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Pinktober event kicks off Hard Rock’s breast cancer awareness campaign

Chef Dominique Crenn, right, prepares food while Elena Alvarez, Hard Rock International vice president of sales and marketing cafes, looks on during the Pinktober kickoff Oct. 4, 2022, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. (Hard Rock via Facebook).

Pinktober, a campaign aimed at promoting breast cancer awareness and raising money to fight the disease, is a long-standing tradition at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood and this year is no exception.

A kickoff event Oct. 4 in Hollywood featured celebrity chef Dominique Crenn and a five-course dinner at Abiaka restaurant. Crenn is a breast cancer survivor and an advocate for women’s rights and the LGBTQ+ community.

This is Hard Rock International’s 23rd annual Pinktober which is celebrated at Hard Rock locations around the world.

Through Hard Rock Heals Foundation – the company’s charitable arm – proceeds support the American Cancer Society (ACS) and other organizations in the fight against breast cancer. Last year, Hard Rock said the 2021 Pinktober campaign raised more than $700,000, the largest amount since the program began in 2000.

“Music is our heart and philanthropy is our soul,” Gina Cadahia, vice president of brand reputation for Seminole Hard Rock support services, said during the kickoff event.  

An estimated 290,000 new cases of breast cancer and approximately 43,000 deaths are expected in the U.S. this year, according to ACS. There are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

Kimberly Manna, center, Hard Rock senior vice president of retail and licensing, discusses Pinktober during the breast cancer awareness campaign’s kickoff event Oct. 4, 2022, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. (Hard Rock via Facebook).

“Breast cancer that is found early is easier to fight successfully,” Arlene Uria-Speed, senior executive director of the ACS of South Florida, said at the event. “We depend on partners to fuel our mission. That’s why I’m really thankful that Hard Rock has been a dedicated friend to the American Cancer Society for more than 20 years. From special pink promotions and event sponsorship to employee engagement campaigns to Pinktober launches, the Hard Rock team has raised awareness and contributed more than $5 million to our fight against cancer, and specifically breast cancer.”

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa is the “Pink Premier” sponsor  for ACS’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. The 2.5 mile stroll will be held Oct. 29 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

“Our team members are deeply invested in supporting the ACS and look forward to participating in this event to raise awareness for such an important cause every year,” Steve Bonner, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa president, said in a press release.

More than 500 Tampa team members are donating one percent of their salaries throughout October to benefit the ACS. They will participate in “Think Pink Thursdays” and wear “Rockin Walkstars” shirts to work.

Fundraising efforts throughout Hard Rock also include retail items. Pinktober-themed merchandise includes t-shirts, satchels, water bottles, caps and a newly designed Pinktober pin. A percentage of all proceeds will go to charities that help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

A portion of the buy-ins at the Pinktober Poker Open at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, which takes place from Oct. 5-17, will go to the ACS. Guests who visit the property during October have the option to donate change from redeemed vouchers at any Everi full-service kiosk on the casino floor. Those funds will also go to the ACS.

A pink-themed menu featuring a Pinktober macaron, éclair, cheesecake on a stick and a Pinktini, will also benefit the ACS. The property’s two hotel towers will be lit in a Pinktober theme nightly. Hard Rock’s Guitar Hotel in Hollywood will also be lit in a Pinktober theme each night.

Hard Rock is also featuring Pinktober-themed items such as cocktails, cupcakes, gelato, cheesecake, donuts and clam shell pasta with lobster and herbed ricotta cheese all month long.

Pinktober merchandise is available at (Hard Rock via Facebook)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at