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Maple Downs spreads breast cancer awareness with a ‘Field of Pink’

Karen Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. When she was home in Maryland for treatment, she noticed clusters of pink flags in the ground, and thought they made such a great statement that she decided to bring the idea to Fayetteville this year.

Karen Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. When she was home in Maryland for treatment, she noticed clusters of pink flags in the ground, and thought they made such a great statement that she decided to bring the idea to Fayetteville this year. Allie Wenner

— Two years ago, Karen Jones, the community manager at Maple Downs, an independent senior living community in Fayetteville, was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she returned home to Maryland for treatment, she noticed clusters of pink flags in the ground, which she later found out were there to raise awareness for breast cancer. And Jones thought it made such a great statement that she decided to mirror it along route 5 this year, at the edge of Maple Downs’ property.

“It’s a very simple thing – kind of understated, but you certainly notice it when you drive by,” Jones said. “We have a number of women here at Maple Downs who have gone through that process and we wanted to project that people really do need to be aware. Early detection is really crucial to the process.”

Jones did a Field of Pink last year when she was working at a similar senior living community in Ohio and said it was a huge success. But this year, she decided to go a step farther and partner with other senior industry professionals to support the Field of Pink.

The Fayetteville Senior Center, Wynwood senior living and Emeritus are a few of the organizations who donated to the cause to purchase their own flags to go in the field. Jones said she’s been pleased with the outcome – her goal was to raise enough money to put up 5,000 flags, but by the time each organization has set up their flags, about 8,000 will be propped in the ground.

“Next year I’d like to see it grow larger; to be incorporated into other parts of the community,” Jones said. “Banks, restaurants – the more people involved, the better.”

Jones said that Maple Downs has already sold all of its flags for this year, but if anyone is interested in purchasing a flag for $1, they’d be to put names on the flags in memorial of someone who may have passed or in support of someone who may be going through the process now.

For more information about the Field of Pink, call 637-0297 or visit Maple Downs at 7220 East Genesee Street, Fayetteville.

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