SOMERVILLE, NJ – In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the sixth annual Pink Out initiative, managed by the Somerset County Public Works Department, recently collected 270 comfort gift bags for donation to patients battling an illness.

The gift bags, containing both fun and practical items, were presented to patients and their caregivers at The Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. 

“The Pink Out initiative is even more successful this year; I’m happy to say that every year we receive more and more donations,” said Freeholder Patricia L. Walsh, public health liaison. “For the past six years Pink Out has been donating comfort bags to these patients, many of whom have told us that the bags are useful, entertaining and much appreciated, which makes this endeavor so rewarding.”

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Items were collected and assembled by Somerset County employees. Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione, Freeholder Walsh, Freeholder Mark Caliguire, along with executives, physicians and staff members of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset pitched in and presented the comfort gift bags to patients. Alsp helping to distribute the gift bags were Justus Battista, Ken Wedeen, Jacqueline Wosatka, Stacey Davis, Kelly Mager, Janet Elbert, Walter Lane, Ellen Sweney, Melanie Kowal, Vivienne Jones, Laurette Kratina, Ben Morales Alicia Meyers, Public Works Director Paul McCall, Steeplechase Medical Director Dr. Kathleen Toomey and Robert Wood University Hospital Somerset President Anthony V. Cava. 

The Pink Out initiative was started by Tara Kenyon, former principal planner of the Somerset County Planning Board, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed and successfully treated five years ago.