Laini Fluellen Charities’ Pink Tie Affair Celebrates 12 Years

Fundraiser Strives to Raise Record-Breaking Funds in the Fight Against Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Laini Fluellen Charities, along with Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, will host the 12th annual “Pink Tie Affair” on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Casino in Gary. The LFC Pink Tie Affair is a charitable event created to raise funds to support research and education initiatives as well as resources for patients diagnosed with breast cancer, especially triple-negative breast cancer.

The “Pink Tie Affair” is our sentinel event and annual celebration created to acknowledge the support of those aligned with LF Charities’ goals and objectives”, shares Diane Artis, LF Charities Board Chair.

“All contributors are greatly appreciated. Additionally, the gala is an opportunity to celebrate entities and persons who are trailblazers within their outreach community or industry. Ultimately, there is great excitement and expectation of an enraptured evening, continues Artis.

In addition to raising much-needed funds in the fight against breast cancer, it is an opportunity to uplift the stories of community advocates and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding service to the NWI region and are striving to help eradicate the disease.  New to the award categories is the Tranece Artist Trailblazer Award (TATA), named for the Charity’s executive director emerita. This year’s honorees are:

Tranece Artist Trailblazer Awardee:

  • Marie D. Macke, DNP, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, Executive Director, Oncology Services & Behavioral Health Systems – Community Healthcare System

Medical Professional of the Year:

  • Lisa Hopp, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean Emerita and Professor, College of Nursing – Purdue University Northwest

Corporate Leadership Awardee

  • Louie Gonzalez, Retired Chancellor, Ivy Tech Community College – Lake County Campus

Community Advocate Awardees:

  • Cynthia Berry Powers, President, Powers Realty, Inc. of NWI; Women of Steel, USW Local 6787

The evening will be hosted by veteran NBC TV contributor Art Norman and will feature live music from one of Northwest Indiana’s gems — Three’s A Crowd band.

Gala tickets are $100, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will fund TNBC research and education awareness campaigns.  TNBC is an aggressive form of breast cancer that is more prevalent among African-American and Latina women. Unfortunately, it has fewer treatment options and results in lower survival rates.

LFC is dedicated to helping fund the research of treatments and is aligned with the Community Cancer Research Foundation to support its research endeavors.  Such funding is made possible through the unwavering support of dynamic sponsors with roots to the NWI and Chicagoland communities, such as the Manna, Inc.

“Our company’s mission strongly lends itself to caring and commitment to the communities where our valued team members live, work, raise their families and play.  Our employees’ best work happens as they support charitable causes in our communities like the Laini Fluellen Breast Cancer initiatives that address research and programming for survivors and those affected by this dreaded condition.  We are proud to lend our name and resources to this most deserving and impactful community resource,” states Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, Chairman, Manna Inc. 

Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana serves as the lead sponsor for the second consecutive year in support of the organization in its life-saving efforts. 

According to Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana, “Hard Rock International has a long history of supporting breast cancer awareness and research.  Breast cancer affects so many families in our community and LFC does such great work in supporting these families as they battle this devastating disease.  Therefore, it was an easy decision for us to get behind this worthy cause. We are proud to be able to assist LFC with their mission.”

Funds also support the development and distribution of a special project called Beth’s Bags.  Beth’s Bag was inspired by Beth Brantley Paschal, who collected items to support and comfort a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer and gave the items to her in a decorated gift bag.

Later the same year, Beth was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and unfortunately lost her battle with the disease. The ‘Beth’s Bag Project honors her compassion for others by lifting the spirits of women going through the cancer treatment process and reminding them they are not alone. Recently diagnosed patients in the Community Health System receive Beth’s Bags compliments of LFC.

Other efforts include funding for a mammogram subsidy program that is facilitated by St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, IN, as well as the ongoing Know Your Lemons Education platform, which reaches hundreds each year on breast health.

For more information on the work that LFC is doing or to purchase tickets, please visit

LFC is committed to informing the public that not all breast cancers are alike. Triple Triple-negative breast Cancer (TNBC) is one of the most aggressive forms of the disease and disproportionately affects young women – especially African American and Hispanic women.   For most forms of breast cancer, the number of treatment options and rate of survival have increased steadily over the past 30 years. 

However, treatment options for TNBC are limited, and the survival rate, even with early detection, is relatively low at 77%.  Women are counseled to get mammograms annually after the age of 40. However, many patients diagnosed with Triple Negative are falling much younger, like the charity’s namesake, Laini Fluellen, who led a three-year battle with the disease.

About Laini Fluellen Charities

Laini Fluellen Charities (LFC) is a 501(c) 3 organized in the state of Indiana.  Its mission is to continue the work of its namesake by improving the health outcomes of African-American and Hispanic women diagnosed with breast cancer by raising funds for research and treatment development for Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC).  LFC programming consists of various educational initiatives, including workshops, seminars, awareness campaigns, and Web site resources. For more information on LFC, please visit

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