Local breast cancer victims and survivors paused for a photo at the first annual Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon, hosted at Elks Lodge by local survivors Rita Thomas and Karen Lester last year. This year’s event will be held Oct. 26.

The second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon hosted by the Faces of Hope is planned for noon, Oct. 26, at the Elks Lodge.

Co-founders Rita Thomas and Karen Michelle Lester started the group a year ago after Thomas was inspired on her birthday to find a way to raise awareness for the cause.

Both Thomas and Lester are breast cancer survivors, and they wanted a way to celebrate those who survived the disease, encourage those who continue to fight, and raise awareness for the serious illness.

Last year the event was just called a breast cancer awareness luncheon, however Thomas told the News Messenger after last year's luncheon “We don’t present our face of sorrow, but we present the face of hope. It’s something about telling what you go through that gives (hope) to other people who are facing what you face,” and the name stuck.

The women were surprised at last year’s event about how many people were interested in attending from the community.

The group had to switch venues because of the influx of interest, landing at the Elks Lodge where the event will be held again this year.

During last year’s event survivors gave testimonials about their experiences with breast cancer and 14 breast cancer victims and survivors attended the event to support the cause.

To attend this years event go to the group’s Facebook page by searching @facesofhope.