GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The smell of fresh baked goods wafted through the air of Connie Ladner's home as she and several colleagues were gearing up for their annual breast cancer awareness bake sale.
"We started three years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer," said Ladner.
Proceeds from the bake sale are going to an organization near and dear to Ladner's heart, the Pink Hearts Fund.
As many women faced with a diagnosis, Ladner turned to the local organization during her battle with cancer. However, Pink Hearts had their bank account wiped out by an alleged embezzler just weeks ago.
"I think we were all very saddened. The Pink Heart Fund is run by volunteers, they're staffed by volunteers. So it's something that I think hit everyone hard and it's just very personal," said Ladner.
Run by JoAn Nicely, the organization provide wigs, makeup classes, and support for women battling breast cancer.
"They do bald and beautiful classes. So when you lose your eyebrows and your eyelashes, you don't think about that. Putting your makeup on now, it really sort of helps you get through it," said Ladner.
Ladner, who knows Nicely well, says it's been a tough time for the organizer, but the community support has helped to lift her spirits.
"JoAn's strong and we're hopeful that Pink Hearts can be strong again too. That's the reason we're doing what we're doing is to help them get there," said Ladner.
Ladner is hoping the money made from the baked goods will help make a sour situation a little more sweet.
The bake sale will start at 8 a.m. Monday morning at both the Biloxi and Gulfport courthouses. There will also be raffle items and a mobile boutique that's donating a portion of their proceeds.