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Ladies Night Out in Sycamore draws crowd

SYCAMORE – To Anna Zantout of Sycamore, the sea of pink in downtown Sycamore on Thursday not only promoted breast cancer awareness, but showed those with the disease they are not alone.

She and her daughter Laura attend Ladies Night Out every year. It’s a family tradition, Anna Zantout said. Mothers, daughters, groups of girlfriends and more wearing pink flocked to State Street to shop and support the cause Thursday.

The event’s organizer, Dawn Sukach, said more than 60 participants signed up and would give a portion of their proceeds from the night to breast cancer research – specifically, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. One hundred percent of the money made from the silent auction is donated as well.

Sukach, who owns D&D Jewelers with her husband Don, said she was pleased with the turnout despite the chilly weather. Women sported pink leis, boas and pink ribbon
temporary tattoos. Stylists from the JC Penney salon gave women pink hair extensions. Vendors sold purses, jewelry and shoes and downtown shops opened their doors to welcome passers-by. Deb Bemis, KishHealth System director of oncology services, said the event informs the community of the disease and celebrates those who are going or have gone through it. Those at the KishHealth System booth offered information about breast health and breast cancer.

“Everybody’s been touched by somebody with cancer,” said Sycamore firefighter Adam Honiotes, who helped sell pink T-shirts with fellow firefighters.

Promoting her newly-developed local chapter of Positively Pink Packages, Cheryl Chilson of Sycamore was excited to tell others about the nonprofit. It’s an organization that delivers care packages to women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis or are undergoing chemotherapy, including informational or comfort care items, to let them know someone is thinking of them.

Chilson, a breast cancer survivor, began her mission to support fellow cancer patients more than a year ago. On Thursday, she delivered her first four care packages and then met one of the women who received one at Ladies’ Night Out.

“The emotion never goes away,” Chilson said. “It’s a dream come true.”

Members of Women of the Moose, Chapter 745, offered cookies and lemonade to those walking by. Groups of women chatted and laughed as they walked up and down State Street and browsed in shops. Friends of Hinckley resident Melodie Treptow, currently being treated for breast cancer, brought her to the event for her first time.

“We’re her support group,” said Cherry Keller of Sycamore.

“It’s very nice to see a lot of people out supporting this. It touches many, many lives. More than we know,” Treptow said.

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