, Newburyport, MA


September 27, 2013

Thinking pink

Local woman teams up with schools, businesses in fight against breast cancer


The high school sports teams will also show their support by adding pink accents to their uniforms during the month of October. The soccer team even has new pink nets, ordered by athletic director Bob Clarke, who Flaherty said is a big part of the effort along with teacher Susie Galvin, the senior class adviser.

The Newburyport schools hold a special place in Flaherty’s heart. She was working as the assistant to Superintendent Francis Bresnahan, who died of colon cancer in 1993, when she got her second diagnosis and said the support from her co-workers was incredible.

“When I was working there, I was going through my cancer, and so was Francis Bresnahan,” said Flaherty, who was a longtime Newburyport resident before moving to Hampton, N.H., last year. “They wrapped their arms around me.”

Bresnahan’s daughter Mary Anne Clancy, the vice president of communications at the Institution for Savings, has also been instrumental in Flaherty’s fundraising.

“She came to us three years ago,” Clancy said. “She had this vision of making Newburyport a pink community for the month of October. It’s obviously a cause that is very, very personal to her.”

The bank has embraced the color, changing all of its deposit slips to pink for the month of October and printing breast cancer messages and tips on coin envelopes. Employees also wear their support on Pink Tie Tuesdays and Pink Fridays.

Businesses can also sponsor pink ribbons on downtown light posts for $100, and raffle baskets are set up in all of the branches.

“We really go pink for the entire month,” Clancy said. “The theme this year is, ‘We’re banking on a cure.’”

The Institution for Savings is raising money both for Team Flaherty and the new Gerrish Breast Care Center, which is opening at Anna Jaques Hospital later in October. The bank’s main office on State Street also drew some stares a couple of weeks ago when 80 employees gathered on the front steps to film a segment for Anna Jaques’ entry in the Pink Glove Dance Competition, which awards a $25,000 donation to the winning hospital’s breast cancer charity of choice.

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