Neighbors open gardens to start a chain reaction |

Neighbors open gardens to start a chain reaction

ANNA BLOOM, Of the Record staff

Naomi Lippincott plans to share her home’s blossoming perennials at a garden tour this weekend in an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer research.

In remission for breast cancer herself, Lippincott has spent nearly a year planning this Saturday’s day-long event, which includes a soiree benefit at St. Mary’s Parish Hall with a live and silent auction. She also had a hand in designing the seven-foot-high pink ribbon float in the Fourth of July Parade earlier this month, along with her friend, Deana Miller, also to bring attention to the cause.

Lippincott does not downplay the importance of remission drugs – she has relied on them herself, and now leads an active and healthy life, but she has hopes for something a bit grander.

"Remission is nice," says Lippincott, "but a cure would be better."

The funds raised at St. Mary’s and from the garden tours, held from 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. at nine Park City homes, will support a 21st -century Internet campaign called Chain Reaction For A Cure. The campaign is located on a Web site, which asks for a $10 donation to cancer research, and requests that donors pass the word along to friends and family. The idea is to raise money exponentially through word of mouth and e-mail – to cause a ‘chain reaction.’

Tracy Loewer of North Carolina founded Chain Reaction For A Cure after being diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer in 2003. Loewer went to college with Lippincott’s son, and was first diagnosed with the disease at the age of 33.

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"It’s so sad," reflected Lippincott. "Breast cancer seems to be affecting more and more young women it used to be you’d hear about women in their 50s, but now, I have a friend who got diagnosed at 23."

Loewer writes on her Web site that the inspiration behind Chain Reaction For A Cure was in response to friends who had asked her how they could help. The devastating reality, according to Loewer, was that her friends could do little for her – she suspects she will not live long enough to see a cure. They could help others, however.

"It dawned on me: Almost everyone knows someone who has been deeply affected by this devastating disease and the statistics indicate that it will one day personally touch us all," she said. "If it was possible to mobilize everyone who has been touched by breast cancer to give just a small donation, hundreds of millions of dollars could be raised to help develop life-saving treatments."

Loewer lists the prevailing statistic from the American Cancer Society: that one in seven women will someday be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since 2005, Chain Reaction For A Cure has raised $17,012, awarding a $15,250 grant to Hollings Cancer Center.

For more information, visit

Garden Tour and Gala for Chain Reaction For A Cure

Where: St. Mary’s Parish Hall

When: tour from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., an evening gala at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 28.

What: nine park city area gardens and lectures on orchid care, high country gardening and self-watering containers; a gala featuring refreshments and appetizers, a raffle with 50 chances to win; a live auction featuring luxury items from two rounds of golf at Pine Valley Golf Club including two overnight stays and meals, and a customized tour of Napa and Sonoma wine countries. Smaller silent auction items include beauty and spa services, sports and crafts. The price of a silent auction item begins at $50.

Tickets: The Garden Tour is $35; the evening gala is $75; a ticket to both events is $100. Tickets are available at St. Mary’s Parish Hall.