The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 24, 2012

Girls Night Out draws crowd to fight cancer

Frank Sojak
fsojak@tribdem.com

JOHNSTOWN — Nearly 800 women packed the Pasquerilla Conference Center on Tuesday evening to fight breast cancer during the sixth annual Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out Gala.

The women also took the Pink Pledge – a promise to get annual mammograms, have a breast examination performed by their physician and conduct self-breast examinations monthly.

“It’s going really well,” said Meghan Stahl-Skinner, event chairwoman. “There are 780 women here having a great time and raising money for the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center.”

The event has raised a total of $270,000 for the center during its first five years.





Nearly 800 women packed the Pasquerilla Conference Center on Tuesday evening to fight breast cancer during the sixth annual Taunia Oechslin Girls Night Out Gala.

The women also took the Pink Pledge – a promise to get annual mammograms, have a breast examination performed by their physician and conduct self-breast examinations monthly.

“It’s going really well,” said Meghan Stahl-Skinner, event chairwoman. “There are 780 women here having a great time and raising money for the Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center.”

The event has raised a total of $270,000 for the center during its first five years.

Patti Felton, director of the center, said all of the money raised benefits this area.

“All funds raised here touch local patients,” she said.

The Pink Pledge is a call to action for women to take steps to keep healthy, she said. People also can sign the Pink Pledge at www.windbercare.org/pink­pledge, she said.

The gala is named after the woman who founded it. Oechslin, who had battled breast cancer, wanted to raise funds to help the Joyce Murtha center fight breast cancer by educating people about the disease and helping them get tested. Oechslin died in 2009 at the age of 39.

Oechslin’s father, Don Dudley, of Geistown, said at the event that it’s amazing how much good it has accomplished.

“It’s the power of the volunteers,” he said. “My daughter had an idea, but only through the power of the volunteers can this happen.”

Rosemary Leyland of the Philadelphia area had been Oechslin’s supervisor before Oechslin moved to Johns­town.

She said Oechslin was a dynamic person.

“She was a lightning rod for success,” Leyland said.

When Oechslin was diagnosed with cancer, “she made it the fight of her life,” Leyland said.

Nancy McGovern and Mere­dith Murray, college friends of Oechslin who attend each year, said Oechslin would be thrilled with the event’s success.

Kim Owens of Johnstown, who was at the event with friends Cheryl Carbaugh and Becky Balog, both of Johns­town, said she attends each year because it’s for a wonderful cause and it’s organized by great people.

Ashley Christ of Salix, who was at the event with friends and relatives, said it is important to help fight breast cancer.

The Joyce Murtha center does a good job of helping people, she said.

Adrienne Green, owner of Adrienne’s Jewelry Box in Moxham, was one of the many sponsors. “It’s for a good cause,” she said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.