After 16 years and more than $600,000 raised to combat breast cancer, the Pink Ribbon Ball is no more.
And the event, which Anthony Salituro hosted along with his aunt, Josephine Bruno, ended with a bang Sept. 28 with 600 guests and about $120,000 raised for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Salituro decided to halt his successful endeavour, which he launched after Bruno was diagnosed with breast cancer, after last year’s ball.
With $100,000 raised in one night, Salituro made up his mind to call it a night after one more event.
“We decided to do one last one. So we wouldn’t have to turn anyone away, we decided to change venues,” he told The Daily News on Friday.
At 420 people and a long waiting list, Salituro opted to take the ball from the Colombo Lodge to the biggest venue in town — the Interior Savings Centre.
Even then, there was a waiting list of people eager to attend the formal ball and enjoy a six-course meal, live music and a silent auction.
“We thought we’d cap it at 600 for the purpose of the chef and the purpose of logistics. We sold out. It was amazing,” said Salituro.
Salituro said the ball had become so big that it consumed a couple of months of his life every year. The time had come to step back and recharge.
“It’s not like we have a big operation behind us. It’s a family affair,” he said. “It’s non-stop.”
But he’s still passionate about the cause, and pledges to continue fighting breast cancer in some form.
“I’m sure I will come back with something new and exciting,” said Salituro.
His aunt, Bruno, is a breast cancer survivor.