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Pink Ribbons: Women organize to help cancer patients

October 20, 2012
By Dorothy McKnight ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - Melanie Pirkola of Ford River and Jenna Nyman of Escanaba are making beautiful music together. Not only are the two women associated with local band, Madison Avenue, they have paired up to form Pink Ribbons, whose goal is to assist women who are being treated for breast cancer.

Pink Ribbons was organized by Melanie and Jenna in June 2012 to assist their friend and fellow band member, Denise Makosky, who is fighting with stage 3 breast cancer.

Denise plays saxophone for Madison Ave.

Article Photos

Dorothy McKnight | Daily Press

Jenna Nyman (standing) and Melanie Pirkola have organized Pink Ribbons, a non-profit group that assists women who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

"Denise isn't working right now and doesn't have insurance," Jenna said. "But although we're helping Denise right now, our goal is to help others who are in need."

The two women are working with 18 other volunteers to help organize fund-raisers for breast cancer patients.

"We meet regularly at Elmer's as a group and chat about ways we can help people who do not have insurance or only limited insurance," Jenna explained. She said the group works closely with the Delta County Cancer Alliance and hopes to connect cancer patients with any of the resources that are available to assist them with the transportation and medical supplies and equipment they may need. But as a more important service, the women have helped Denise with a few fund-raisers - one scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Eagles Hall in Escanaba.

Jenna said she has a personal interest in assisting breast cancer patients because her own grandmother died of breast cancer.

"Melanie and I have never done this before so we're trying to learn all we can about what's out there," she said. "We are arranging fund-raisers - either dinners and dances or rummage sales - for Denise and then we're going around getting donations from area businesses. We ask for donations of food or auction donations. But we've got a lot of research and learning to do."

Melanie said an account in Denise's name has been set up at U.P. State Bank of Escanaba and Iron Mountain to assist with monetary donations. Donations can also be made by using the secure Pay-Pal in the donate section of the bank's website.

For more information about Pink Ribbons or their efforts to assist Denise, contact Jenna or Melanie at



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