Painting in Pink

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 31, 2012

By David Vitrano


GARYVILLE – Although the actual Relay For Life event is being held today at Highway 51 Park in LaPlace, at least one team got a head start on the fundraising when Team Snippers held its Painting in Pink event at Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet School last Saturday.

Modeled after the popular Corks ‘n’ Canvas events in which participants try their hand at imitating a painting while sipping wine, the event supplied participants with paints, canvases and refreshments. The wine, however, had to be left off the menu as the school is a drug and alcohol-free zone.

The lack of adult libations did not discourage participation, however, as about 65 adults and 15 children participated in the event.

“It’s going great,” said Darcell Anderson, team captain and event organizer, as her guests busily worked on their masterpieces.

She said the event raised about $2,400 for the cause.

For the artwork, Anderson enlisted the help of co-worker Kim Hooper, who painted a fleur de lis/pink ribbon piece especially for the event.

“The fleur de lis is for the south, and the ribbon is for cancer awareness,” she said.

While the event did show that just about everyone possesses at least a modicum of artistic talent, it also demonstrated that nearly everyone has been touched by cancer in some way.

“My sister-in-law died last week of cancer,” said Faye LaBiche as she toiled on her painting.

Another painter, Edna Smith, said, “I have a cousin who was just diagnosed a few weeks ago with breast cancer.”

The stories of struggle and survival echoed throughout the room that day, but one story in particular stood out. Camelia Anderson, a 27-year cancer survivor, was, in some ways, the inspiration for Painting in Pink. That’s because she is Darcell Anderson’s mother, and she and her daughter participated in Relay For Life for the first time last year.

“It feels good,” said the elder Anderson. “It’s been 27 years. I feel good. It’s just inspiring to me.”

Today, Team Snippers will be out at the park raising more money for the cause by selling food and playing a version of Words With Friends. The team will be wearing its signature pink T-shirt emblazoned with the team’s logo and motto, “cutting away cancer, one snip at a time.”