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Wisconsin Goes Pink in October

PHOTO: Festival Foods is one of many Wisconsin companies that sell pink-themed items, like these cookies, in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Think Before You Pink campaign does not discourage pink purchases in any way, but wants consumers to be aware of where their money is really going. Photo credit: Post Crescent Media
PHOTO: Festival Foods is one of many Wisconsin companies that sell pink-themed items, like these cookies, in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Think Before You Pink campaign does not discourage pink purchases in any way, but wants consumers to be aware of where their money is really going. Photo credit: Post Crescent Media
October 13, 2014

MAIDSON, Wis. – Many Wisconsin-based companies sell pink products during October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

But Karuna Jaggar, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, is asking consumers to get informed and think critically about how much of the money they spend on pink items in October actually goes to eradicate the disease.

She says marketers can put a pink ribbon on anything and sell it without donating anything to the cause.

"The public does care about breast cancer, and they should,” Jaggar states. “What needs to happen is, they need the opportunity to make sure that their goodwill and their charitable dollar is doing what they think it's doing."

Many Wisconsin companies selling pink items in October are forthcoming about how much of the purchase price goes to fund breast cancer research.

The grocery chain Festival Foods donates 50 cents for every 10-count package of its special pink-and-white sugar cookies to breast cancer research.

The Madison-based website Wisconsinmade.com, owned by a breast cancer survivor, donates 10 percent of its October sales to research.

Kohl's, another Wisconsin company, has donated more than $10 million in the past four years to the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Jaggar stresses Breast Cancer Action, which runs the Think Before You Pink campaign, is in no way trying to discourage contributions.

She says the goal is to empower shoppers to be aware of where their money is going.

"If a pink ribbon product doesn't meet your own standards of a charitable contribution, we always encourage people to give directly to a breast cancer organization whose work they believe is really most essential, and most powerful to addressing the breast cancer epidemic," she says.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 4,300 Wisconsin women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and for more than 700, it will be fatal.


Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI