An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : Article View
NEWS | Nov. 3, 2020

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Celebrates Pink Out Day and Employee’s Life

By Hannah Bondoc, NNSY Public Affairs Specialist

Since 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness month has been celebrated every October internationally. Originally a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries, the intention was to educate people about breast cancer and how to take care of their breast health. Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Federal Women’s Program supported this tradition on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m., as they held their annual Pink Out Day in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. As its name suggests, attendees gathered outside and wore pink in reference to the breast cancer awareness ribbon people carry to show support of the cause.

Additionally, the ceremony celebrates those who have been lost to, survived, or are still fighting breast cancer. This year in particular, however, was dedicated to someone not only fought her breast cancer bravely until the end, but whose memory is also very dear to the heart of NNSY: Alfreda “Frieda” McCray.

An NNSY community cornerstone and breast cancer awareness advocate, she retired in 2014. In 2015, she discovered she had breast cancer and passed away in 2020. As she had been the one to take initiative to start Pink Out Day many years ago, it was only fitting that the FWP dedicated this year’s celebration to her. 

McCray’s family was also in attendance as her co-workers gathered around them. In honor of her memory and everything that she did for NNSY, the FWP presented McCray’s family with a framed copy of the article that was previously written about her in the November Service to the Fleet issue, and a Challenge Coin for Leadership Excellence.

 “We the FWP just wanted to offer our condolences and show just how much we appreciated and loved Frieda,” Culture Change Co-lead Carlynn Lucas said. “Thank you for sharing her with us,” FWP President Aiya Williams added. “We just wanted to honor her and all the contributions she made to the program.”

Former coworker Marilyn Dixon-Grant also spoke at the ceremony as she had been friends with McCray since 1979, and presented the family with mementos boxes representing everything she did for the shipyard and who she was to the workforce. “What she really wanted was employees to become winners and overcomers,” Dixon-Grant said. “When it came to breast cancer, she wanted to make sure that everyone knew that they were supported and could tell their story.”

The Commander, Navy Regional Maintenance Center (CNRMC) Program Manager, Eugenie Jones shared, “I met Frieda in 2001 when I started my government career at NNSY as an Apprentice and Frieda was one of my Training Instructors and mentors.  Frieda would always give me sound spiritual advice, provide a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and she was a strong advocate for me, which is why I quickly gravitated towards her.  Frieda quickly became a part of my close circle of friends and she was a mother figure to me.  In October 2017, eight of us ladies went on a “Girls Trip” to Las Vegas and we celebrated Frieda as a ‘Breast Cancer Survivor’ and we had “Frieda Wins” t-shirts made for each of us.  I decided to wear my “Frieda Wins” t-shirt today at this Breast Cancer Awareness Pink-Out Day event to honor and celebrate my friend, Frieda.  Frieda will always hold a special place in my heart and I love and miss her dearly.”

To learn more about this disease and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit

To read more about Frida McCray, go to