FLORENCE – Sonja Croone, owner of Smiling Faces Photography was shocked and humbled as she was presented with a Key to the city by Florence Mayor, Andy Betterton, during a recent cancer survivor’s event in Florence.  

 “A PINK Day” took place on October 17 during Breast Cancer 

Awareness Month. It was hosted by Croone, CEO and founder of Pink Alabama.  “’What an honor. I thank Mayor Andy Betterton for presenting me with such an award,” said Croone.

This free event recognized local cancer survivors and allowed them to share their stories as a local pianist serenaded the guests.  Awards were presented to local cancer survivors for their longevity of survivorship.   Area medical providers such as Helen Keller Breast Health Center were also in attendance with patient information.  

Croone founded Pink Alabama in 2013 by offering free portraits to cancer survivors.  “My goal as a photographer was to make the survivors feel good about themselves as their journey continues,” Croone said.  “We have formed a survivor sisterhood through Pink Alabama.  And I say ‘we’ because I am a survivor, too. ”    

“We support one another and help those who are still battling,” Croone continued. “We also give support to the caregivers because the journey is hard for them as well.”  

Croone is also Parent and Family Engagement Specialist/District Social Worker with Florence City Schools.  She thanked the community for its support of Pink Alabama because without them, she couldn’t host this type of event at no cost for the survivors.