SEPTEMBER: Event to benefit fund diagnostic breast cancer services to Rutherford County women

This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.
This photo is from Wine Around the Square in 2013.

The Third annual Wine Around The Square, a wine-tasting event to benefit the Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation’s The Power of Pink, has been set for Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. around the downtown Square in Murfreesboro.

Last year, WATS raised more than $128,000 to benefit The Power of Pink, a program that provides diagnostic breast cancer services to Rutherford County women who are uninsured, underinsured and indigent (Click here for tickets).

Local physician Dr. Susan Andrews is 2014 honoree

Dr. Susan Andrews was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2013, the same week as her daughter’s wedding and just days before leaving for a long-awaited trip to New Zealand. 

 “My first thought when I got the phone call was, ‘Really? Okay, what do we do?’” Andrews recalls. “I wanted to get things done quickly.”

She held extensive conversations with Saint Thomas oncologist Dr. John Barton, and radiation oncologist Dr. Charles Wendt, about her options.

“They were very practical,” says Andrews. “They were telling me my options, while being compassionate.” Today, Andrews is five months’ cancer-free, and is the honoree for this year’s Wine Around the Square event.

Square blocked off this year

The Murfreesboro downtown Square will be blocked off for WATS, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Sept. 20, thanks to a special permit issued by the Murfreesboro City Counci last month. That night, WATS guests will be able to stroll in and out of downtown businesses, enjoy food from participating vendors, taste donated wines and listen to live music. 

This is a major change for the event, according to Anne Davis, Executive Director of the Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation.

“We studied other similar events in Tennessee cities and around the country,” Davis said, “and the most successful wine tasting fundraisers we researched have an outdoor experience.  In an effort to raise more funds to provide mammograms, we are constantly looking to improve this event for our guests.  I appreciate our city leaders having the vision to let us try this idea that is new to our community.”   

Davis added:  “We believe this option will draw even more people to our event, and help us grow the fundraising base to help even more people receive diagnostic breast cancer treatment.” Last year more than 850 people participated in WATS.

Third annual event builds on first two

“Last year’s event was so much fun,” said event co-chair Patty Marschel.  “We had 800 people who came out to enjoy the cool evening walking, talking, tasting wines and enjoying great food and conversation.  This year, we want to invite even more Rutherford County friends and neighbors to buy a ticket, come join in the fun, and help provide diagnostic breast cancer screenings for Rutherford County women who can’t afford these vital medical services on their own.”

Wine Around the Square is a casual, fun evening outdoors, featuring a progressive wine tasting with more than 75 wines at multiple retail and office venues around the Square.  Each venue will be staffed with volunteers who will describe and pour wine for tasting before visitors proceed to the next station.  Last year’s event raised more than $128,000 to fund breast cancer screening and testing. 

The event check-in will be at the south end of the downtown Square, in front of Bink’s Outfitters.  Paid guests will receive an admission bracelet, a Wine Around the Square etched signature wine glass and instructions for the evening.  Parking is available at the City Center Parking garage located off Vine Street or south Church Street.

In addition to the progressive wine tasting, guests will enjoy live music by Casual Exchange and tasty snacks throughout the evening, courtesy of local restaurants. 

Strong history of raising funds to help other women

The seeds of Power of Pink were planted eight years ago when Patty Marschel's best friend, Susan Loyd, whispered to her the chilling words, "I have breast cancer."  The following year, Patty chaired a golf and tennis tournament to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which ignited her passion to do something to benefit local women.   Then, Rita Ash and Leslie Akins joined Patty to develop a wine and cheese event to help women here in Rutherford County. 

“I’m so excited about our third year of Wine Around the Square to benefit breast cancer treatment,” said Ash.  “I continue to be humbled by the support of our great community.”

The Power of Pink effort blossomed, and the group eventually partnered with Anne Davis and the Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation to increase Power of Pink's reach within the community.  This year, Caroline Lampley joins the team, co-chairing along with Ash and Marschel. 

“I am so excited to be involved in an event that truly supports the health of the women in our community, who may not otherwise have access to a mammogram that could save their life,” Lampley said. 

Patty's friend Susan has fully recovered from her bout with cancer, and today, thePower of Pink continues to help more local women every year to provide early breast cancer detection and to increase survival rates.  

Early bird tickets may be purchased at winearoundthesquare.org for $75 each; after September 14, 2014, tickets will be $80 each.  VIP Party tickets are $250 per person; the VIP Party will be from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the former Henry’s Florist building at 102 N. Church Street.  At 7 p.m., VIP guests will join the main Wine Around the Square event and enjoy the full range of wine samplings at local venues around the square.

Corporate sponsorships are available and can be customized to meet the company’s wishes; please email anne.davis@sth.org for more information.

Where the money goes

Proceeds of the 2014 Power of Pink Wine Around the Square event provide for mammograms and breast cancer care for Rutherford County women who cannot afford the treatment, as well as the Saint Thomas Health/Susan G. Komen/Power of Pink/Our Mission in Motion mobile mammography coach.  The coach serves a number of Power of Pink patients; event proceeds provide for a portion of the nurse navigator’s salary.

During the last fiscal year, 529mammograms were provided for Rutherford County women---up 200 mammograms from the previous year---thanks to WATS and The Power of Pink.  All funds raised at Wine Around The Square remain in Rutherford County and provide care for Rutherford County women.

"The opportunity to help provide cancer screenings and health care for local women is dear to my heart.  I never dreamed that Power of Pink would grow to this level! We are so thankful for our many supporters," Marschel said.

Wine Around the Square will proceed rain or shine.  Guests drinking wine must present photo identification at the event for age verification before receiving an admission bracelet.  To insure a safe ride home, event organizers will alert local cab companies to make cabs available in a central location for those guests who prefer to take a cab home at the end of the evening. 

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