It’s likely not an exaggeration to say everyone knows someone who has either had or been impacted by breast cancer.
This is just one of the many reasons why organizations, like Delta Cotton Belles, are so significant, especially in recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Delta Cotton Belles is an organization that is entirely volunteer based and its mission is to educate women about breast health awareness, provide free screening and mammograms, as well as assistance for women with breast cancer.
Since its inception 12 years ago, the organization has contributed over 800 free mammograms to working uninsured or underinsured women throughout 10 counties of the Mississippi and Arkansas Delta.
With the month of October being designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Delta Cotton Belles is encouraging businesses, organizations and schools to wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness on Friday, Oct. 23.
“We call this ‘Our Friends Wear Pink,’” special projects chairman Terri Murrell noted.
She stated in a letter, “The idea is simple — have your employees, volunteers, or students wear pink and take a picture that will be featured on the Delta Cotton Belles website (deltacottonbelles.org), Facebook page, Instagram, and other marketing materials.”
Public relations chairwoman for Delta Cotton Belles, Kim Dowdy, said the organization has been keeping with the “Our Friends Wear Pink” initiative for about five years now and mostly everyone knows during the month of October, there is a lot of pink to be seen.
“Well locally, there were businesses and people that just wanted to show their support for either breast cancer patients that they knew or either breast cancer patients that have lost their lives,” she said. “I know it seems simple, but wearing the pink brings awareness to a topic that is very serious and breast cancer has affected almost everyone you know in some form or fashion.”
She pointed out that years ago when the Susan G. Komen organization started putting pink everywhere as a symbol of its mission to end breast cancer, people understood that October was Breast Cancer Awareness month.
“When you see all the women and men and children wearing pink, it makes you go, ‘Ok, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, did I have my mammogram? Did my mother, sister, grandmother or my wife, have their mammogram?’” Dowdy said. “Not that October is the only month to have mammograms, but it just kind of puts it into perspective like, ‘Oh, if I haven’t maybe I need to schedule it.’”
She highlighted the Delta Cotton Belles typically try to schedule “Our Friends Wear Pink” near their annual tennis tournament fundraiser and for the last couple of years, they’ve been able to do it the Friday before the tournament.
This year, the organization’s annual fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, thus, “Our Friends Wear Pink” will take place on Oct. 23.
Those who choose to participate in the “Our Friends Wear Pink” campaign must fill out the accompanying registration form on the organization’s website, deltacottonbelles.org, and email their form and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The form can also be returned via email to email@example.com or via fax to 662-332-8790.
Photos of “Our Friends Wear Pink” can be sent via text to 662-822-4310 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Someone will also deliver a poster to participants that can be placed in the window of their business or school that shows they support Delta Cotton Belles.
Dowdy said on that particular Friday, the organization posts the pictures it receives of schools and business supporting Breast Cancer Awareness all day long and the pictures eventually go to the website.
However, according to Murrell, should any interested participants not be able to participate on Oct. 23, they are encouraged to pick another date in October and send the Delta Cotton Belles their pictures.
History of Delta Cotton Belles
Delta Cotton Belles was established in 2007 after our founder, Beth McKnight, was diagnosed with stage IV Breast Cancer. Instead of letting the disease control her, she decided to fight it with all she had. In 2008, she and a group of close friends volunteered their time and began raising money to increase breast cancer awareness with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Research conducted by the Susan G. Komen foundation in 2007 concluded the Mississippi Delta has the highest incidences of stage III & IV breast cancer in Mississippi. The initial fundraising tennis tournament collected over $16,000. Once it was determined that the Komen Foundation could not guarantee the funds would remain in the Mississippi Delta, Beth established Delta Cotton Belles as its own 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.