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'Real Men' Put On Pink To Fight Cancer At Happy Hour For Hope In Fairfield

From left: Taberna Chef Daniel Lopez, Fairfield Selectman Chris Tymniak, Bob Kalina, Joe Barbetta and Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau at the Real Men Wear Pink Happy Hour for Hope. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Stratford Mayor John Harkins and Fairfield Selectman Chris Tymniak are all smiles at the Real Men Wear Pink Happy Hour for Hope. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The bartenders donned pink aprons, a pink Maserati was parked outside and guests sported salmon- and neon-hued ties and jaunty scarves Tuesday at the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink Happy Hour for Hope.

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative, the event drew about 75 people to Taberna Tapas & Wine Bar in the Brick Walk Promenade, said organizer John Brannelly.

“This is one of our last big events for the month,” he said of the Society’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Real Men Wear Pink Fairfield candidates Joseph Barbetta, Michael Burdo, Steven D’Amico and Robert Kalina were guest bartenders for the evening. Chef Daniel Lopez and his staff served up a slew of tasty snacks.

Men across Fairfield County took the Pink Pledge, competing to be the top fundraiser for the October campaign.

The five Fairfield hopefuls are all prominent town residents: Barbetta, a Fairfield native, is a retirement planning specialist with The Connecticut Group in Stamford; Burdo is a Fairfield-based attorney and partner in the law firm of Bansley, Anthony, Burdo; D’Amico is vice president of the Forte, Mason D’Amico wealth management group; and Kalina is vice president of human resources with the Financial Accounting Foundation.

Dr. Mark Melendez, a plastic surgeon with Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Associates of Connecticut in Fairfield and Shelton, was not at the event.

There were prizes for the “pinkest” man, woman and couple and a drawing for gift certificates to local businesses, including several from Taberna.

Guests included Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Selectman Chris Tymniak, Stratford Mayor John Harkins and state Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey.

Tetreau joked with the crowd, telling them to support the hand-working, if fledgling bartenders.

“I saw them doing wrist exercises before they came out,” he said.

Since 1993, over 12 million people have raised over $750 million by participating in The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign. The money has helped the American Cancer Society to ensure that no one faces breast cancer alone, by funding innovative breast cancer research; promoting education and risk reduction strategies; and providing patient support.

For more information on the American Cancer Society, call 800.227.2345. 

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