05/03/05 — Get purple bows to show support for fight against cancer

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Get purple bows to show support for fight against cancer

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 3, 2005 1:46 PM

Purple bows are popping up all over Wayne County in preparation for the annual Relay for Life.

This year's goal is to sell 5,000 purple bows, said Jo Heidenreich, bow chairman. She said about 4,000 were sold last year.

They are $10 each and may be purchased from any Relay participant or at Parker Advertising.

"Purple is the signature color for the Relay," Mrs. Heidenreich said. "When we started doing the bows about five years ago, we decided on purple."

She explained that Terry Butler, one of the Relay cochairmen, saw the bow idea somewhere and brought it back to Wayne County. "The first year, we didn't sell them." Mrs. Heidenreich said. "But (News-Argus Editor Emeritus) Gene Price mentioned them in an editorial and encouraged people to put out purple bows to support the Relay."

The following year the purple bows were sold.

"We had four women who volunteered to make the bows for us," Mrs. Heidenreich said. "That first year, we sold 1,800.

"The next year, we ended up having to recruit 30 women to make the bows because we sold between 3,000 and 4,000."

She said the purple bow idea has gotten bigger and bigger each year. "We couldn't keep up with the demand for them," she said. "So we found a supplier out of Nashville, Tenn., and have been ordering the purple bows ever since."

The bows are easy to make, according to Mrs. Heidenreich. All a person has to do is pull a couple of strings and the bow is done.

"I think sometimes people get hooked up on the actual bows and forget what they stand for," Mrs. Heidenreich said. "What counts is that they are helping the American Cancer Society through the Relay for Life to support patient services and cancer research. That's important for people to remember."

She stressed that it's also important to put the bows out now for all to see. Put them on your mailbox, lamp post, home, business. It shows cancer survivors your support for them and what they are going through.

"When I see a purple bow up, and it's not Relay time, it usually means that somebody in that family has cancer," Mrs. Heidenreich said. "There is a loved one who is either fighting cancer or has had cancer and that family is showing its support for that loved one.

"During the Relay time, it means people are showing support for the event. Everyone is touched by cancer -- either by a family member, a co-worker, a friend, a neighbor or somebody who knows somebody with the disease."

Mrs. Heidenreich said there are a lot of other diseases out there that need help, but cancer is a big killer of people.

"The purple bow is a great way to show people we care. You're giving your money to cancer research and patient services, and that purple bow is a symbol of your support."