Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=100027
Story Retrieval Date: 5/22/2013 3:50:02 PM CST
Forget the red leaves and orange pumpkins you normally associate with the month of October. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s all about pink.
Even if you haven’t trained quite enough to join the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Chicago Marathon team, you can do your part by exercising your wallet.
These are just a few of the many stores in the Chicago area that are selling special merchandise or donating a portion of the proceeds from sales to breast cancer causes during October:
More, a boutique cupcake bakery at 1 E. Delaware St., has only been open since last month, but it was important to owner Patty Rothman to do something to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“It’s hard to ignore,” she said. “It touches every woman in one way or another, so it’s a natural cause for a woman to support.”
Throughout October, More is donating a portion of the proceeds of the sale of its pink “Help More, Hope More” cupcake to several breast cancer charities.
“Everybody has their favorite charity, so we think it’s going to be divided between Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Breast Cancer Network of Strength (formerly Y-ME) and A Silver Lining Foundation, which provides cost-free mammograms to women who can’t afford them in the Chicago area,” Rothman said.
The "Help More, Hope More" cupcake is vanilla cake filled with housemade strawberry preserves and topped with strawberry buttercream and white chocolate curls. It’s not too surprising that Rothman reported that it’s selling well.
“Everyone asks about them when they come in,” she said. “We hope next year to do even more when we have time to promote it better.”
Carson Pirie Scott has made the effort to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month since 2000, but its support of breast cancer research goes beyond October.
“Every time a customer uses the Carson Pirie Scott credit card throughout the year we make a donation,” said Christine Hojnocki, vice president of special promotions for the parent company, Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “But we really ramp it up in October.”
This month Carson’s stores are hosting Pink Shops where customers can buy items, such as Karen Neuburger sleepware, from a number of companies that support breast cancer research. Carson's donates the funds it raises in the Chicago area to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, an affiliate of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Carson’s sponsors the Foundation’s 2008 Fall Benefit luncheon on Oct. 10 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
“It’s really important to support someone locally where we have stores, and where we can direct our donations specifically to research,” Hojnocki said.
Carson’s also supports the pink illumination of buildings in Chicago to raise awareness. This year 50 buildings are participating, and Carson’s Edens Plaza store in Wilmette is also being lit with pink lights and decorated with pink ribbons to remind expressway drivers of the significance of October.
Beauty megastore Sephora is offering a limited collection of pink products, and will donate $1 from the sale of each to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The line includes a travel brush, Guava Passion shower gel and a travel size makeup brush set. The stores are also featuring special pink beauty products from other companies that benefit various breast cancer charities this month.
“Showing support for a cause that influences so many women is an honor for Sephora,” said Stacy Baker, beauty director of Sephora.
Bloomingdale’s is taking a wide approach to pink products, but focuses its contribution to specific research. It produced a special 64-page issue of its in-house magazine, Little Brown Book, renamed Little Pink Book for October. It features special products ranging from lipgloss to evening gowns, and purchasing any of them benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Bloomingdale’s raised more than $400,000 for BCRF in 2007, and the store’s annual efforts help sponsor the research of Titia de Lange of Rockefeller University in New York. Her current project looks at a specific breast cancer gene, Tel2, and whether targeting it could make chemotherapy more effective. She told Bloomingdale's her work would have been halted without the BCRF grant after funding from the National Institute of Health didn’t cover the cost of her research.