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Breast cancer foundation creates special endowment at PJC

Published or Revised March 07, 2018

Pink ImpACT cancer survivor gift

Pink ImpACT Executive Director Sherry Thompson (at left) and PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin (right) sign the endowment agreement as Pink ImpACT Board Chair Woodye Mercer looks on.

Through a generous gift from the Pink ImpACT Breast Cancer Advocates, future survivors of the disease or their dependents will have the opportunity to receive a scholarship to attend Paris Junior College.

“This endowed scholarship is a gift to the college that will benefit students for many years and make a difference in someone’s life each year,” said PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin. “We are so appreciative of Sherry Thompson’s dedication to helping breast cancer survivors and their dependents attend college.”

Helping others is what Sherry Thompson, from Pottsboro, Texas had in mind when she created the Pink ImpACT Breast Cancer Advocates in 2014. As a breast cancer survivor herself, now seven years cancer free, she fully understands the plight of those suffering with the disease and their families.

Her efforts are a direct response to her own battle with breast cancer. When diagnosed, her children were in high school. Her four-year battle made Thompson realize just how it could have affected her and her children.

“The worst thing would have been if my kids would not have been able to start college because of my illness,” she said. “I want to grow this endowment to help survivors and their children as we go forth.”

Throughout her treatments, then-divorced Thompson had her own financial battles in finding resources to see her children received a college education.

“Thanks to the help of scholarships, we made it happen!” Her daughter was attending Texas A&M University and graduated in 2014 and her son is working in a family construction business.

In attempts to afford other survivors the same blessing and opportunity, she has created an endowed scholarship fund and hopes others who are survivors to donate to this fund at PJC. Each gift is tax deductible.

“I was very blessed with the love and support of family and friends during my journey with breast cancer,” said Thompson, “so I wanted to pay it forward.”

In addition to Thompson’s efforts to assist with education, she is also a certified mentor for survivors.

According to the organization’s website, the goal of http://www.pinkimpACT.pink is “to help with your new normal!”

Going forward Pink ImpACT, a faith-based organization headquartered in Grayson County, invites others who have suffered breast cancer or have been touched by this disease - or any cancer for that fact - to consider making a charitable donation to PJC to add to the corpus of the endowment. 

“Our hope is to continue to grow this scholarship fund and working with the College, we will be reaching out to the medical community and school districts to help identify those who could benefit from this new endowment,” Thompson said.

To date, the organization has hosted monthly “Bunco” nights with proceeds benefitting the foundation. In the fall, a walk was held at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Sherman, Texas.

Woodye Mercer, a 17-year breast cancer survivor and Pink ImpACT board chairman, said, “Many women who have undergone breast cancer treatments are unable to take part some events, such as a 5K run. But the opportunity to casually stroll through such a place of natural beauty as Hagerman and observe wildlife, birdwatching, a butterfly garden and much more while raising resources to help others is a wonderful mix.”

The organization is planning a spring and fall event this year at the Refuge.

Thompson has already put the Lamar County Relay for Life on her calendar and plans to take part in the event.

“We want to do all we can to find ways to help families in crisis who desire to attain an education or assist them in seeing their children have the opportunity,” Thompson said. She fully understands the financial strain it can put on families and hopes to make a difference.

Having worked full-time in the cosmetology industry for 36 years, Thompson has begun her “exit strategy” and will be spending more time as a mentor to others going through breast cancer and growing not only their overall program but strengthening their financial goals for this endowment.

While Pink ImpACT is based in Grayson County, Thompson has strong Lamar County ties. She is married to Todd Thompson, son of Jo Ann (Thompson) Parkman.

Thompson is anxious to have the opportunity to share her story with organizations and service clubs in Lamar County and can be reached at 903-821-8837 or by email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Should you wish to donate to the new PJC fund, please mail your gifts to: Derald Bulls, Director-Institutional Advancement, Paris Junior College, 2400 Clarksville Street, Paris, TX 75460-6258, or call (903)782-0276 to make a gift by credit card or for more information.

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