FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PINK WARRIOR HOUSE
Media contact: Kristi D. Lawrence FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Brothel and Breast Cancer Nonprofit Team Up
in One-of-a-Kind Partnership
Albuquerque, NM (October 22, 2019) --
A former brothel and a breast cancer nonprofit may seem like an odd pairing. But together, the Painted Lady Bed & Brew and the Pink Warrior House make perfect sense. They’re forming a one-of-a-kind partnership to help women undergoing breast cancer treatment. In early 2020, the newly founded Pink Warrior House will officially make its home on the grounds of the Painted Lady.
Pink Warrior House was founded earlier this year by Allison Hendricks-Smith, after she finished her year-long treatment for breast cancer. During treatment she had an eye-opening realization – there were not nearly enough support services for breast cancer patients.
“We have strong medical treatment options here. But there are so many mental, emotional, and social needs that breast cancer patients and their caregivers have throughout their ordeal,” Hendricks-Smith says. “Once I got through my treatment, I made it my mission to find a way to offer a comprehensive resource that addresses the needs and questions that patients have – that I had.”
Pink Warrior House is the fulfillment of that mission. It’s a centralized resource center that will connect breast cancer patients with existing services in the community, and add many of its own support services as well. Among them, yoga and meditation classes, cooking classes to address the importance of nutrition during treatment, and access to workout facilities that will accommodate patients’ varying ability to work out during treatment. There will be support groups for patients and ones for caregivers, a monthly wig exchange, and social events to enhance the bonds of community through their shared struggle. One key offering, the Battle Buddy Network, matches newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with a mentor who has finished treatment.
But this unique concept needed a home. As fate would have it, Jesse Herron, owner of the Painted Lady Bed & Brew, was a friend of Allison’s. Based on the property’s sordid history, he’d been wanting to support a nonprofit in some capacity through the bed and brew. They agreed that the Painted Lady was the perfect home for Pink Warrior House. Renovation just began on the building that will soon be home to Pink Warrior House. It will host a community room, an office, a kitchen, new bathrooms – all to give breast cancer patients a refuge of hope. Across the small courtyard are the rooms of the Painted Lady, a former brothel and saloon that began operating around 1881. A charming getaway for visitors to the city, it offers unique, chicly appointed rooms with tasteful décor that harkens back to the building’s brothel days. New Mexico’s most famous sons, Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, purportedly frequented the saloon and brothel. Located directly across the street from the old Sawmill, the women who worked there were expected to service upwards of 50 or 60 men per day. When he bought the property, Herron had a special purpose for it.
“I didn’t just want it to be a bed and brew,” he says. “I did a ton of research on the property, its history, and I wanted to honor the women who worked here and lived such difficult lives. There are no records of who they were – no names, no photos.”
Herron’s goal to pay homage to those women is evident in the colorful mural that begins on a wall in the courtyard and continues down the length of the property.
“It’s a woman, and she is looking at a butterfly that is flying away. A painted lady is also a type of butterfly. In the mural, the butterfly represents the prostitute. The woman is a former prostitute that has successfully made it out of that harsh life. She has the means to afford a nice dress and jewelry; she is watching her former life (represented by the butterfly) flutter off into the night.”
The irony is not lost on Hendricks-Smith.
“To me, it is also representative of the women we’ll serve at Pink Warrior House,” she says. “They’ve been devastated by breast cancer. They’ve been forced into this cocoon and through such pain. Then, they emerge from treatment strong, and they fly and continue their lives.”
Adds Herron, “This used to be a place of trauma and victimization for women. A place where they were not safe. I love that this collaboration is turning that history around to make it a safe and supportive place for women. You can already feel the energy change.”
There will be a launch party and fundraiser to kick off Pink Warrior House this Friday, October 25th from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at the nonprofit’s new location, 1106 Bellamah Ave. NW on the grounds of the Painted Lady Bed & Brew. *All media are invited to attend. *This event is invitation-only and is not open to the public.
***To cover this unique partnership and talk with Allison Hendricks-Smith and Jesse Herron, please contact Kristi D. Lawrence with StarFire PR at Kristi@starfirepr.com;(505) 720-7403.
*For more information on Pink Warrior House visit www.pinkwarriorhouse.org
*For more information on the Painted Lady Bed & Brew visit www.breakfastisoverrated.com
Pink Warrior House is a 501C-3 nonprofit that provides support for women going through breast cancer treatment. Started in 2019 by Allison Hendricks-Smith, its goal is to be a centralized hub providing access to critical resources not readily available for women on their cancer journey, as well as for their caregivers. Pink Warrior House will move into its new home on the grounds of the Painted Lady in early 2020.
Painted Lady Bed & Brew is the first of its kind in New Mexico and is just one of a few such establishments in the country. A twist on the traditional B&B, the concept and the property’s unique history have been popular with visitors since it opened in 2018. The building was built in 1881 as a saloon, and also served as a brothel well into the 1900s.