Shades of Pink - A Walk at the Zoo

Shades of Pink Foundation: Raising Money, Raising Hope


Every year, the Shades of Pink Foundation helps women recently diagnosed with breast cancer by providing temporary financial assistance. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization helps take some of the monetary burden off of these women by paying for their mortgage/rent, car insurance, car payment, utility bills, groceries and more.

Each year, in an effort to help with these costs, Shades of Pink hosts its largest fundraiser – the annual Walk at the Zoo. Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are proud to once again sponsor the event!

This year’s walk at the Detroit Zoo takes place on Saturday, April 30 with gates opening up at 7 a.m., with the walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. Those looking to participate can register online, or at the zoo on the day of the event. Breakfast items will be provided and participants are able to enjoy all of the features the zoo offers afterward.

This year marks the 10th Walk at the Zoo event. In 2015, Shades of Pink raised more than $250,000. The foundation’s goal for 2016 is to raise $400,000. The hope is to have 2,500 to 3,000 people attend the walk.

What makes Shades of Pink even more special is the fact that the board, as well as its two major committees, is operated solely by volunteers. There are roughly 30 individuals working for Shades of Pink on a volunteer basis.

One of which is Dr. Pamela Benitez, co-founder and vice president of the nonprofit organization. Amazingly, she balances her time helping operate the foundation while also working as a breast cancer surgeon.

“I’m very passionate about what I do as a physician,” she said. “I’m not sure if it was because my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, but somehow I think going through that experience with her fully infiltrated my bones and I realized that was where I wanted to be as a health care provider.”

While it can get quite busy juggling both jobs, Dr. Benitez adds that seeing the help Shades of Pink provides, to help these suffering women stand on their own two feet, is what drives her.

The organization needs volunteers year round, and also accepts donations at any time. If you would like to offer your time to volunteer, click here. If you would like to donate, you can do that online as well. While the organization is always looking to add volunteers, Shades of Pink does already have a diverse group of dedicated and passionate workers.

“I think it runs the gamut from people who are survivors themselves, to being family members or friends of (somebody diagnosed), or somebody who just believes in what we do,” Dr. Benitez said. “I think there is a significant push to give back, and many of these volunteers feel that this is a good way to give back to the community. I think we all have been touched by somebody who has had breast cancer.”

Since its founding in 2005, the foundation has raised an astonishing $1.3 million. It has helped more than 500 women in seven counties, and helps more than 100 women annually.