Event planner and catering lead Jodi Fyfe has long been an integral part of the Chicago hospitality scene. Since 2005, she’s brought her skills to bear on an endeavor close to her heart. After Fyfe’s cousin died of breast cancer, Fyfe created Tickled Pink and Carrie’s Crusade, both of which help raise funds to fight breast cancer. Fyfe spoke with Our Town about her campaign.
Our Town What motivated you to create Tickled Pink?
Jodi Fyfe I created Tickled Pink in 2004 after my cousin and best friend, Carrie Kenney, lost her battle with breast cancer. After Carrie's death at the tragically young age of 35, I was determined to keep my cousin’s fun-loving spirit alive. I formed a team for a 2004 breast cancer walk. She was the best person I knew, and I wanted to find another way to remember her the way that she lived, always so vibrant and fun-loving, and she inspired me so much. So Tickled Pink was born!
OT How do you think you were able to transform grief into proactive goal-setting?
JF Year after year, in her honor, I continue to give back to breast cancer organizations so that they can help others like Carrie deal with the questions, fear, and pain she faced while battling breast cancer. My continued goal is to help get the word out and generate money so no one else has to face this battle alone.
OT How does Tickled Pink work?
JF In 2005, I gathered a group of close friends and colleagues to start Tickled Pink Chicago in honor of Carrie. In February 2005, the first Tickled Pink party was thrown and we raised $35,000. Every year, the party and team of individuals that came together to celebrate those affected by breast cancer have grown, and to date [we’ve] raised more than $900,000. We all dedicate and donate our time to plan and leverage our business connections to sponsor this wonderful event. From the venue, to the catering and food sponsors, lighting, décor, entertainment, we have a great committee.
OT What sort of work does Carrie’s Crusade do to raise awareness?
JF We partner with breast cancer organizations to help raise funds for their programs, support networks and help get the word out. We are proud to be walking in the Komen Chicagoland Race for the Cure on Mother's Day as part of Carrie's Crusade. The event raises money to support breast cancer education and screening in the Chicagoland area, and funds research in hopes of finding a cure for breast cancer.
OT What are your fundraising/ awareness raising plans right now?
JF We are hoping to sign up at least 100 people to walk with Carrie's Crusade in the Komen Chicagoland Race for the Cure and aim to be among the largest fundraising teams. We are also gearing up for Tickled Pink 2014 which will be held again at River East Art Center on Friday, February 28th 2014.
To learn more or get involved go here.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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