FAIRFIELD — Raising cancer awareness and having a good time.
Those two things were on the agenda Saturday at Solano County’s inaugural PinkFest, on the lawn near the courthouse in downtown Fairfield.
Live music echoed through downtown and people wearing all shades of pink filed into the event to see Grammy-winning artists such as Santana lead singer Tony Lindsay and former Tower of Power frontman Rick Stevens.
“We’re excited. Things are great,” said Donna Quintero, executive director of Pink Lemonade, a Solano County nonprofit that provides support for cancer patients. “For our first one, we’re just excited about the talent that we have, the committee that we have, the volunteers, the participants, all the way around.”
All proceeds from PinkFest go to Pink Lemonade, Quintero said.
“We offer free services such as meals, light housekeeping, light lawn services, while they’re actively going through treatment,” Quintero said. “Things that you would put on the back burner, but they still nag you. So we just try and take a little bit of burden off them of regular life while they’ve got bigger things that they need to deal with.”
So supporting Pink Lemonade and raising cancer awareness were the main themes, Saturday.
Quintero said there was no goal for the fundraising, but she was hoping for around 500 people.
“Just to raise awareness and to support our community,” Quintero said.
Jeannnette Zanipatin, of Suisun City, was enjoying the afternoon’s entertainment with her daughters, Mikaela, 9, and Danilka, 6.
“We’re here to support all the breast cancer survivors and those still afflicted with breast cancer,” Zanipatin said. “We have a classmate of (Mikaela’s), her mom is actually one of the organizers, so we came to support her.”
For Zanipatin, it was about supporting the cause.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness within our community,” she said. “It’s a really awful disease for people to get and it’s really tough for them to overcome, so I think it’s important for the community to come out and support.”
“Amazing. We put this together in five and a half weeks,” Lopez said. “This event is all about awareness in our community. Yes, it’s a fundraiser for Pink Lemonade. One hundred percent of the funds raised goes right back into Solano County.”
Lopez also was clear that the focus wasn’t just on breast cancer, although October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“So it’s raising awareness for women and men regarding cancer, period,” she said. “Breast cancer, any kind of cancer, because cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither does Pink Lemonade.”
Bringing people together for an afternoon of fun was a good way to do that.
“So we wanted to raise the awareness in our community about resources available. Do your self exams, go get checked,” Lopez said. “And then have a little fun. Why we did music is because music is very healing, especially for cancer patients.”
She said events like PinkFest open up the conversation about cancer.
“It makes it OK to talk about cancer. It makes it OK to talk about breast cancer,” Lopez said. “Go get checked. The earlier they detect it, the greater your survival rate.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.