Paint the Town Pink at NewsBash 2018

by Kathryn Sanders

Grab your best pink dress and join D.C. newswomen for their annual cancer fundraiser.

Laura Evans, Dr. Jill Biden, Andrea Roane and Monika Samtani at the then-named “NewBabes Bash” in June 11, 2014.

News media is a notoriously competitive industry, but not so fierce that it’ll keep women from coming together to fight breast cancer.

It’s time again for NewsBash 2018, an annual event where top D.C. newswomen from FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC and more come together to fundraise for breast cancer. This year’s beneficiary is Breast Care for Washington, a nonprofit aimed at reducing breast cancer mortality in Wards 7 and 8.

Breast Care for Washington is special because it helps women, even if they are uninsured, get the treatment and critical care they need, said Laura Evans Manatos, a founder of NewsBash and former news anchor. Wards 7 and 8 have the highest mortality rates from breast cancer in the District, and Breast Care for Washington offers the only breast care services in Ward 7, and the only 3-D imaging in Ward 8.

“If we sell all our tickets this year, we can provide 200 mammograms for women east of the river,” said Lesli Foster, a member of the group and WUSA-9 anchor. This means that, for partygoers, their presence at the event is literally helping save lives.

NewsBash is more than just a fundraiser – it’s also about community. The event planning committee is made up of more than a dozen newswomen from competing stations including Foster, Andrea Roane, Angie GoffAlison Starling, Eun Yang, Shawn Yancy, Hillary HowardAutria Godfrey and Holly Morris. “We don’t just live in this community, it belongs to us, we’re invested in it and we have to be of it,” Foster said. “When there is a problem that impacts one of us in our community, it impacts all of us.”

Evans Manatos said the group originally got together because they realized they only saw each at breaking news locations, which were often unpleasant, and wanted to pool their resources to bring positive attention to causes they cared about. Though all of the women go to different events and give back to the community in a variety of ways, they appreciate that they’re able to collaborate on something like this.

Area newswomen pose for a group photo at the 2015 bash. Photo by Daniel Swartz.

And while every year’s event is special, the year that second lady Jill Biden (who will be a guest at the event this year) was a keynote speaker was the most electric, according to Foster. “There was something about the energy in that space, and people were so excited to see that someone who was part of official Washington had reached out to hometown Washington, and said, ‘this problem belongs to me too, I’m invested in it,’” Foster said. Foster also added that Biden “gives really great hugs.”

At the end of the day, NewsBash is about putting aside competition and coming together as a community to fight cancer, because it affects all of us. “Our second year, the day after our event, a friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was more proof of why we’re doing this,” said Evans Manos. “It’s just non-stop, we hear it all the time. So, we just keep with it.”

According to Foster, this event is an opportunity to “set aside all of the tough stuff in the world, come together in this great setting where it’s beautifully pink, and for one night, just think about what’s possible.”

Hillary Howard, Lesli Foster and Angie Goff at the 2014 event. Photo by Tony Powell.

Speakers include Kristen Berset, WUSA-9 news anchor and breast cancer survivor; Liz Davey, vice president, Development & Communications at Breast Care for Washington; and Kerith Lemon, director and writer of Bare, the acclaimed short film of a young woman’s search for hope after a recent breast cancer diagnosis.

NewsBash 2018 will take place on Tuesday, February 20, from 7:00-9:00pm at Pearl Street Warehouse (33 Pearl Street, Washington, DC 20024).

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