An update!

Filed under blog

Unfortunately, some technical difficulties are preventing me from reporting on the results of this year’s Parade of Pink. However, Breast Cancer Action staff weighed in on this year’s “contestants”… and the winner was the pink ribbon “I’ve lost my boobies, but not my sex appeal” thong. Unsurprising, given that this product was marketed as a “chemo gift”.

As for other news, there has been a great amount of debate about plastic “I heart boobies” bracelets that benefit the Keep A Breast Foundation. The bracelets have become popular among high schoolers, resulting in suspensions and other punishments. In response, the ACLU has filed suit on behalf of students’ right to free speech.
MSNBC uncovered a far more interesting aspect of this controversy- the Keep A Breast Foundation’s financial picture:

“At $2 to $4 a pop, the bracelets are now generating more than $3 million a month for the foundation. Just two years ago, it took in $495,969 — in total.

“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with all the money,” said Executive Director Shaney Jo Darden, an artist and designer who co-founded the foundation.

The organization’s officers aren’t the only ones trying to figure that out. Keep A Breast’s tax records show that $6,723 went to breast cancer research awards and grants in 2008. That’s about 1.4 percent of its revenue. (After receiving an extension, the foundation won’t file its 2009 return until later this month.)

Darden said a little more than $100,000 has been directed to such programs this year, which works out to a similar percentage of the $10 million or more in revenue the foundation is likely to report thanks to the bracelets.

‘It’s kind of irritating that you wonder where the money goes,’ said Anita House of Dallas, who bought one of the bracelets for her 12-year-old son, Noah, a few weeks ago. ‘You assume it’s going one place, and you don’t know where it’s going.’”

As always, BCA recommends that consumers ask critical questions to ensure that their dollars are spent in a way that is meaningful for them.

Though our regular blog coverage is coming to an end, watch this space for more details about our Milking Cancer campaign and other pinkwashing news!




  1. Bernadette Broderick
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Buyer/Donator Beware! Thank you for sharing the MSNBC info on the financial expenditures Keep A Breast. I work for a breast cancer organization, and am all too familiar with bogus breast cancer fundraising organizations in my area. My high-school aged son came home & asked me if he bought one of these bracelets, would he be allowed to wear it? I found the Foundation’s website, and they seemed to be a legit org. with an unfortunate message. I then checked with several survivor friends to see what they thought of the message, and each was overwhelmingly uncomfortable with it. The “boobie” bracelets were voted down in my house, and my son wears a pink rubber bracelet imprinted “strength, hope, faith, courage” a concession to the bracelet-for-a- cause mania. Now I can let him know where his friends’ money is really going.

  2. Jane
    Posted March 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    How about this: In answer to the question about only a stipend of $3,000 a year being offered to Komen affiliate staff in lieu of health insurance, the answer was, “We are too small to offer health insurance.” So, if a staff member is diagnosed with breast cancer — will Komen pick up the tab?

    Also, sickened by “Preserve your Ta-Ta’s – join the Bon Bon BraGade,” an Avon Foundation – walk-related local fund raising effort to raise the $1500 a piece to be allowed to walk.

    I have a suggestion for the Keep A Breast Foundation – -offer that money to women who have either been told they might have a malignancy, or those diagnosed, to pay for professional, high-level psych therapy. There’s a great need, unmet by anyone.

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