A wave of pink is flooding stores everywhere, as retailers participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the savvy shopper, it's an opportunity to donate to a good cause while snagging unique, pink-hued items.
In Napa, the Premium Outlets Pink Event runs all month long: Shoppers can visit the on-site Information Center, donate $10 to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and receive a special savings card filled with “25% off one single item” offers from Barneys New York Outlet, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, CAbi, Guess Factory Store, Maidenform, Nautica, Samsonite, Tommy Hilfiger and more. For more information, visit www.premiumoutlets.com.
Another one of the local businesses taking part is 1313 Main in Napa, which has planned a month-long fundraising event called "In The Pink" to benefit Queen of the Valley Medical Center and breast cancer research.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, during happy hour, the popular wine bar unveils a nine-foot high pink sculpture by artist Steffan Gold of Architectural Signs & Associates.
For the rest of the month, the sculpture Big Pink will be mounted atop the 1313 Main tower, illuminated by pink lights, and posted on eBay for bidding.
At midnight, October 31, "it will be unhooked and delivered to the highest bidder," according to an announcement from 1313 Main that continues,
Proceeds from "In the Pink" events and sales, including the sale of Big Pink, will go to benefit Queen of the Valley Foundation's Cancer Wellness Program - designed to complement cancer therapy by strengthening the body, enriching the mind, and nurturing hope and courage. Services are generously available to all cancer patients, regardless of economic level, through the support of the Queen of the Valley Foundation.
Also this month, Domaine Chandon in Yountville is support the National Breast Cancer Foundation with donations of $1 for each bottle of Chandon Rosé or Reserve Pinot Noir Rosé sold and $1 for every "like" on the Chandon Facebook page.
Domaine Chandon's seventh annual Pink Party, Oct. 12, benefits breast cancer programs at Queen of the Valley Medical Center Foundation and encourages "pink" participation with attire, appearance and generosity.
For $100, you get sparkling wine, food from étoile Restaurant, dancing, a silent auction, and a photo booth, according to an announcement from Chandon that continues,
Chandon has raised over $70,000 to help fight breast cancer in the seven-year history of the Pink Party and this year promises to "up" the ante with fun and philanthropy. Highlights of the silent auction include dinner at La Toque, a 2009 signed magnum of Melka CJ Cabernet Sauvignon and lunch with one of the Melkas, a Napa Valley Balloons flight for two, a luxurious stay at the Meritage Resort and Spa, and caviar from Pointy Snout Caviar.
For tickets and more information, visit http://www.chandon.com/pink-party-webpage/pink-party.html or call 888-242-6366 option 1.
Of course, lots of other businesses are also showing pink products this month and promising donations with every sale. But before you plunk down your green for some pink, the nonprofits behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month want you to check the label.
Jenna Glazer, director of development for Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a global organization dedicated to helping young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, said that buyers should be on the lookout for a label or tag that tells where the money from the purchase goes.
"If you walk into Bed Bath & Beyond and see something with a pink ribbon and no information about where the money is going, chances are it doesn't benefit the cause," she said.
Glazer said the best way for consumers to ensure that pink products are legit is to visit the non-profit's website for a list of its partners. YSC, which is based in New York City, lists Oakley, Nutra Nail, Liv/giant bikes, Ford and Urban Outfitters as some of its partners.
The amount of money donated to the nonprofit is also key, Glazer said. With YSC's partnership with Oakley, for instance, $20 from each pair of sunglasses goes right to the nonprofit, which offers resources, connections and outreach to young women with breast cancer.
And for a group like YSC, which is on the smaller end of the spectrum of breast cancer awareness groups such as Susan G. Komen For the Cure, the check it receives is just part of the benefit. Each time YSC partners with a company, Glazer said, "It raises the profile of nonprofit and gets the word out to the people who need us."
Here are a few pink products available online that breast cancer nonprofits are putting their names behind:
- The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has partnered with Barnes & Noble, which is offering a pink leather Nook cover with a stitched ribbon for about $35, with $5 going to the foundation.
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure sells its own official merchandise on its website. It has pink leather business card holders for $15 each, as well as candles, coasters, neckties and car accessories.
- Hard Rock will celebrate its thirteenth season of Pinktober with a variety of merchandise, including a pink honeycomb robe for $80. 75 percent of the profits from each item sold goes to the Caron Keating Foundation.
Some retailers don't enter contracts with nonprofits but still donate a portion of their proceeds. Team Cheer, a website that offers gear for cheerleaders, is donating 5 percent of its pink profits to BCRF. From socks to bows to briefs, the company's Cheer for a Cure collection includes products from $5 to about $25. You won't see it advertised on the BCRF website, but according to foundation staff, Team Cheer has made donations for the past two years.
If you think a pink product is suspicious or you are wondering about the relationship between the company and the cause, give the non-profit a call. Representatives are usually happy to verify whether a company is really giving.
"I've actually gotten Google alerts and seen people say they are partnering with us and they aren't," Glazer said, adding that she follows up on those alerts and asks for a check from the retailer that made the claim. Sometimes, she said, retailers were unaware that they needed a contract with YSC and will send along the check happily.
But in some cases, she said, "I never hear back from them."
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