DALLAS -- Gail Bonfiglio knows first-hand the importance of the mantras that breast cancer-awareness charities have been preachingeducation, early detection and treatment. Bonfiglio is one of the two million breast cancer survivors living in America. Diagnosed in 2003, the 7-Eleven market manager continued to work during treatmentoverseeing operations of more than 70 stores in the Dallas area. Bonfiglio just celebrated her third anniversary as a survivor.
To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, 7-Eleven Inc. will offer a selection [image-nocss] of new and exclusive products at its participating stores to raise awareness and, more importantly, to help raise funds for breast cancer research. The retailer and participating manufacturers hope to raise a half-million dollars in the monthlong cause-marketing campaign for organizations like Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the City of Hope National Medical Center, the Avon Walk for breast cancer, the Nellie B. Connally Breast Cancer Foundation at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Athena Partners, a nonprofit organization that funds research to eliminate women's cancers.
October is an important month for breast cancer because it keeps the issue in the forefront, Bonfiglio said. Young women think it can't happen to them. Well, it can happen to anyone. Studies put the number of women who will face this disease at one in eight. At the very least, Breast Cancer Awareness Month may spur women to make an appointment for a mammogram. Early detection can make all the difference in the world.
Some 20 years ago, breast cancer was a disease that wasn't discussed much. Organizations like the Komen foundation sought to change that, which has successfully raised public awareness about breast cancer since its inception in 1982. That awareness has translated into millions of dollars raised to find better treatments and hope for a cure. This year, for the first time, U.S. mortality rates from the disease have dropped.
Everyone knows someone who has suffered from this disease, said Kimberly Smith, 7-Eleven category manager for nonfoods merchandise. Our customers want to help others, and our goal is to offer them convenient ways to help make a difference. Whenever we offer products for a cause, the sales prove that customers want to get involved and contribute.
7-Eleven worked with major food manufacturers as well as small, specialty food companies to offer a selection of productsfrom popular, well-known brands to others that are new to 7-Eleven. A portion of the proceeds from these items will be donated to help fund education programs and research.
During October and while supplies last, Frito-Lay Sun Chips Brand multigrain 99-cent snacks will be dressed in pink at 7-Eleven stores. For every sale of the specially marked pink bag of Sun Chips in flavors of Harvest Cheddar, French Onion and Garden Salsa, the brand will donate 25 cents to the Komen foundation. Customers who purchase the Crunch for the Cure bags can visit http://www.sunchips.com/komen/crunch and enter the special code printed on each bag. Codes may be submitted through Dec. 15, 2006.
Seattle Chocolate Co. has developed a line of Chick Chocolates for women. During October, 7-Eleven will carry Survivor Chick candies, a special confection with raspberry-flavored white chocolate covered in dark chocolate. Three individually wrapped chocolates are packaged in a slim, eye-catching, 5-inch-tall box. Survivor Chick is available at select 7-Eleven stores, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Athena Partners, a not-for-profit corporation founded by a Seattle-area cancer survivor committed to eliminating women's cancers by advancing research and education.
M&M's is partnering again with the Komen foundation with packs of dark pink and light pink candy-coated chocolates. For each sale at 7-Eleven stores of the specially marked 14-oz. packages at $2.50, 35 cents will be donated to Komen. Customers also may tear off a mail-in offer at the in-store display to receive a free M&M's pink and white breast cancer T-shirt.
Sales of Awareness Mints packaged in a pink tin will raise funds for City of Hope, a biomedical research and treatment center in Duarte, Calif., and the Avon Walk, a series of events in major cities to raise money as part of the Avon Foundation's Breast Cancer Crusade. The back of the tin directs customers to a website where they can find additional information about the charities benefiting from the proceeds.
The Awareness message ballpoint pen is also back. With each click of the pen, one of four different messages of affirmation comes into view. Proceeds from the sale of the Awareness pen will benefit the Nellie B. Connally foundation, former first lady of Texas and breast cancer survivor who died Sept. 1, 2006, in Austin at the age of 87. She was the last surviving passenger riding in the car when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.