Kathleen Kelly has been named Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior for the 137th Preakness® Stakes. Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior will serve as the official Preakness ambassador at all events leading up to and including the middle jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer organization, have developed a partnership to raise funds to aid awareness and research that will take place on Black-Eyed Susan Day, Friday, May 18. Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised will go to the Komen Maryland Affiliate to use for community outreach programs in Maryland and 25% will be used for life-saving breast cancer research.
The original Miss Preakness contest was refashioned in 2010 to honor breast cancer survivors and individuals who have made a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer. The name Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior is in recognition of Candy Coburn's popular song, “Pink Warrior”.
Kelly, who lives in Eldersburg, Md., is a 5-year breast cancer survivor and single parent of two young boys. She was first diagnosed on July 15, 2006 with stage 3 breast cancer but felt as if there was a deeper reason why she got breast cancer. She believes this reason is to provide hope for others with similar struggles in their lives. She is very much involved with several organizations, “Crabs for a Cure”, “Bras for a Cause” and “Survivors offering Support” and has devoted her life to educating and supporting those dealing with breast cancer.
“I am often asked how my life has changed since being diagnosed with breast cancer.” Kelly said. “A better question would be- how has it not changed? I truly wake up every single day so incredibly thankful for my life. I walk outside today and everyday and am overwhelmed by the beauty of the life that has been given to me. I am humbled on a daily basis by the kindness of others. Instead of being asked -How has cancer changed me? – I want to be asked -How have I helped those with cancer? My goal is to be able to answer – by providing hope- hope that a cure and a better life are just around the corner.”
Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior will represent the Maryland Jockey Club at official Preakness events throughout the week, including the post position draw on Wednesday, May 16, the Alibi Breakfast the following morning and at a prominent place on the storied cupola for the presentation of the Woodlawn Vase following next Saturday's Preakness.
In recognition of Komen's signature shade, Pimlico will be awash in pink on Black-Eyed Susan Day. The color pink will brand the day, with horses and pony riders on the track, who will be sporting pink saddle towels, featuring the unity logo representing both partners plus, valets and starters decked in pink gear, as well as the festive linens, flowers and banners that will blanket Pimlico.
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