Thursday, December 15, 2011

City of Key West, Florida Gets All "Sneaky" When It Comes To Raising Money For Local Breast Cancer Support Programs!

Leave it to Key West, Florida to come up with a novel new way to have fun while raising money to fund local programs that support breast cancer patients and their families. The southernmost city in the continental United States has teamed up with local waterfront resort IBIS BAY to create a special weeklong public awareness and fundraising program to benefit the Florida Keys Unit of the American Cancer Society. In fact, the city has declared the week of December 26-31, 2011, “Real Men Wear Pink Shoes Week”, and is asking all men, and women, of Key West to purchase and wear pink Converse® Chuck Taylor® Hi-Top sneakers all over the city to show their support. The fundraiser has already gotten off to a great start, and people all over Key West are showing off their new Pink Shoes in this new video!

The novel idea is the brainchild of Chris Holland, a cancer survivor himself and the owner/operator of the IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort. "Breast cancer affects a surprisingly large number of people in the Keys and we wanted to do something to help raise funds for local programs that will make a direct impact on the quality of patients' lives," he explained. "At the same time, we knew we needed to come up with a new way to grab and hold peoples' attention and get them to want to really support the cause. That's where the pink Chuck Taylor Hi-Top sneakers come in. They're such an All-American sneaker. And Key West, with all of its zaniness and openness, is still the quintessential All-American city."

Holland approached the Florida Keys Unit of the American Cancer Society and Converse, both of whom immediately loved the idea and jumped in. Converse donated 500 pairs of pink sneakers. IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort is selling the sneakers and donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the Florida Unit of the American Cancer Society, which will use the proceeds to support several local programs for breast cancer patients including:
  • Reach To Recovery, a one-on-one support program in which a breast cancer survivor counsels and provides emotional support for a newly diagnosed patient at their home, over the phone, or in the hospital.
  • Road To Recovery, a program that provides transport for patients to and from treatment appointments and doctor visits.
  • Triple Touch, an educational program that teaches women how to do self-examinations and encourages all women over 40 years to schedule a doctor’s examination every year.
  • Look Good, Feel Better, a program that provides makeovers and fine makeup for patients who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
According to Carrie Helliesen, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society, “‘Real Men Wear Pink Sneakers Week’ is a great fundraising and awareness initiative that literally puts boots on the ground in the fight against breast cancer in Key West and lets participants show their support wherever they go. The Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society strives to provide a wide range of support programs to help patients both emotionally and physically, so having the backing of the community at large is vital to our continued service and success. Chris Holland’s idea for men wearing pink shoes to support the women in their lives is the most unique and fun-based fundraiser we’ve ever been a part of.”

As an added incentive to participate, the weeklong fundraising and awareness initiative will culminate with a Pink Converse New Year’s Eve Party at IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort, Key West’s most original waterfront destination. All those who purchase a pair of the pink Converse sneakers are invited to wear them to the party and celebrate the new year Key West-style!

About IBIS Bay Waterfront Resort:
The IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort ( embodies the very best of Key West and offers guests a vacation experience like no other. With a full deck of options for active adventure-seekers, Hemingway buffs, or travelers who want to fit in with the locals, there is something special for every guest. Featuring classic Key West architecture and design, 600 feet of beautiful private beach, a 20-foot poolside movie screen for outdoor movie nights and the Lighthouse Restaurant, IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort is more than a resort—it’s a destination.

About the American Cancer Society:
Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back.
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has 12 chartered Divisions, more than 900 local offices nationwide, and a presence in more than 5,100 communities. To learn more, visit

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