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Cancer Support V.I. Joins the Territory in Celebrating, Honoring, and Bringing Awareness to Warriors with Cancer

CSVI’s Pinktober 2023 Campaign. (Photo from CSVI website)

Nonprofit organization Cancer Support of the Virgin Islands (CSVI) Celebrates October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The organization honors victims of all cancers and works to educate the VI community about the many ways it can support and raise awareness during the month, which CSVI calls “Pinktober.”

Pinktober is an annual, month-long fundraising effort in October devoted to supporting individuals battling cancer, and CSVI has planned numerous events across the USVI. The Source spoke with Barb Michaud, Director of CSVI, and Jerah Coviello, Branding Marketing Expert, to learn more about CSVI, including the objectives the organization aims to achieve during the Pinktober initiative.

“We are an active fund of the Community Foundation in the Virgin Islands,” Michaud said. “Collaboratively, we raise awareness and funds. What’s really important for our community to understand is that 100% of every dollar we raise goes directly to assist cancer patients in the Virgin Islands,” Michaud continued.

Michaud noted that CSVI Patient Advocate Anique Harrigan has navigated support of over 252 grants which award funds totaling over $570,000.

“We are trending to far exceed our grants and grant dollars from 2022 as we anxiously await the reopening of Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute,” Michaud explained. “The center is slated to reopen within 18 months, according to acting CEO Tina Comissiong at Schneider Regional Medical Center. We must find creative ways to ensure we leave no cancer warrior behind,” Michaud stated.

Pinktober 2023

“Pinktober 2023 is the 10th Anniversary of Cancer Support VI. In the last ten years, Cancer Support VI has collaborated with St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix communities to accomplish raising over $985,000 for those in the USVI impacted by cancer,” Michaud explained. “Each year leading up to 2023, CSVI has collaborated with schools, local businesses, churches, Government entities, and alike to support awareness and raise funds for those in the USVI impacted by cancer.”

 

Multiple fundraising events will occur throughout the remainder of October, and the community will have many opportunities to participate and offer support. Notably, donations to CSVI in October will be matched dollar-for-dollar by CSVI sponsors.

 

“We’ve kicked off Pinktober with our online launch on CancerSupportVI.com, where we are hosting all the information about the events we’re putting on. We have a lot of community partnerships that include things like ‘pink drinks,’ and ‘pink eats,’ and [donation] match sponsors,” explained Jerah Coviello, who is helping to handle brand marketing for the campaign. Events and volunteer opportunities will occur on all three major islands in the USVI, and a detailed schedule provided by CSVI is included below.

Cancer Support VI (CSVI) celebrates 10 years. (Photo from CSVI website)

“No Cancer Patient Is Left Behind”

Michaud’s experience with battling cancer years ago helped to inspire her to work to help others in need. She stresses the importance that the organization brings, both financially and emotionally, to individuals undergoing cancer treatment. Michaud acknowledged that it can be challenging for individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis to ask for help. She emphasized that CSVI is determined to offer as much support as possible for those in need.

 

“We want to assure no cancer patient is left behind,” Michaud assured. “[Individuals] can seek support by calling 340-514-8647 or through our Patient Advocate, Anique Harrigan.” (Additional resources are also available on CSVI’s website.)

 

Additional resources are also available on CSVI’s website.

Becoming Involved with CSVI and Pinktober

Community involvement is crucial to the success of fundraising for those seeking medical treatment, and CSVI urges residents and visitors across the territory to join in their goals of offering assistance. Pinktober is the perfect time to participate.

“You can go to our website, CancerSupportVI.com. There you will see everything about Pinktober: the events we have going on, the partnerships we have, and where you can get out and lend support. You can also donate on the website, and your donation is doubled dollar-for-dollar by our match sponsors,” noted Coviello.

In addition to CSVI’s website, information and updates can be found on the group’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Upcoming Pinktober Events: (The following list has been provided by CSVI.)

– Saturdays & Wednesdays – Give Cancer the Boot – Saturdays at Cost U Less & The Market STT / Wednesdays at various locations around St. Thomas. Look for the pink boots to donate.

– Sunday, Oct. 15 (2:00 p.m.) & Friday, Oct. 27 (6:00 p.m.) – Cycle for Breast Cancer with Sweet Fit VI – Sweat for cancer patients in the VI. $30 per class. Sign Up with Anique at 340-514-8647.

– Sunday Brunches (10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) – St. Thomas Social – Reserve any Sunday in October, and for every Cruzan Rum drink sold, CC1 will donate $2 to CSVI.

– Saturday, Oct. 21 (6:00 p.m.) – Witches Night Out – Calling all witches for the 5th annual witches bar crawl to raise funds for CSVI. Tickets are $100 and are on sale now! Click here to purchase tickets.

– Tuesday, Oct. 24 (5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) – Pink Bingo with the Shack at Hull Bay -Join us for the famous Tuesday Bingo nights. Buy a hibiscus Spritz and proceeds go to CSVI.

– Friday, Oct. 27 (3:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.) – Pumpkin Party with Lattes in Paradise – Get into fall and carve pumpkins, raffle prizes, costumes and more. Tickets are $60, and space is limited. Contact Jenny to reserve your ticket at 928-607-6575.

– Saturday, Oct. 28 (6:30 a.m. sharp) – A Walk in Faith with Living Hope Cathedral – Calling all faiths to walk along Waterfront to Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute in support of cancer patients in the VI. Open to the public.

Pink Drinks & Eats initiatives throughout the island:

– Pink Soca Rum Seltzer brewed and canned by local Leatherback Brewery exclusively for CSVI. Available all year in the can. A percentage of the proceeds goes directly to cancer patients in the Virgin Islands through CSVI grants.

– Tap N’ Still – 9th year of pink bags. For every order, .25 cents are donated to CSVI.

– CC1 – For every Cruzan Rum drink sold at specific locations, $2 is donated to CSVI. Drink pink at Bernies, Smoking Rooster, ITP, Enkai, XO Bistro, Dog House Pub, Duffys, One Pub, Shupes STX, Sibs on the Mountain, and St Thomas Social.

– and more to come!

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