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Wyandotte Is Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Wyandotte businesses have a number of events and fundraisers planned throughout October.

What started out as an idea amongst friends has turned into a monthlong campaign involving more than a dozen Wyandotte businesses and organizations.

And those responsible couldn’t be more proud.

“Paint the Town Pink” is a collaborative effort of many downtown business owners who have banded together under the name “Tatas Task Force” to host several events to promote breast cancer awareness.

The event, with the motto of “Educate, Celebrate, Remember,” is being held in conjunction with October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Janelle Rose, owner of Willow Tree, is one of the organizers, along with her husband, Peter, who owns Chelsea Menswear & Shoes. The couple got together months ago with Tom and Diane Woodruff, owners of Downriver Stone Design, to brainstorm ways to put a local spin on the national campaign.

“The Woodruffs and the Roses started the meetings, but then everyone in between got involved, too,” Janelle Rose said. “The ideas started coming and they’ve not stopped since.”

As the owner of a women’s clothing store, she said, she’s been involved for years with breast cancer causes sponsored by clothing manufacturers. Many of them donate $5 to breast cancer research for every clothing item sold in October.

While that’s a great idea, Janelle Rose said, Wyandotte businesses want to put a different spin on it.

“We wanted to do awareness over research because awareness is what’s going to make the difference to prevent breast cancer,” she said. “Every single person I know has been touched in some way by breast cancer. Our whole campaign is to raise awareness about mammograms and the importance of early detection.”

And with the number of local shops in Wyandotte that cater to women, she said, it made sense to get as many of them as possible involved.

“Wyandotte is a Mecca for women,” Janelle Rose said. “Women just love Wyandotte. It’s a draw for them. It just seemed like a no-brainer to tie all of that into breast cancer awareness month and to truly make a difference.”

The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. Monday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting near the clock tower at Biddle and Maple. Mayor Joseph Peterson will be joined by Miss Michigan Angela Venditti, along with several of the participating business owners. After the ribbon cutting, everyone will head to City Hall for the 7 p.m. City Council meeting, where an official proclamation will be read.

Special events will continue throughout the month, including lectures, fundraisers and art exhibits. Three signature events also are planned for the first three Saturdays of the month.

“Survivor Saturday” is the theme of Oct. 6, which will include several breast cancer survivors coming to Wyandotte to speak about their individual struggles. A photography unveiling also is scheduled and will take place at 4 p.m. at the Sears Building. Alicia Loos of Purple Frog Photography has shot black-and-white photos of 25 breast cancer survivors and will unveil them to the public.

“The photos are really moving and meaningful,” Janelle Rose said. “One shows a woman with her wig off and another is a woman showing her scar. They’re real life survivors who are sharing themselves with everyone through their photos.”

A 3K family fun, run, walk and roll will be held on the streets of downtown Wyandotte on Oct. 13. Registration kicks off at 8:30 a.m. at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts & Culture, with the run starting at 10 a.m. A “pinkcake” breakfast will follow at the Wyandotte Fire Department Station No. 1.

The Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail will conclude the Saturday events on Oct. 20. Eight wineries will be set up on the Wyandotte Farmers Market lot at First and Oak from noon to 6 p.m. For $20, participants can sample the various wines before a pink lantern launch at 6 p.m. in honor of those lost to breast cancer.

While “Paint the Town Pink” is the name of the event, it’s also exactly what organizers plan to do.

Starting Sunday afternoon, they’ll begin turning the downtown area into a blaze of pink for as far as the eye can see. Pink lights will be hung in trees. Pink bows will be tied around light posts and trees. Pink flowers, streamers, balloons and much more will be anywhere and everywhere.

“Anything we can get pink will be pink,” Janelle Rose said. “You won’t be able to miss it. … BASF will be tying pink ribbons to all of their 80 trees. And then it’ll be pink all the way down to Portofino.”

All of the proceeds from the monthlong events will be going to charity, with the majority going to the Yes Ma’am Program at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, which provides free mammograms to women without insurance and other means of being screened.

Janelle Rose said she has no idea how much money will be raised throughout the month, but said from the excitement level alone, it’s bound to be a success.

“We wanted to paint the town pink … and then it just sort of exploded,” she said. “It’s probably going to be the biggest thing to ever hit Wyandotte, considering the number of consecutive days that events are going on. Everyone’s really excited.”

For more information, check out our full event guide, as well as the event's Facebook page.

Peter Rose September 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM
MORE - - - As I walked down Biddle this morning, I realized that I failed to mention quite a few MORE stores that are involved with Paint the Town Pink. And City departments - - - Thank You to our Fire Chief and the Exchange Club for the pinkcake breakfast! And take note of these stores: River's Edge Gallery. Sander's. Studio 3152. Wicks and Stones. The Grind. Salon Mon Ami. Fine Things. Dr. Stein Optical. Milkins. I've probably still missed people; hope not! Thanks and congratulations to all!!!!! If others want i, just "like" tatas Task Force on Facebook and post your doings. Easy as that. And, of course, Paint Your Store Pink!
Peter Rose September 27, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Sorry. Forgot Nana's!
Peter Rose September 27, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Thanks for nice article, Patch! Can't presume Mayor will issue proclamation, but we have asked! Many fantastic partners that should be called out: The Jaycees, without whom there would be no wine tasting, Total Health and Boston Tea Room. Cheryl Washburn, who organized the Fun Run! Joe's Hamburgers, who orchestrated the Pink Football game for Roosevelt's last game of the year. Mayor and Council, Parks and Rec, DDA, all helped us to make this happen. WBA is ribboning the trees downtown. BASF is doing 80 of their trees! Yes Ma'am of HF Wyandotte Hospital has been an enthusiastic partner, and will benefit from many of the event's efforts to raise money. They help women that can't afford a mammogram! So many to thank and congratulate for their amazing efforts. Good for us, everyone!
Janelle Rose September 27, 2012 at 09:43 PM
My thanks for the great coverage, too! There ARE so many that have made this project happen! The Biddle Avenue Florists taught us how to tie pretty bows and got us ribbon at their cost. Tammy Trudelle of the James R. DeSana Center for Arts and Culture has so many creative and wonderful things planned for the sidewalks and the windows. Jeanette Rinna Davis of 4 Her Boutique took over management of the Bras for a Cause effort. Rose Henry of the Grind has speakers and a Pink Bike Night planned. Heather Thiede of the Department of Recreation has been instrumental in helping us pull together needed things for the big event on the 20th. The Jaycees are administrators of the Wine Trail and the Woodruffs have handled the logistics....which is no small feat!. Total Health Foods took control of their entire city block and will decorate for all their neighbors-- and have a series of speakers scheduled throughout the month at their store. Portofino has jumped on board and are tickled pink about it! And, as Peter mentioned ... Jeremy of Joes, Cheryl Washburn, Yes Ma'am, Boston Tea Room (who made sure everyone was informed and invited) , the MediaGrumps, Dan and Stacy Cataldo, did so much with design, printing, posters, passports, flyers, logos, etc. -- and SO many others have added SO MUCH to the event. We're grateful to Mayor and Council for their support. We're so proud to be affiliated with such a great group of people and are excited to see it all happen.!
Marika Diamond October 04, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Actually 100 trees on BASF’s property along Biddle Avenue were decorated with pink ribbons to raise awareness to help in the fight against breast cancer.

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