If you notice an unusual number of men wearing pink in Culpeper this October, don’t be surprised. Not only is October Breast Cancer Awareness Month – symbolized by the color pink – but the inaugural Real Men Wear Pink in Culpeper campaign of the American Cancer Society is underway. The Society has recruited 11 men who will be wearing pink with pride and purpose: to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer with the Society and compete to be the number one Real Men fundraiser. Ten of the Real Men participants are Culpeper Chamber of Commerce business leaders.
“Real Men Wear Pink is a network of men across the U.S, making a meaningful impact on a cause that touches us all and having some fun while doing it,” says Christina Ballard, community manager for the American Cancer Society in Culpeper, who organized the effort locally. More than 7,000 women in Virginia and 240,000 women in the U.S. are expected to be newly diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
Brett York, manager of Buffalo Wild Wings in Culpeper, who is one of the Real Men explains his commitment, “I have a mother, a daughter and a wife, so I am proud to support this cause. Many of our customers have been impacted by breast cancer. When I’m at the restaurant wearing pink, customers will come in and ask why, and I’m sure they will support this.”
Jonathan James, owner of Xpress Copy and Graphics, was affected by breast cancer at a young age. “I never knew my dad’s mother because we lost her to breast cancer when I was just a baby. I joined the Real Men campaign because of the special women in my life – my wife, my daughter and my mom. If any of them ever got breast cancer, I’d want there to be a cure.”
Another Real Men participant Michael Duff, owner of CrossFit Culpeper, says that his wife’s family has had breast cancer. Duff, who also promotes the role of fitness and exercise in helping prevent all types of cancer risk, says, “I’ll be holding Fit camps during October and donating a portion to the cause. I’ve been involved with the American Cancer Society for the past seven years.”
This year alone, the American Cancer Society has invested $62 million nationwide in breast cancer research to find new cures. In addition, the Society offers free programs such as Road to Recovery, Look Good Feel Better and the 24/7 National Cancer Information Center line (800-227-2345) that provides resources for cancer patients and their families.
The Society has been part of almost every major discovery in the treatment of breast cancer, including well known medications such as Tamoxifen and Herceptin.
“I am so very excited to announce Real Men Wear Pink in Culpeper! It’s taking off like a rocket, and I know our Real Men will be very successful,” says Ballard, a former Army nurse who moved to Culpeper years ago to take care of three relatives with cancer.
“The Culpeper Real Men are geared up for this fight. Their efforts exemplify what is so special about our community,” says Ballard. Each man has committed to a goal to try to reach a minimum of $2,500 and raise awareness about breast cancer through social networks and other means. They will also be featured by the American Cancer Society’s social media.
The Real Men Wear Pink of Culpeper:
Dr. Khalid Athar, Anesthesiologist, Wellspring Health Services
John Barker, COO, Attollo Systems
Tripp Butler, VP, Virginia Community Bank
Tim Carlson, Certified Professional, Studio C Photography
Michael Duff, Owner, CrossFit Culpeper
Zach Halsey, Manager, Buffalo Wild Wings
Gordon Humphrey, Owner, Hump Day Studios
Jonathan James, Owner, Express Copy and Graphics
David M. Jones, CPA, CGMA, Partner, Nichols, Jones, & Co.
Ronald Warner, Sr. Branch Manager, Union Bank Main Street Location
Brett York, Manager, Buffalo Wild Wings