For them, it’s personal.
The South Jersey Federal Credit Union (SJFCU) is going pink this month to heighten awareness of breast screening to prevent breast cancer.
“It does not discriminate, so we all at this table and most of the staff here personally…has been affected by cancer. So it’s important to get involved,” assistant vice president (AVP) controller Camille Gadsden said.
For the month of October, each of its seven South Jersey branches is selling pink ribbons for $1 and employees are encouraged to wear pink on Fridays throughout the month. SJFCU’s corporate headquarters in Deptford will also be lit in pink lights.
In addition, several SJFCU employees are participating in Bras for a Cause, an evening run by the Women’s Council of Realtors Southern NJ region, with 100 percent of the proceeds that evening and from the pink ribbons going directly to the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.
The partnership with Cooper started in 2016, with SJFCU associates Gadsden and Claire Davies leading the way. They both serve on the Cooper Foundation’s host committee to help raise funds. For them and other associates within SJFCU, the focus on fundraising stems from personal experience, if not with their own battle, then with close loved ones.
Davies, assistant vice president of loan operations, is a breast cancer survivor for 11 years. Gadsden has seen her mother battle with cancer. Sara Lipsett, government, institutional and community representative, has a mother who succumbed to breast cancer in 2016. Ken Barnshaw, vice president of governmental affairs & community relations and a Deptford Township councilman, lost both his mother and sister to breast cancer.
For them, it’s part of who they are and this month is a way to show their support and help raise funds.
“It’s my way of giving back to everyone that was there for me. If their family member needs it or someone they know, anybody actually, I’m willing to help,” Davies said. “The only way for people to discover (cancer) early … is to make people aware.”
SJFCU and other organizations around the area are aiming to raise $1 million this year in time for the Cooper Foundation’s 10th anniversary Pink Roses Teal Magnolias brunch at the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill on Oct. 27.
Last year, more than 850 people attended the brunch and raised $850,000, according to the foundation’s website.
“We’re on the side of hope, we see it as the glass half full. We’re hoping that the money that is raised goes toward the cure and beats out this horrible disease that victimizes the unfortunate people that deal with this,” Barnshaw said.
Members of the SJFCU can purchase a ribbon until the end of October across each of its seven South Jersey branches. Their corporate headquarters is located at 1615 Hurffville Road, Deptford.