It was a day of celebrating the courageous battles of local breast cancer survivors.

On Monday, about 550 people attended the Junior League of the Mahoning Valley's annual Pink Ribbon Tea Luncheon at the Embassy Banquet Centre in Boardman.

Breast cancer survivors were recognized and provided the meal free of charge.

Susan Berny, who founded the event 25 years ago, was the honorary chair.

She has helped bring in about $2 million in grants to the Valley from Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio for community education and for underserved and uninsured women to receive mammograms and initial treatment. 

"When I first started this, I thought I would be helping women in my age category. But cancer has a way of turning around, and my 25-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at a very young age with no family history. So being proactive and knowing her healthcare options— it saved her life. So she's a ten-year survivor now with two children," Berny said.

Gina Chicotel, associate director of the Northeast Ohio affiliate of the Komen Foundation, also spoke at the event.

She told 21 News, "The state of Ohio is greatly impacted by breast cancer.  A lot of people don't know we're 32nd in incidents, so the number of new cases that are diagnosed each year, but the state is 6th in overall deaths from the disease. So women here are diagnosed at an average rate but pass away at a much higher rate, so we really need to work together collaboratively with other organizations, with health systems, with community members, with survivors all working towards a common goal of figuring out why and how to solve these problems."

Leslie Barrett, 21 News anchor/reporter, emceed the event.