Main Street stores, Delaware governor ‘think pink’
Jack Markell visits Newark to endorse local breast cancer awareness efforts, disease research
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 05:10
Main Street merchants are the latest to join the citywide breast cancer awareness campaign by hanging pink bras in their windows, showing support for breast cancer victims and raising money for those who suffer from the disease.
Empowered Yoga, Gecko Fashions, Flip Flop Shops, Moxie Boutique and the National 5 & 10 are among a collection of local businesses participating in the Bedazzled Bra Contest, part of the Downtown Newark Partnership's Hot Pink Newark campaign.
The businesses' employees have placed a pink bra in their windows, and patrons can donate money and support a particular design. The proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.
Sandy Baldino, who helped launch the Hot Pink Newark campaign in 2008, said she was impressed with how Newark residents participated in the event.
"We weren't quite sure how it would go so we were surprised by how well it was received and by so many who got involved" Baldino said.
She said the bras were incorporated into Sunday's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K run in Rodney Square in Wilmington. Baldino was one of a dozen people who attended a press conference held by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell Tuesday night in front of Gecko Fashions.
The governor, whose wife Carla is a six-year breast cancer survivor, signed a proclamation for the fourth annual Delaware Goes Pink campaign in Newark.
"[Breast Cancer awareness] is very near and dear and personal to us," Markell said.
The governor stressed the importance of similar movements and the need to continue to look for ways to treat and prevent breast cancer.
"Two-hundred thousand will be diagnosed and 40,000 lives will be taken this year," Markell said.
Rebeccah Neu, a three-time cancer survivor who designs jewelry sold at Gecko Fashions, attended the governor's press conference, Tuesday, was previously diagnosed with uterine and breast cancer and is currently fighting bone cancer.
Neu moved to Newark 18 months ago after retiring due to her most recent diagnosis. However, she is happy with the decision because she believes it has a tight-knit community.
"It's a smaller town and some small towns have a reputation of everyone knowing each other's business," Neu said. "But here, it's a personal, good experience and I love it here. I feel welcome."
Moxie boutique owner Cari Woolf said the contest is as much about educating the public as it is about raising money for the cause.
"Every other day you hear of someone else who is affected by breast cancer," Woolf said. "Luckily I haven't been affected by it personally, but I know a lot of people who have been."
She decided to get involved with the breast cancer awareness initiative when Baldino discussed the idea at a downtown Newark partnership meeting.
"It's a really cute idea to begin with for retail stores in particular," Woolf said. "I'm all for it because it's going to such a great cause."
Some students, such as senior Ally Brown, have noticed Main Street "turning pink" and recognized their significance. Brown, who first saw a pink ribbon on a street pole two weeks ago, thinks the decorations will raise awareness within the student population about the disease.
"I think sometimes as a college campus we're in our own little world," Brown said. "We forget that people are getting sick all the time and this is a nice reminder that there's hope."