Cancer research foundation honors D’Arrigo Bros.SALINAS, Calif. — In an event dubbed the Pink Party, Breast Cancer Research Foundation president Myra Biblowit came to Salinas to thank longtime donor D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California.

The grower-shipper carries the foundation’s logo and message on all produce bags, skirt ties and boxes and has promoted its mission through the Andy Boy label. In 15 years, the company has raised more than $1.3 million to fund breast cancer research.

“What D’Arrigo has done is nothing short of magnificent,” Myra Biblowit, president of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, said at the company’s headquarters Sept. 17 as guests from the Salinas Valley produce industry looked on.

“It started out as a marketing program,” said John D’Arrigo, president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California. “Over the years it’s developed into quite an emotional issue as more and more people we know — family members, our agricultural workers, just about everyone we know — has been touched by breast cancer. We are feverishly trying to help Myra and her organization find a cure in our lifetime.”

Biblowit discussed the contribution vegetable consumption makes to cancer prevention.

“We’ve always known that vegetables were important for cardiovascular health,” she said. “But in the last two years we’ve acquired solid, irrefutable international data that says women with a higher vegetable intake — with estrogen receptor negative breast cancer — reduce their risk by 20% to 40%.”

“How easy is that?” she said. “Everyone wants a magic bullet. Vegetables are the magic bullet.”

State Sen. Anthony Cannella and Monterey County supervisor Simon Salinas were among the elected officials on hand to honor the company.