Dawn Panfil, owner of Hair and Body Solutions Salon and Spa in New Berlin, is a small business owner with a big dream: a world without breast cancer.
Now six years cancer-free, Dawn remembers what it was like to be out of the salon for a year during her breast cancer treatments. “After I completed my treatment at Aurora West Allis Medical Center I knew I wanted to use my salon to help others” Dawn said. And that is exactly what she did.
Hair and Body Solutions became the first salon to partner with Aurora Health Care Foundation’s Pink Possible campaign, which supports local breast cancer research efforts, education, prevention, patient experience and survivorship programs. The salon raised $2,790 their first year.
Then, Dawn hit the streets to encourage other small businesses to join her. Matt Anderson of Matty’s Bar and Grille in New Berlin was excited to make a difference in the local community. “It was a great fit for Our Monday Night Lady’s League (MNL2) at Matty’s that comes together every Monday night throughout the year for fun, education, wellness and philanthropy.”
Jen Carter, who works at Matty’s is proud of the way the community rallied around the Pink Possible fundraiser. “Last year we raised $1,500 and this year we raised $5,000,” Jen said. “That’s a big jump! And we expect it to be even bigger next year!”
Dawn attributes the event’s success to the commitment of so many small businesses that were involved this year, especially Sprecher Brewery, The Gingerbread House, Tobin Jewelers and the 20 salons who participated.
“We all understand how important it is to give back to the community that supports us as small businesses,” Dawn says. “And we give to Pink Possible because we know the donations stay right in our community and help our own friends and neighbors.”
Dawn’s passion is contagious and she is encouraging other small businesses to join the fight against breast cancer by supporting Pink Possible throughout the year. “I think all breast cancer survivors are warriors – it is a battle from the day you are diagnosed. We have to help them so they don’t have to fight alone.”
If you would like to learn more about how your business, church or school can get involved in Pink Possible, contact Jeannie Jackson at 414-219-7378 or Jeannie.Jackson@aurora.org.