The Pink Ribbon Ball returned this year with a commitment to raise $1 million for the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation over eight years — and has already exceeded expectations.
Founder Anthony Salituro said setting a yearly goal of at least $125,000 over the next eight years would bring the total to $1 million but, with the Return of the Pink Ribbon ball raising $160,000, Salituro's commitment will likely be reached sooner.
Once $1 million has been raised, the money will go toward cancer care at Royal Inland Hospital.
“It's exciting. There were so many generous people and businesses in Kamloops that came forward,” Salituro said. “We sold out. When we announced the Pink Ribbon Ball in May, by the first week of June we were sold out.
“So, we are just looking at how we are going to grow next year. Because so many people want to be involved, we are going to find a way to raise even more money.”
Salituro founded the Pink Ribbon Ball in 1997 to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in honour of his aunt, but retired the event in 2013 after 16 years of fundraising.
The year of the finale, the Pink Ribbon Ball was held at Interior Savings Centre with more than 600 people in attendance, raising $132,000 for diagnostic imaging equipment at RIH.
Salituro said he felt it was time to bring the event back, with a new reinvigorated committee.
“For a few reasons, for a few personal reasons and also just because people in the community had asked for it,” he said. “People really wanted it and it was time. I love doing that type of work, giving back to the community I grew up in, so I think it’s good. It feels good.”
Salituro said the goal is to look at the hospital wish list once the total is reached — and the total will be reached, he says — putting funds toward whatever equipment or technology is needed for cancer care.
The date for the 2018 fundraiser has already been set, with next year’s Pink Ribbon Ball happening on September 22.