By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
The last time Karen Jackson, president and national founder of Sisters Network, came to Tupelo, a local chapter was only a dream.
When she returns Aug. 27 as the keynote speaker at the Pink Ribbon Luncheon, she will be hosted by a vibrant chapter that is a strong link in the national African-American breast cancer support group.
“They have done phenomenal work,” Jackson said.
The Tupelo chapter wanted to do something special for its 5th annual Pink Ribbon Lunch & Fashion Show, which will be held at the BancorpSouth Conference Center.
“It just makes it that much more special,” Derring said of Jackson’s presence. “It’s time to celebrate life, especially for survivors.”
The event also will include a fashion show from Belk, entertainment from singer Keith Stalworth of Atlanta and shopping opportunities. WTVA’s Sunya Walls will be the mistress of ceremonies.
In 2002, Jackson was the featured speaker at the Survivor’s Lunch hosted by the Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure. The Sisters Network chapter was founded the next year in 2003 and continues to enjoy the support from the Komen affiliate.
“I’m really pleased with the reception and openness to the chapter,” Jackson said.
The grants from Race for the Cure affiliate, along with Project Hope and Tupelo chapter’s own fundraising efforts, made it possible to assist about 200 women with mammograms in 2010, Derring said.
“Our main focus is making mammograms available,” Derring said.
Jackson said she’s more hopeful than she was nine years ago.
“I never expected to be living 18 years ,” said Jackson, who will officially celebrate 18 years of survival in October. “The Stop the Silence message is working, not as fast as I would like or hope. But women have become a lot more comfortable.”
• 11 a.m. Aug. 27, BancorpSouth Conference Center, Tupelo
• Tickets are $25; sold in advance only
• Call (662) 842-3440