When thinking of a way to honor one of her close friends and also her younger sister, both of whom had lost their battle with breast cancer, Cathy Byrne's most logical choice was to throw a party.
Her friend Ellen Ervin loved to host parties at her home, and an aspect of Byrne's sister Marcie Westermeyer's job with the government was to plan events for the Navy.
After the inaugural benefit dinner last year, which raised $17,000, the Marcie and Ellen Foundation — a nonprofit focused on raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research — will host their second annual benefit dinner Oct. 24 at The Gathering Place in Clarksville.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Breast Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, where Ervin had been treated.
Led by Dr. Ben Ho Park, the lab focuses on finding cures for breast cancer by "exploiting genetic changes involved with breast cancer initiation and progression, as well as genetic changes leading to drug resistance," according to the foundation's website.