Pink Wave
Keith Fenimore, the founder of Pine2Pink, engages communities and creates immersive experiences to help women in treatment and recovery from breast cancer.
by Bill Donahue

Anyone driving through Doylestown last month would have noticed some distinct changes to the landscape. The streets and buildings glowed a warm shade of pink, for example, and each sign for Pine Street bore the sticker of a small blush K, placed right on top of the E in Pine—temporarily renaming the thoroughfare Pink Street. Such visual cues bear the fingerprints of none other than Keith Fenimore, a creative professional from New Hope who founded the nonprofit Pine2Pink Foundation to raise funds and awareness to help women battling breast cancer. 
Pine2Pink has spread from its Doylestown roots to several other Bucks County towns, including Carversville, Lahaska, New Hope, and Perkasie. Fenimore expects the foundation to make inroads elsewhere, not only throughout the county but also across the country. His goal with each new town that comes into the fold: to create an immersive monthlong experience that engages communities and empowers people to take action on behalf of women fighting a disease that the American Cancer Society suggests will claim the lives of more than 42,100 women this year. 
Fenimore started Pine2Pink in 2018. Although he had a loving family, a nice Bucks County home, and a fulfilling career as vice president of creative for a Wisconsin-based agency called Sun Graphics Media, he found himself “struggling a bit with purpose.” He had done some volunteer work and written checks for charities, but he wanted to do something more.  
“My grandmother, Josephine, passed away from breast cancer when my mom was 18,” he says. “My mom [Marianne Fenimore] became hypersensitive because of it, and that made her find her own breast cancer early. She preemptively opted for a double mastectomy in 1999. … When I thought about where I could apply myself, that was the impetus.”
He approached the venture by assessing the efforts of existing fundraising organizations to gauge their strengths and weaknesses. From there, he determined anything was possible.
“To me, tying a pink ribbon around a pole or doing a one-day event was limiting, and it hadn’t been innovated,” he says. “I like experience-based things. When I look at small-town environments, most are run by economic-development or town-improvement organizations, so if I wanted buy-in, I knew I’d need to target those organizations and retailers. My pitch was that instead of me coming to take, I’m going to give.”
This October, in addition to the pink lights and altered street signs, Pine2Pink linked arms with more than 50 sponsors and partner businesses, encouraging them to participate however they best saw it—offering discounts on products and services, contributing percentages of sales, or selling Pine2Pink-themed merchandise. In Doylestown, for example, Thompson Toyota contributed $20 from each alignment sold, while retailer Evolution Candy sold Pine2Pink candy and bubblegum-flavored ice cream.  
Fenimore also welcomed people to engage in a virtual scavenger hunt throughout Pine2Pink towns by way of a free downloadable app. Anyone who downloaded the app could collect virtual pink ribbons hidden in strategic locations, earning prizes in the process. 
Last year, Pine2Pink raised $90,000. The proceeds helped fund quality-of-life improvements for women receiving care at Doylestown Health’s Cancer Institute, and also supported the efforts of Unite for HER, a West Chester-based nonprofit that offers integrated services to women coping with breast and ovarian cancers. This year’s funds, once tallied, will also go to Fox Chase Cancer Center and Grand View Hospital. 
“I know the pulse points that need to be captured in order to have success, and that includes a strong local community and an organized municipality,” Fenimore says. “I’d rather have smaller towns and stronger communities than bigger towns that are less engaged. As we scale up and tackle small towns across the U.S., it’s going to be local for local, so the money raised stays in the area. If Sheboygan, Wisconsin, does Pine2Pink, it stays in Sheboygan.”
While Fenimore leads the charge, he has been heartened by the number of people and organizations that have followed suit. Community organizations have come to him asking to host Pine2Pink events, and not just in October. One example: The Central Bucks Regional Police Benevolent Association has organized “No Shave November,” seeking donations to sponsor officers who have agreed to grow out their facial hair for the month, with proceeds going to Pine2Pink. Another: Twenty breast cancer survivors led a “conga-line parade” of vehicles from New Hope to Doylestown, generating awareness of Pine2Pink’s mission with each passing mile. 

‘We’ve Just Begun’
Fenimore grew up on the “rough and tumble streets” of New Hope. He credits the Bucks County Playhouse for igniting something within him that would take him across the country and then back home to make better the place that shaped him. 
“I was a pretty young age, maybe seven or eight years old,” he recalls. “Someone took me to see a musical at the playhouse, and I just remember the feeling I got—the smell of the theater, seeing people put themselves out there—and saying, ‘I don’t know what it is, but I want to be in this world in one way or another.’” 
After graduating from college, Fenimore went to Hermosa Beach, California, for an 11-day vacation that turned into a full-scale move. He started a career in marketing and public relations, which led him into the entertainment world. He cut his teeth as a producer and showrunner, and eventually moved back east, to Manhattan, where he landed a job as a senior producer and writer for The Howard Stern Show
“If you can walk into a show like that and survive, you can do anything,” he says, adding that he happily moved back to Bucks County to raise his family. “Now there’s no room I can walk into and have the slightest bit of nerves.”
As evidenced by Pine2Pink’s early success, Fenimore’s moxie has served him well. He’s excited about the prospects of further expansion, of helping more people. The work is “massively time consuming,” he says, but he gets a lot of support from his family, namely his mother and his wife. 
“Where we go from here, it’s like looking down the barrel of the unknown,” he says. “That’s one of the most exciting things. I’ve had a whole career of not knowing what’s going to happen next. … Pine2Pink has been the same way. To a certain extent, we’ve just begun.”

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Photograph by Gabriela Barrantes

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, November 2020.