komen Chicago.
"We are honored to have these outstanding leaders in the Chicagoland community working with us to fulfill our mission of a world without breast cancer," said Michael Ziener, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Chicago in an accompanying press release. "While traditionally a woman's disease, the reality is, men can get breast cancer and men are deeply impacted by the effects this disease has on their mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and other loved ones."
The group of KoMEN includes Honorary Chairman of Counsel to the firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (and former Chicago Mayor) Richard M. Daley; Chicago Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman; Windy City LIVE Co-Host on ABC 7 Chicago Ryan Chiaverini; Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Bechara Choucair; 2nd Ward Ald. Robert Fioretti; Imerman Angels' Jonny Imerman; UIC Cancer Center's Victor LaGroon; Ernst & Young's Jim Legothetis; Cancer Treatment Centers of America's the Rev. Percy McCray; Walgreens CFO Wade Miquelon; and Dr. Steven T. Rosen, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.
Candace Jordan and WGN-TV's Dina Bair conducted the ceremony. Members of the inaugural class of Pink Tie Guys were present to welcome the new class. The Tribune Media Group donated to Susan G. Komen Chicago in honor of the Pink Tie Guys.
"This is a great event and it's great to see Komen continue its commitment to really making a difference on breast cancer and really trying to eliminate the breast cancer disparities in Chicago, which is one of our goals as a department," Choucair told Windy City Times. "It's much less about me. It's more about the work we're doing as a department and at the end of the day we do want to close the gap in disparities and breast cancer mortality in Chicago. I know we can do it. I'm honored to be part of this group; it really reflects the work that the Department of Public Health and the city of Chicago is doing."
Choucair (who appeared with partner Kenneth Edwards) explained that October is filled with breast-cancer awareness promotion, activities and events, but the Chicago Department of Public Health wants to keep awareness high all year round, while getting more women screened resulting in early detection. Different programs throughout the city, he says, specifically reach out to the LGBT community.
Additionally, he offered various methods women can take to get free mammograms at the Chicago Department of Public Health such as calling 311 or finding them on Twitter to schedule an appointment, or going to any of the five locations.
"This is not an impossible mission," he said. "The mission really is possible to make a difference around breast cancer. For me, the importance is how do we continue to raise awareness in Chicago about breast cancer? How do we close the gap and disparities in breast-cancer mortality between white women and Black women? This is really the important part at the end of the day and if there's anyway I can be of service, I'm ready to make a difference and I do want to make a difference. We are making a difference as a department. So it's exciting to be part of all this."