In the pink in Pittston

I mentioned here a year ago that I had never heard of Thomas Pink shirts until Mary Kay and I were standing in front of the flagship store on Jermyn Street in London in 2002.
I had been dabbling in the world of major fundraising the previous two years under the tutelage of Thomas R. Robinson. Tom had just formed the group TRR & Associates. At first, he had one associate, me. Soon thereafter we were joined by the ultimate fund raiser Bobbi Steever, who now works with Bobby Tambur.
Tom was, and is a fastidious dresser and since he would be celebrating his birthday while I was traveling, I wanted to bring him not just any gift, but something exclusive. A tie from Thomas Pink was perfect. Tom appreciated the box and wrapping as much as the tie.
One or two Thomas Pink stores have since popped up in the U.S. and Thomas Pink shirts are now available at exclusive stores such as Nordstrom.
I bring it up today because of the nature of the name Thomas Pink.
The first Thomas Pink store opened in 1984, but the fame of Thomas Pink goes back to the 18th Century. Thomas Pink, the person, made clothing for Great Britain’s well-to-do. His most popular items were hunting jackets, the kind you might see in old photos of fox hunts. Although the hunting jackets were made of rich red, or scarlet cloth, because of the tailer’s name, they were called Pink.
And if you were fortunate enough to be wearing one for a hunt, you were said to be feeling, you may already have guessed, “in the pink.”
I love little stories like this, but when it comes to the color pink I love what is going on in Pittston even more.
Paint Pittston Pink, a two-week long fundraiser to aid breast cancer research, wraps up its third year this weekend with a celebrity bar tending event tonight at the Red (Pink for tonight?) Mill Tavern in Pittston, and the color Me Pink 5K Run, Family Walk, and wildly entertaining Gentlemen’s Dash tomorrow. Saturday’s events begin at 11 a.m. The Gentlemen’s Dash is at noon.
Paint Pittston Pink is the brainchild of Barb Sciandra, a breast cancer survivor. Barb was diagnosed during her pregnancy with her youngest child, Cameron, now almost 5 years old. That was in 2012. Now cancer-free, Barb shows her gratitude by raising funds to support the Pennies in Action Fund at the University of Pennsylvania.
The first Paint Pittston Pink fundraiser in 2014 raised $50,000 of which, after expenses, $30,000 was donated. Last year, the donation climbed to $50,000 with gross donations totaling $80,000. The goal this year is $100,000.
Paint Pittston Pink has 501(c)3 status which makes all donations tax deductible.
Tonight’s celebrity bartenders are Priscilla Cooney, Dr. Chris Peters, Dr. Mark Lyons (the guy who keeps me healthy), Dr. Audra Kiefer, Jerry Mancinelli (a guy who could help make me not healthy, if I am not careful), Mike Smith and Renee Phillips Sutkowski.
The Gentlemen’s Dash, in which I participated last year, will feature 11 local men racing on Main Street in high heels. Each is out to raise as much money as he can. As of this writing, the group is over the $35,000 mark.
My friend Jerry Mancinelli will be in this event, too, but I am most proud of my Citizens Voice colleague Joe Nealon, who is closing in on the $5,000 mark.
I am also thrilled over the pink Citizens Voice newspaper racks all over town. You’ve probably seen them. I stopped in for a Paint Pink Pittston event at Sabatini’s Tap Room and Bottle Store last Sunday afternoon and the first thing Barb Sciandra said to me was, “Did you see the pink Citizens Voice things in town?”
That was sweet to hear.
Barb’s enthusiasm, as with all things, is infectious.
You can still donate to Paint Pittston Pink by going to and searching for Color Me Pink or by sending a donation to Paint Pittston Pink at 70 Pinewood Drive, Laflin, PA 18702.

Ed Ackerman