PAJAMA JAM 2008
With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month my girlfriends and I were pretty excited about the Pajama Jam held at the Hotel Roanoke. What is a Pajama Jam you ask? Well it’s an event sponsored by a radio station in Roanoke, VA, to benefit the American Cancer Society and you get to attend in your PJs. That’s right – over 900 women went to a gigantic pajama party where we enjoyed a delicious dinner, heard country music artists perform and got to bid on various items for charity. We had a blast!
There were ladies of all ages, shapes and sizes wearing a variety of pajamas and crazy slippers. I loved looking at the creative designs and funny slippers. We laughed a lot!
I was looking forward to the entertainment but came away incredibly inspired by the women who were there. A few came directly to the hotel after receiving their radiation or chemotherapy treatments in order to support the cause and have a night of fun. There were numerous cancer survivors in attendance. One woman, Nicole Cagle, shared her courageous story of survival with such a fun-loving, positive spirit you couldn’t help but be moved. She is currently in her fourth battle with cancer and she challenged us to take time for ourselves and the more important things in life. We sat at the table next to her and during the entertainment I noticed she was up dancing once or twice with a big grin on her face.
The Pajama Jam was first organized in 2003 by Robynn Jaymes, a Roanoke, VA radio station DJ who is herself a cancer survivor. “I am very humbled by the support of this community! It all started with a PJ party and trying to make women not just aware, but to take action. I’ve learned personally that early detection is the best protection,” said Robynn.
The Lost Trailers, Jimmy Wayne and Joe Nichols were the entertainment for the evening but Jimmy Wayne had to cancel due to vocal problems and doctor’s orders. The Lost Trailers and Joe Nichols certainly didn’t seem to mind being the only males in a conference room full of women.
The Lost Trailers (comprised of Ryder Lee, Stokes Nielson, Andrew Nielson, Jeff Potter, and Manny Medina) ventured into the crowd a few times to serenade several women much to their delight. Joe Nichols was joined on stage by a lucky birthday girl and treated her to a personal rendition of “Happy Birthday” in his best Elvis impersonation.
After ticket sales, auction items and other donations, a total of $40,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society. A grand total of $140,000 has been raised over the past 5 years with the Pajama Jam. That’s an impressive figure.
The girls and I plan to make the Pajama Jam an annual event. You see, it became even more relevant when I returned home and discovered someone close to me had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Almost everyone I talk to knows a friend or family member who has been diagnosed with some type of cancer. Please support the American Cancer Society… and maybe I’ll see you at next year’s Pajama Jam sharing good times with your friends and celebrating life!