Bowling Pin Art: Creativity Flows for Breast Cancer Awareness

Pink is the new “In” color. It can be seen everywhere, from pink ribbons on the lapels of dainty ladies to pink gloves and tape on rough and tumbling football players. Pink represents a commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness and Education.

Pink Pin LadyWhen Holiday Lanes in Bossier City, LA held a Bowl for the Cure in 2010, we decided to hold a silent auction. Pink items were an obvious choice, but something special would be needed to make the auction unique. After researching thousands of web pages and magazine articles, one idea stood out. In our manager’s office, on a top shelf I had seen a bowing pin that was decorated as Santa. I had also found several websites that had decorated pins into a variety of people and creative art. That was it – Pink Ladies! I thought . . . what if we had a few people decorate bowling pins in honor or memory of someone who had battled breast cancer? Not only decorate a pin, but also write a short synopsis of the person that it was honoring and include a photo. The Pink Lady could be representative of the struggles and survivals of those who have dealt with this disease. What I didn’t know at the time was how therapeutic it might be. I decorated a pin that first year and asked my aunt to provide her story of detection and survival. It became a great way to raise awareness not only to myself, but others who read the story. In that first year, seven Pink Ladies were submitted for the auction and raised $370 for the Northwest Louisiana Susan G Komen for the Cure affiliate.

Pink Lady ArtLet me just say, 2011 has become a banner year for Pink Ladies/Pin Art. The Bowl for the Cure auction, which will be held on Saturday, October 15 from 11 am – 2 pm, is still days away and I’m overwhelmed by the imaginative people in our community. As I write this piece, I already have received 38 decorated pins and still have pins coming in daily. When the time came to start promoting the auction, I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to get many to participate. Boy, was I wrong. In fact, Ms. Holoman from the Bossier Parish Schools Talented Program stepped up and got her classes on the project. Participating schools were Carrie Martin Elementary, LA New Tech School at Plain Dealing and Benton High School. The group of very talented students provided 15 pieces of art. The fun thing about it is that no two pins are alike. All are quite unique and each has great style. Pink Pin LadyIn addition, the Bossier Arts Council provided six very distinctive pins. It would be wrong of me to point out my favorite, but maybe it’s ok to say my fav is in this group of art. It amazes me to see the creativity and imagination used. I love the pin created by 7th grader, Gavin Jones. His design is called “Hot Stuff”. The pin is dressed in an animal print bikini with a sun hat. He dedicated the pin to his sister and said: “In honor of and as a reminder to my sister, Megan. I love her and want her around for a long time. I want her to be sure to get checked for Breast Cancer”. Megan does not have breast cancer, but her brother wants to make sure she stays that way. What a great brother!

Bowl for the CureBreast Cancer is so wide spread and affects many of us in one way or another. We all know someone who has survived or perished from this terrible disease. Instead of calling the art “Pink Ladies”, I should have called it “Pink Pin Art”, so that I wasn’t just focused on women. As you might know breast cancer affects men too. According to komen.org, Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In 2011, it is estimated that among U.S. men there will be 2,140 new cases of breast cancer and 450 breast cancer deaths in men. The creativity has been abundant and I’m hoping that we are able to make a sizable contribution to the Northwest Louisiana Susan G Komen for the Cure affiliate again this year. All of the Pink Pin Art will be on a special sneak peak preview from 3:00 to 6:00 pm on Friday, October 14 at Holiday Lanes in Bossier City. You may also view the pins on Facebook by going to http://on.fb.me/cureauction. The silent auction begins at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 15. Final bids will end at 2:00 pm. Come by, take a look at the artwork on display. Hey, you can even Bowl for the Cure while you are there. It’s all for a good cause. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/pinklanes

See ya around Bossier,

Robin Williams,
Bossier Chamber of Commerce Diplomat & Marketing Maven at Holiday Lanes

Two are better than one

Some things are better in pairs. That proved to be true today. Two ribbon cuttings on one of the prettiest days we’ve had in quite a while.

Part One – Christus Schumpert Breast Center

Christus Schumpert Breast Center

Mardi Gras & Mammograms

At the first ribbon cutting of the day at Christus Schumpert Breast Center in Shreveport, the theme was “Mardi Gras and Mammograms”. I arrived thinking I would be attending a standard Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting. I was soon to understand that this would not be a routine gathering.
Christus Schumpert Breast Center

Blessing of the Water at Christus Schumpert Breast Center

The first noticeable difference was that I was way under-dressed. I don’t typically wear t-shirts but today I was sporting the new “Geaux Beauxling” t-shirt since it is Mardi Gras season. Several Mardi Gras Krewe Royalty were in attendance and decked out in full regalia. Absolutely stunning displays of sequins, satin and feathers. The second noticeable difference was that the program called for a Blessing and Dedication. This was definitely a nice touch. I have a special place in my heart for the beauty of a litany.

Differences aside, let me tell you about this well thought out medical facility. Christus Schumpert Breast Center was designed by women for women. The idea is to remove the fear and excuses that are associated with breast cancer. Dr. Dierdre Barfield, Chief Medical Officer, said that they offer non-traditional appointment times in an effort to make it more convenient for working mothers and care givers who typically can’t make appointments during regular office times. They also wanted to create an environment that was less like a medical facility, and more of a relaxing place to soothe anxieties. The center is beautifully decorated and has an almost spa like feel. In fact, you won’t find paper robes here. Patients are treated to spa robes to use during their mammograms. How nice is that? Ladies, you know what I’m talking about when I say I hate those paper robes!

Butterfly Boutique and the Northwest Louisiana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure were on hand to provide information about the services they offer to women dealing with breast cancer. Butterfly Boutique specializes in prosthesis, surgical bras, wigs, headcovers, hard to fit bras and compression garments. The Northwest Louisiana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure provides support and informational resources to the breast cancer community. The programs and fundraisers at NWLA-SGK have provided funding for groundbreaking breast cancer research, much of which has led to landmark discoveries in the quest to find a cure and eventually prevent breast cancer.

Christus Schumpert Breast Center

Ribbon Cutting at Christus Schumpert Breast Center

Dr. Mark Kraemer, Chief Radiologist, introduced us to Brenda Pierce, who he called a Breast Nurse Navigator. Brenda contacts patients who have had abnormal mammograms, schedules follow ups and provides educational and emotional support for their journey. Brenda understands what patients are going through because she has overcome breast cancer herself. Dr. Kraemer said that Christus Schumpert has drastically reduced the time frames for follow ups and test results. He mentioned that hearing “cancer” is stressful enough without having to wait on results. What formerly took up to six weeks, can now be turned around in several days. Dana Smelser, Business Development & Strategic Planning for Christus Schumpert says that they are the only complete Breast Center in the area.

Christus Schumpert Breast Center is located at 920 Olive Street, Shreveport, LA. Tell them that you read my blog.

Part Two – The Perfect Blend

The Perfect Blend

The Perfect Blend in Bossier City

Stop number two for my diplomat duties today was at The Perfect Blend in Bossier City. I have to be honest in saying that I fully expected to walk into a coffee house. Nope, it’s a really cool smoothie, vitamin, yogurt, supplement store with a friendly, comfortable feel. That’s really the only way to describe it. Most supplement stores feel kind of cold and confusing. This place takes that all away. Quoting their website, The Perfect Blend was an idea that was conceived by two personal trainers who wanted to create a comfortable atmosphere for people to not only shop for supplements, but to be able to ask questions about them, learn diet strategies and workout ideas and enjoy sporting events while having a healthy smoothie or yogurt. Today marked the one year anniversary of the success of The Perfect Blend. Congrats guys!

The Perfect Blend

The Perfect Blend

One of the best things about going to ribbon cuttings is that you sometimes get to try free samples of food and products. Today . . . Free Yogurt! Oh yeah, let me tell you, I tried the New York Cheesecake yogurt. OH YUM! Ok, you caught me, I went back for seconds and tried the plain yogurt too. Well, yogurt and chocolate covered raisins. Hey – I didn’t have lunch! Don’t judge me for being a little bit piggy. I noticed the sign above the self serve yogurt bar said “Pile it high for 35 cents per ounce”. That could be dangerous for me.

At The Perfect Blend, you will find supplements from all of the major companies and independent suppliers, some of which you can’t find at other supplement stores. I considered picking up one of their weight loss supplements, but decided for more yogurt. (I’m so bad!) Next time you are in the Stockell Road area, stop by, meet their friendly staff and pick up your vitamins and supplements. Just don’t do what I did. I couldn’t stop staring at the arms of one of the personal trainers. I’m serious, I couldn’t stop. They were massive and I had to apologize to him for my staring. I hope he wasn’t offended. 🙂 I think I got my payback later when I spilled a huge amount of liquid nacho cheese down the front of my shirt. (yes, eating again – see, I knew I had a problem, but that’s a story for another time)

The Perfect Blend is located at 2091 Stockwell Road, Ste. 10, Bossier City, LA on the corner of Stockwell & Shed Road. Tell them you read my blog.

See ya around Bossier,

Robin Williams,
Bossier Chamber of Commerce Diplomat &
Marketing Maven at Holiday Lanes