Riding The Pink Bandwagon

Once, pastel pink stood for everything girly—perfumed Barbie dolls, fruit-flavored bubblegum, cotton candy, lipsticks, and crayons. Today, it represents a powerful women’s cause: breast cancer awareness.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the estimates of the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization, 40,910 women in the U.S. will die from the disease in 2007 and 1.2 million will be diagnosed worldwide.

This month, from New Hampshire to New Mexico, there’ll be dozens of walks, fund-raiser luncheons, pink-themed wingdings, celebrity endorsements, and events geared towards raising public consciousness about breast cancer.

It all began in 1992 when cosmetics giant, Estée Lauder, began to hand out loops of pink ribbon in stores across New York City to spread the word about early detection, cure, and prevention about the No. 3 killer of women in America.

Ever since then, the color has ignited the corporate imagination. Every major corporation from Apple to Ford has jumped onto the pink bandwagon to project an image of a socially responsible entity.

Pink has become ubiquitous. You see it not just on standard merchandise like T-shirts, baseball caps, jewelry, key chains, etc., but even in places you wouldn’t ordinarily expect.

In 2002, the city of Philadelphia kicked off the “Lights for Cure” campaign, in which a consortium of prominent landmarks and buildings set the skyline pink by bathing themselves in a mellow pink halo. It’s since been joined by cities in New Jersey and Delaware.

BMW’s Pink Ribbon Collection features a pretty array of pink-striped silver sedans and coupes. Depending on the product, the luxury carmaker donates between 22 and 55 percent of the proceeds to the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

As part of the Ultimate Drive program, you can take out a model for a test drive. For every mile you drive, BMW will give away $1 to the foundation.

Taking flight for the fight against breast cancer, last year, Delta Air Lines unveiled an offbeat Boeing 757. Instead of its trademark red, white, and blue livery, the jet was painted in shades of pink and white.

Add to that, throughout the month of October, the airline serves pink lemonade to its customers for $2 on all domestic and international routes, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This season, wineglass manufacturer, Riedel USA brought out a limited edition Pink Vinum Rose glass that has a soft pink stem and a clear bowl. Rubbermaid will sell pink 20-once polycarbonate containers that’ll be available in select stores.

If you thought that food couldn’t go pink, think again.

Doing its bit to help raise breast cancer awareness, in 2006, Campbell Soup Company rolled out a brigade of specially-packaged cans of condensed soups.

Starting October 1, this season, about 14 million pink-and-white cans of two of its top-sellers—condensed Chicken Noodle and Tomato soup—will line grocery shelves nationwide, alongside its iconic red-and-white ones.

Yoplait Pink LidsFood retailer Kroger will have a pink tag campaign in all its 2,491 supermarkets. Yoplait’s “Save Lids to Save Lives” promotion will color its foil lids pink.

Closer to home, Yorktown Heights-based non-profit organization Support Connection Inc., will be hosting its second Annual Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon on October 26.

Best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard will deliver a keynote speech followed by a book-signing. Proceeds from the event will help its numerous programs.

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