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Shop until cancer drops

Retailers donate portion of sales dollars to research

EXCERPT

By Peter Krivel
STAFF REPORTER
Toronto Star - October 3, 2002

Time was when the only way to donate to a worthy cause was to give money to a canvasser. Now there is a multitude of ways you can help find a cure for breast cancer and they involve buying quality merchandise that you'd probably purchase anyway.

Guelph artist Sue Richards wanted to do her part and she came up with a calendar, with the net proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network

Neither a breast cancer patient nor survivor, Richards, 44, designed the calendar to help raise awareness about breast health. This is the second year for the calendar, which contains photos of breasts of women aged 18 to 58. The photographer was Melanie Gillis and Gareth Lind did the design work. Both are also from Guelph.

"When I think of women and what unifies them, it's their breast health. It has a significant impact in terms of your family, your image of yourself, your sexuality, and I just can't imagine losing my breast and all the things that go with it — your hair, femininity," she says.

Last year's edition left her $50,000 in debt and caused controversy when some thought a few of the images were too risqué.

"I was surprised — probably closer to shocked — that people wouldn't see it as (tastefully done), because that was the full intention when I created it," she says. "My intention was that it be tasteful and beautiful and a piece of art, as well as an educational and awareness-raising tool."

Richards has pre-sold more than 2,000 copies of this year's calendar, which she says will cover printing costs. Net proceeds will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (an umbrella group which includes survivors, supporters and affiliates). The $19.95 calendar will be available in most of those calendar kiosks you see in malls, or by going to www.breastofcanada.com or calling (519)767-0142.