Bust of Steamboat looking to ‘Paint the Town Pink’ in October
Nonprofit asks locals, businesses for creative ways to raise money, awareness for breast cancer
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Ed Andreoni, owner of The Press in downtown Steamboat Springs, lost his wife to cancer seven years ago, so when the Bust of Steamboat was looking to “Paint the Town Pink” as a new way to raise money for breast cancer awareness, he jumped at the opportunity.
His wife battled a different kind of cancer, but that didn’t matter to Andreoni.
“To me cancer is all the same,” he said. “Other places, you donate a dollar and maybe 25% goes to research. A dollar here goes back 100% into mammograms or whatever the patient needs.”
Readers may remember that for years the Bust of Steamboat auctioned off decorated bras or art and ended its fundraising with one big dinner gala.
Last year the nonprofit started “Paint the Town Pink,” asking locals and businesses to come up with their own ways of raising money for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
“We’re trying to create a wider, sweeping fundraiser that includes the whole town,” said Deb Curd-Kinnecom, founder of Bust of Steamboat. “It’s taking it from one night and one group of people to opening up an entire month to the entire community.”
For example, last year, Butcherknife Brewery donated a keg to The Press so that the proceeds could be collected from the beer sales. The Press dedicated two nights to hosting an auction in between local musicians’ sets.
Johnny B. Goods Diner also participated last year with a Saturday dedicated to a “Pink Ladies” theme where they raised $1,300 for the local breast cancer awareness project.
Curd-Kinnecom said volunteers will help local businesses brainstorm on ways to help out this year.
What can you do?
- Have one day, week or month where a portion of business sales are donated to the Bust of Steamboat
- Turn your store, windows and employees’ apparel pink to show your support
- Have your own Party in Pink or Pretty in Pink or Pink Out! fundraiser
- Restaurants can offer one night or week where their entire staff wears pink and they offer pink-colored specials like a shake or mixed drink
- Host a mini auction
- Sports teams can wear pink jerseys or arm bands
- Public buildings can be lighted with pink lights
What will Bust of Steamboat do?
- Ensure that 100% of funds raised will stay in Routt and Moffat counties
- Provide awareness material
- Include your business and event in our social media and marketing
- Extend the Bust of Steamboat logo for marketing
- Decorate the front of your business with a “Paint the Town Pink” poster
- Make a commitment to raise or donate $1,000, and we’ll paint a giant pink ribbon on your window
“Last year, we didn’t get the word out there — it was a soft start,” said Curd-Kinnecom. This year, “we’ll give them some supplies and literature about what the organization is about, a two-sided brochure to hand out for people who need to tap into the fund and pink ribbons for their stores.”
The Bust of Steamboat’s breast cancer awareness project has given out $169,000 to women and families in Routt and Moffat counties from 2014 to 2018. About 35 to 40 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the two counties, according to Curd-Kinnecom.
Jan Fritz, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center’s director of cancer services, has been working with the Bust of Steamboat since its inception. She said the funds raised by the organization are important to those who put off breast exams because of money.
“One of the things that keeps women from going on a yearly basis are the high insurance deductibles,” Fritz said. “Some insurers don’t pay for screening, but it should be a part of your yearly checkup.”
Fritz said technology has made it much easier to detect breast cancer early, and as a result, the survival rate for those diagnosed with breast cancer has increased markedly.
But the breast cancer awareness project does more than just pay for mammograms, it helps families financially with extra costs when fighting breast cancer.
“We’ve paid for co-pays, paid for wigs … gas money if a patient has to leave town for treatment,” said Curd-Kinnecom. “We can help offset child care so mom can go get her treatment.”
To get involved in this year’s “Paint the Town Pink” celebration and fundraiser in October, visit http://www.thebustofsteamboat.org or the group’s Facebook page to get in touch with a Bust of Steamboat volunteer.
Curd-Kinnecom hopes to one day have pink ribbons on every corner in Steamboat during October.
“In numbers, we can be a lot more powerful,” she said. “But for now, look for those large pink ribbons painted on store fronts and go in and patronize that place of business because they’re helping out local women.”
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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