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Maize and Blue GO PINK Recap of an Unforgettable Event

photo of people attending the Maize and Blue GO PINK event

On Friday, October 18, in Detroit’s Cadillac Square, three colors made history when the University of Michigan, together with Catherine and Nate Forbes (1985 AB, LSA) of the Forbes Company and Somerset Collection, hosted the first-ever “Maize and Blue Go Pink” benefit for breast cancer research at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC).

The event, months in the planning, kicked off with a blast of energy and style as members of the U-M alumni marching band and Detroit Pistons cheerleaders welcomed attendees, all dressed in maize, blue and pink.

Entertainment included a fashion show in which U-M and Detroit celebs — including Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon, U-M Regent Denise Ilitch, and former Wolverine Steve Hutchinson — walked the runway modeling fall fashions from the Somerset Collection in Troy.

Hutchinson, who went on to a 12-year career in the NFL, and his wife, Landyn Hutchinson, served as masters of ceremonies for the event. A strolling dinner was catered by several Ann Arbor and Detroit restaurants.

At the heart of the event were speakers who drove home the importance of putting a stop to this devastating disease. A highlight of the evening was a speech by Flora Migyanka, a mother of two and a breast cancer survivor who underwent extensive treatment at the University of Michigan. Ora Pescovitz, M.D., U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of Michigan Medicine drove home the need for more research, stating, “Breast cancer kills nearly 40,000 women a year in this country. You know what I think? I think this is unacceptable.”

photo of the original Vandellas at the Maize and Blue GO PINK event

Attendees channeled their passionate belief in a cure through a wonderful show of generosity. An auction-style fundraiser at the end of the night raised about $120,000 to support breast cancer research at Michigan.

The evening was further enlivened by musical performances by the Original Vandellas and the Contours with Joe Billingslea.

The CCC is so grateful to the Forbes family and the Forbes Company – owners of the Somerset Collection — for their sponsorship of this event. Throughout the month of October, the Somerset Collection’s North Grand Court was draped with pink fabric to frame a runway with 25 exquisite pink, maize and blue fashion items, part of a month-long silent auction that benefitted U-M’s breast cancer research.

The CCC is grateful, too, to all the businesses and volunteers who made this important event so successful.

Watch a video about breast cancer survivor Flora Migyanka.

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