top of page

Pink Gala celebrates grant recipients


May 27, 2023

Courage, resilience and determination — all this is needed and more for a fight against cancer, a difficult journey which no one should go through alone.  Every year, our amazing community comes together to honor that journey at the Thriving Pink Gala.  Over 280 attendees and supporters lifted up and lit pink candles together at the beautiful Yin Ranch Estate to recognize the 26 grant awardees, and many other survivors and thrivers in our community.  

“Our hearts are filled with gratitude for our caring community which supports so many local women and their families,” said Thriving Pink Executive Director Leslie Hunter.  All proceeds from the Gala that was held on May 5, 2023 directly benefit Granting Pink, a core Thriving Pink program which provides financial assistance for urgent and immediate needs.  “A total of over $278,400 in critical individual grants have been provided since we started seven years ago” shared Granting Pink Chair Rose Cholewinski of SwimAmerica Davis.  All recipients are from Yolo County and many are newly diagnosed women referred to Thriving Pink by local medical doctors and nurses. In addition to the much needed financial assistance, Thriving Pink is dedicated to providing a compassionate network of resources ranging from Pink Peers and mentors, to support groups and professionally facilitated educational workshops.

Many grant awardees who came to the Gala event were overwhelmed with the incredible love and support from our community.  “I work two part-time jobs to support my family.  When you see me, please know that you see my faith, my family, my two daughters, and this amazing community. I was 27 years old when I was diagnosed and went through a double mastectomy and treatment.  This means so much to me,” shared Maria Del Rio, a grant awardee. 

Many Local Pink Heroes were recognized as Community Service Awardees and partners at the Pink Gala including Linda Dunn of Bloom Again, the George & Lena Valente Foundation, Dr. Claudia DeYoung of Kaiser Permanente, Tana Toll, RN at Dignity Health, Dr. Alicia Silva of Sutter Hospital, and Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza. Health care partners from Sutter Health, Kaiser, Dignity Health, Northbay Health and CommuniCare also joined the special event.

A special presentation also recognized Davis Firefighters Local 3494 for their unwavering commitment as Platinum Pink partners of Thriving Pink.  “We have been with Thriving Pink from the beginning and it is amazing to see this volunteer driven organization grow over the years.  The Pink Team is really making a positive difference for so many and we’re so honored to be part of it,” shared Emily Lo, Davis Fire Department Battalion Chief/Local 3494. 

A special thank you to our dedicated event committee who made this night so special, including Emma Hunter, our Gala Chair/Co-MC, and Krysten Cholewinski, our Co-MC.  The special occasion was made even more beautiful by Kelly Currywood of Circle Z Farms who provided the floral centerpieces as gifts for the awardees.

This Gala event’s incredible success, thanks to our generous donors, partners, volunteers, and supporters, has raised over half of the annual amount needed to replenish our Granting Pink Fund.  All donations directly help those in Yolo County impacted by breast cancer. To give or donate to Thriving Pink, visit  

Thank you to all our wonderful community partners and sponsors:

Pink Gala Presenting Sponsors:  Kaiser Permanente Napa/Solano, Dignity Health, Jim & Lucinda Childress, Woodland McDonald’s, Yin Ranch

Pink Gala Table Sponsors:  Sutter Health, Gayle & Stan Barry, Mary & Harris Liu, SwimAmerica Davis, Mara & Dennis Lindsay, Perfect Union, Brooks Painting, Robert Wiebe & Joni Rubin, James Anderson, FIT House, CC & Regina Yin, Jim & Lori Schilling-Davis, Yolo County Supervisor Lucas Frerichs & Stacie Frerichs, Kaiser South Sacramento.

Platinum Pink Partners:  Davis Firefighters Local 3494, Woodland McDonald’s, The George and Lena Valente Foundation, In Memory of Ann Murray Paige 

Hot Pink Partners: Black Bear Diner Davis,  Blue Sea Resources Inc & Celeste Hanagan, Cancer Champions, Coleman Fung,  JoAnn Stodden, Jim & Lucinda Childress, Brooks Painting & Jeremy Brooks, Kathleen & Paul Hart, Michael & Mary Miller, Vandergriff Brent Family Fund, Zumbathon Team, In Memory of Adrienne Anderson, ARP Mini Grant Yolo County, Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health

Bright Pink Partners: Guneet & Bubbly Bajwa, MD, Davis Ace Hardware & Aggie Ace Hardware, Davis Enterprise, Kim Eichorn, Patty & Dave Krueger/Greiner Heating & Air, Jim & Colleen Schneider, NorthBay Health Care, Robert Wiebe & Joni Rubin, SwimAmerica Davis, Lori Schilling-Davis & James Davis, Woodland Sunrise Rotary, Lleyton Yang, Katie and Bryan Bolich, Bobtail Apparel, ACEs Aware Mini Grant, Sutter Health, Davis Food Co-Op, In Memory of Cindy Ditler (partial listing). 

—Submitted by the Thriving Pink board of directors.

bottom of page