Austin’s Kingdom Baptist Church helped raise awareness for women’s health during Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a Women’s Day Weekend of events.

Women’s Day Weekend ran from Friday Oct. 9 to last Sunday at the church, 301 N. Central. Saturday’s activities were highlighted by Kingdom’s Pink Pot Luck Tea and Fashion Show. The afternoon festivities began with an informative slideshow presentation given by Rev. Kenneth Robinson, an ophthalmologist doctor who’s given similar presentations on the West Side and greater Chicago area. Robinson is also affiliated with the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Center of Minority Health, as well as the Broadcast Ministers Alliance of Chicago.

Some of the major points Robinson covered included the importance of getting mammograms – the risks is greater, he said, if a close relative has had breast cancer. Nearly 8 out if 10 breast cancers occur in women over age 50. Testing equipment has greatly improved, Reynolds explained, and the level of radiation is very low while the benefits of mammograms outweigh the risk.

“If you find a lump or see any dimpling, or inverted nipples or anything that appears unusual see your doctor right away,” he said.

Reynolds encouraged women to learn how to do self-examinations, and to not be afraid of the process; the entire exam takes about 15 minutes. If a mass or suspicious area is found, more exams will be taken. Sometimes the doctor will do a biopsy, which is a procedure that takes out a part of the suspicious area. It was noted by the American Cancer Society, that more than 80 percent of lumps or suspicious areas are not cancerous.

Following Reynolds’s breast cancer presentation, questionnaires were passed out. The event concluded with lunch and a fashion show featuring the men of Kingdom Baptist Church: Ray Williams, Micah Gregory, W.C. Rice, Carl King, Terry Pendleton, Derrick Dowell and Lovie McCurtis.

McCurtis and his wife, Priscilla, are both active members of their church and community. They have one son, Shawn, and two grandsons. McCurtis is a systems administrator with Kraft Foods. All of the men modeled their own clothes, some sporting their suede and leather jackets. Pastor Williams modeled an after-5 tuxedo, and Micah Gregory and his grandfather, W.C. Rice, wowed the crowd with their look-alike casual sweater and slacks. 

Editor’s note:  Delores and Lovie McCurtis previously worked together at Kraft Foods.