Downtown businesses ?Paint it Pink? for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Morrgan Bouler, Mt. Pleasant News Intern


This year, according to the American Cancer Society, 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women. As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, the businesses in downtown Mt. Pleasant are doing their part to spread the word by decorating their front windows with some rather surprising decorations.

?This is our first year and we?re hoping to have it as an annual thing,? said Main Street Director Lisa Oetken of the ?Paint it Pink? event.

Windows up and down the district have either been decorated with survivor stories or bras owners and workers personally designed. From feathers to felt, owners have unleashed their creativity to show support. But this isn?t just to make pedestrians take a double look. It?s all for a contest on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at the ?Paint it Pink? Style Expo at Your Dream Home Furniture and Floors. All of the participating businesses have jars for customers to cast their votes with cash.

While the American Cancer Society recommends women should undergo regular mammogram screenings starting at 45, breast cancer survivors say otherwise. For business owner, Heather Leichty, this is a cause near and dear to her heart. Her mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer twice, while Leichty herself was diagnosed with stage 0 this year. By catching it early, doctors were able to quickly cure her.

?Early detection is pretty important for me. If I had not had early detection, this would be a very different story. I want to make sure people realize how important early detection is,? said Leichty. ?We just really want to make sure people remember to take care of themselves, and as women, we tend to forget that. We let those things go because it isn?t bothering us right now.? Her advice is for women to check in regularly and to follow what their doctors say.

Oetken agrees that the more we can empower women, the better.

?Mt. Pleasant has always been progressive when it comes to women, women?s rights, and women?s choices. Over 80 percent of the businesses here in the district are owned and ran by women,? said Oetken.

The expo will take place at 7 p. m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at Your Dream Home Furniture and Floors located at 204 W. Washington St. in Mt. Pleasant. The winners of the bra contest will be announced there and other events will be held, such as a raffle, games, door prizes, and an auction. All money raised will go to the Henry County Mammography Fund.