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Shop, Drink Pink in the Napa Valley to Benefit Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with special events and promotions in the Napa Valley and retailers everywhere selling pink products. But, do your pink purchases always go towards the cause? Here are some tips on how to make sure.

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."

SHARE: If you have a favorite pink product that benefits Breast Cancer Awareness Month, share it here. Just click the green upload button.

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Belle (Orchid Lady) October 01, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Thanks for this article Patch staffers!!!!! It's a great wealth of information! I will be sharing it on Facebook!!!!!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 02, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I'm glad you find it useful! Anyone who has other events or information regarding breast cancer awareness and action in the Napa Valley is encouraged to post it here in the comments. We will be returning to this subject throughout the month and I welcome more info any time.
Ash Leigh October 04, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The bra was created by Steffan Gold, who is also a cancer survivor. It was fun helping on this project with him. Good luck to 1313 Main with your fundraising event.
Jodi Palmer October 07, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Another great fundraiser happening...3rd ANNUAL "CRUSH" BREAST CANCER https://www.facebook.com/events/464794350228139/ This is a not miss event!!! Please join us for a day full of fun with Silent Auctions , Trunk Shows , Hors d’oeuvers & Beverages and help others at the same time. Swag Bags full of “What We Love Most” with purchase over $250.00 A portion of Event Sales and 100% of auction proceeds will be donated to Pink Heals Napa Valley, CaringBridge.org and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. I hope to see you there!
Jodi Palmer October 07, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Another great fundraiser for Breast Cancer is straight from 13 Napa High Football players that posed for a Breast Cancer Awareness poster. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the American Cancer Society. Photo by Napa Valley Sports ~ Rick Manahen. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=416228111757549&set=a.110077862372577.4251.109712099075820&type=1&theater These players donated their time and sported their PINK for a great cause....way to bring Breast Cancer Awareness to your community and your school!! Nice job Indians!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) October 08, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Hi Jodi, did you add this to our calendar at napavalley.patch.com/events/new? It's a free service!

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