Pam Van Deest and Karen Van Deest-Hamilton

Hello, we are Pam Van Deest and Karen Van Deest-Hamilton and we make up the team “Irv’s Pink Carnations”.  Our team name was chosen based on one of our father’s favorite songs – “A White Sports Coat”.

Our father, Irvin Van Deest, passed away on August 28,2011 from COPD due to Chronic Emphysema.  He was just 2 months way from his 72nd birthday. He was a smoker for 45 years and quit about 10 years before his passing.  In addition, he was exposed to asbestos through his career as a plumber.  When our father passed, he elected to have donations given to the American Lung Association in his memory.  This is what got us involved with the ALA. 

A year after the donations in his memory were made, Pam received a letter from ALA asking how we would like the “In Memory of” sign to read for the annual 5k walk.  When she called to ask Karen’s opinion of what to put on the sign, Karen asked her why aren’t we walking and we did our first walk in October 2012.  We raised $500 our first year.  We decided for 2013 to increase our goal.  In order to achieve our new goal, we held 2 garage sales (one in Illinois and one in Des Moines) and asked for donations.  This allowed us to triple the amount we had raised in 2012.

For 2014, we plan on walking again and hope to raise even more money than we did in 2013.