BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — A group of community organizations and businesses are placing their own “pink” touches on encouraging women to make their health a priority.

They are part of “In the Pink: A Program about Well-Health for Women,” to be held on Wednesday, May 3 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Belmar Municipal Building.

The event will be awash in pink — in the form of manicures and hair extensions to cupcakes and lemonade — and will offer a bit of pampering with shoulder massages, gift raffles and an inspirational talk by chiropractor Veera Gupta on how women can live healthier lives.

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The program also will convey one key message for all women about their breast health: Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. And that begins with a mammogram.

As part of Hackensack Meridian Health’s Paint the Town Pink campaign held in May, the program will feature Denise Johnson Miller, M.D., medical director of breast surgery for Meridian Cancer Care. Beginning at 7 p.m., she will lead a question-and-answer session that focuses on mammography’s role in breast cancer detection and prevention, among other breast health issues.

The female breast cancer death rate declined by 38 percent from its peak in 1989 to 2014 due to improvements in early detection (through increased awareness and screening) and treatment, translating to 297,300 fewer breast cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Still, invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in about 252,710 women in the United States this year, including 7,890 women in New Jersey, where an estimated 1,250 deaths due to the disease will occur, based on the ACS's latest statistics.

Claire Deicke, an event organizer, is a true believer in the importance of mammography. “I’m alive today because of a mammogram, which saved my life 16 years ago,” she said. “I want all women to realize the importance of mammography. With ever-changing and improving technology, mammograms can detect the tiniest of tumors.

“Early detection is the key. Mammograms save lives. This is the message of ‘In the Pink,’” said Deicke, a member of Belmar Cares, a support group for breast cancer survivors that’s been instrumental in the event’s planning and has donated a gift basket for the raffle.

She also belongs to the Belmar Woman’s Club, which is bringing the pink cupcakes and lemonade, and will offer a raffle of a handcrafted pink wreath created by member Rosemary Tormey

Other businesses and professionals donating their time to “In the Pink’ include:

  • @ease massage, Lake Como
  • Atelier 22, Belmar
  • Nail 1818, Wall
  • Shampoo Inc., Belmar
  • Vanity 18 Hair Studio, Lake Como
  • Retired beautician Carol Cupoli and sister Camille Witkowski, both of Belmar

Presented jointly by Belmar and Lake Como, the free event will be held at the Belmar Municipal Building, located at the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue.