Looking for a few good women

By Molly MacDonald

The lady in the pink  boucle suit designed with a nod to Coco Chanel ,stood up and asked her questions of the keynote speaker.

It was September 2007 and I was attending the Detroit meeting of Ladies who Launch, check out www.ladieswholaunch.com .  The speaker was Fara Warner, journalist and author of The Power of the Purse. (Incidentally, Ms. Warner was one of our early supporters.)

The lady in the pink suit was not to be ignored.  I don’t even really remember her questions, but they were pointed and designed to make the speaker think.  She was holding her accountable for her statements.

In the first breakout session together I found myself seated near Ms. Pink Suit and decided to ask her a few questions of my own.  I told her about The Pink Fund and she shared with me that her mother in law had died from breast cancer as had her very best friend at Ford Motor Company, from where she had recently retired.

Susan was interested in making a contribution to The Pink Fund through her new start-up company.

Fast forward a few months and she shows up at one of my speaking engagements to present the check.  It was small, but the gesture was large.

And it was then that the friendship began.  A friendship of mutual respect and caring that blossomed over the next year to the point where I asked her to consider serving as a Director of The Pink Fund.

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and went through financial stress more difficult than the diagnosis itself  I dared to dream of creating a fund that might help other families experiencing similar stress.

It was up to me to look for a few good  women and men who exhibited both competence and character, so that when those qualities overlap they became trusted advisors and leaders.

Susan Golinske, Ms. Pink Suit, was our first Board member.

I met the second woman who would become a trusted friend in the summer of 2004.  Emily was a graphic designer with a newborn baby.  At  the time I was selling large and grand format graphics, think huge outdoor banners on buildings and vehicle wraps.   I had some ideas about graphics which I thought Emily might properly execute and thus began the meetings and blossoming friendship.

When it came time to create a logo for The Pink Fund, Emily was my first choice.  Her design of the ubiquitous pink ribbon joined with the life giving heart is a perfect reflection of our mission—a heart for helping others.

She too sits on our board as graphic designer extraordinaire and secretary.  Emily told me today, this position gives her a mission beyond her daily routine of raising her delightful and precocious five year old son, while continuing some semblance of work as a graphic designer.

Looking through a glasses clearly has been the profession of Muriel for more than 30 years as independant contractor selling eyewear.

I first met Muriel when I conceived an event to benefit The Pink Fund in the spring of 2006.  Since then Muriel has chaired this event, encouraging fine eyewear retailers to Share our Vision to help women and families in financial distress.  To date this event has raised the majority of funds from which The Pink Fund has made bill payments on behalf of these women.

Muriel is no stranger to breast cancer, having lost her own mother to the disease.

Her position on the Board is one of commitment and compassion.  And a very dry sense of humor.

Our few good women will in time be joined by others we meet and learn to trust, as well as I hope, a few good men.

Speaking of good men, I would be most remiss if I do not give a nod to Tom Pettit, my husband, who because of our relationship cannot sit on the Board, but because of our relationship, holds The Pink Fund close to his own heart.

Tom is the creator of The Bust Handler, a book in process about his own journey as a spouse to a Breast Cancer Survivor.  He is also a trusted advisor and tireless volunteer to The Pink Fund. Much of what we have accomplished, most importantly our 501 (c) (3) status would not have happened  without Tom’s attention to detail.

I am thankful to each of these individuals for standing up, asking the tough questions, and holding The Pink Fund accountable.

After all, it is the beating of our collective hearts that allows us to work together for the benefit of others.

Please let us know how we can help you.

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