Some wore polka dots, others stripes, but all 350 pink-pajama-clad women who took over an Indianapolis hotel earlier this year had something more notable in common — they all had survived breast cancer.
The annual Pink Pajama Fundraiser hosted by the Indiana Women in Need Foundation (I.W.I.N.) has all the elements of many typical fundraisers: The evening starts with a champagne toast welcome, an elegant dinner, recognition of donors and sponsors and a salute to survivors. Beyond that, though, it turns into a true girl's night replete with massages, reflexology treatments, wig fittings, styling tips, motivational speakers, raffles, live music and dancing.
"It's so uplifting and inspiring — we always have speakers who are survivors and it's uplifting to hear their story of kicking cancer's butt," shares Liza Doepken who sits on I.W.I.N.'s board. "It is an emotional event, like a roller coaster. It's very much a celebration, though."
Doepken adds that the entire evening often tends to be an escape for many women — a way to forget about their ordeals but still declare that they are alive and well.
"It really is a ball!" quipped Doepken.
All attendees this year left the Pink Pajama Fundraiser with plenty of freebies from businesses that attended, plus a fun tote bag, made possible by a grant from 4imprint®'s one by one® Program, as a memento of the fun had and the stories exchanged.
I.W.I.N. helps women during breast cancer surgery and treatment with $500 grants to use toward services like child care, housekeeping, yard work, pet care, personal errands, transportation or fuel costs, fitness activities and more. Serving the entire state of Indiana with a special outreach focus on rural communities, women breast cancer patients undergoing treatment are eligible to apply for a no income criteria grant from I.W.I.N.
"That's why we're here. If we can help one person, our work is worth it."
For more information about Indiana Women in Need Foundation, please visit