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Capturing hope: Breast cancer survivors display portraits
October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, kicks off with Portraits of Hope
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During the month of October, enlarged portraits of 36 local women will be displayed in the storefronts on the square. Though the women vary in age, shape and size all of them have one thing in common — they are all breast cancer survivors.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Newton Medical Auxiliary Board is again partnering with Main Street Covington for Portraits of Hope.

Members of the NMC’s Women’s Diagnostic Center’s support group are selected to have their makeup done by Merle Norman cosmetologist Jeanette Facer and their portraits taken by professional photographer Kimberley Brown.

"It’s like a pretend Glamour Shot except its not really glamorous because it shows every wrinkle and line," said Kay Goff, cancer survivor and support group member. "She [Brown] said, ‘this is a moment in the history of your life and we’re not going to add or subtract.’"

Goff helped hang the portraits on Tuesday and will finish hanging the remainder today. She said merchants had been very receptive to creating beautiful displays festooned with pink, the official color of breast cancer awareness efforts.

The auxiliary board’s kickoff to Breast Cancer Awareness month is set for Thursday at the Portraits of Hope reception scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Newton County Historic Courthouse.

Goff said the reception was so well attended last year, the board decided to move it to a larger venue so even more could attend this year.

"Breast cancer not only affects the patient," Goff said, "but everyone who loves them as well."

Atlanta choir "Shades of Pink" — comprised of singers who also are all breast cancer survivors—will give a performance as the highlight of the evening.

"When they walk in that room, they take it over," Goff said. "It’ll bring you to your knees."

Goff encouraged all auxiliary board members to attend the reception and afterward to walk around the square to view the portraits and read the individual stories about each woman’s personal battle with breast cancer.

"This is a brave thing they do," Goff said. "They put a very private thing in their life out for the public to see just to bring awareness to breast cancer."

Connie Waller, director of Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful, is one of the 36 women featured this year.

"That’s one of the lists I’d rather not be on," Waller said, "but if I had to be on a list, I’d rather be on the survivor list."