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Painting parties help Texarkana breast cancer patients, survivors bond

by Sharda James | September 1, 2023 at 3:40 p.m.
A participant's artwork is seen at a recent Tough Kookie Foundation painting party, a way for the community to honor loved ones affected by breast cancer. (Staff photo by Sharda James)

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Tough Kookie Foundation is hosting painting parties, a way for the community to honor loved ones affected by the disease.

The panel paintings will be unveiled in an October ceremony outside the Regional Arts Center on the Texas side. The specific date is to be determined.

"We encourage those in Texarkana and the surrounding area to come out to see," said Katina Levingston, the foundation's founder and president.

The most recent party was Aug. 26. Attendee Bibs Brown is in treatment for breast cancer.

"This event is very special to me because I have my mom here with me, who is a breast cancer survivor of over 15 years.

"My grandmother was a breast cancer survivor, and in March a year ago, I started my journey," Brown said.

This is the fourth year Tough Kookie and the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council have organized the painting project.

Since 2017, Tough Kookie Foundation has supported local breast cancer patients and survivors, as well as childhood cancer patients. Levingston says it's bigger than her.

"We also help with mammograms, care packages, wigs, bras, and even feed people during Thanksgiving or even Christmas," Levingston said. "We help those who need transportation to and from treatment, too."

Levingston said the paint parties are a great way to be social.

"I just like to give people the opportunity to come out and paint, enjoy each other, spread some love and meet new friends," she said.

Brown is thankful for that opportunity.

"To be here and know that we are all one big family in this fighting it together with our faith and friends," she said, "that is what gets me out of bed every day."

(The next painting parties will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 at We Are Washington, 1900 Marietta St. It's a free event, and TRAHC will supply all the art materials. This year's Tough Kookie Foundation Breast Cancer Race is scheduled for 8 a.m. Oct. 21 at at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. For more information, visit toughkookie.org or call 903-293-7093.)

Print Headline: Paintings help breast cancer patients bond

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