We've officially gone from Pink Ribbons to orange leaves to the first snowy white powder sugar dusting on the ground and the last leaf on the 2011 Calendar. What a year it's been for The SCAR Project! The SCAR Project Book, The SCAR Project documentary, Baring It All, airing on Style Network here and around the globe (including recently being featured in the fabulous Toronto Breast Film Fest put on by Rethink Breast Cancer), beautiful coverage in both Life Magazine and USA Today online, not to mention this awesome interview of quite a few of the SCAR girls from our very own Channel 9, and two successful exhibits (one of them being this beautiful Queen City of ours, and the other the Big freaking Apple) and quite a few cities/countries in the wings. Quite a whirlwind of awareness to be smack dab in the middle of.
I'm so proud and happy and humbled that Cincinnati was the first city outside of New York City to host the exhibit. The reception Cincy gave The SCAR Project and all the SCAR Project girls who travelled here from across the country made us look like the coolest city on the map. Everyone mentioned what an amazing community we have here, to get behind a project like The SCAR Project the way we did. The way we did—seriously, I think we set the bar high folks—so thank you.
Speaking of thank you's...
- Vanessa, I'm so glad I met you at the first SCAR Project Exhibit in New York City. Working with you to bring the exhibit to Cincinnati is one of the most beautiful, meaningful things I've ever done. Thank you for your friendship, your example to "Live Sincerely", and yours (and Blustery Days) graphic design wizardry and generosity.
- Litsa Spanos and Art Design Consultants, thank you SO MUCH for donating your beautiful "gallery in the sky" to host the exhibit, not to mention all the time, passion and resources you so generously and graciously poured into being the presenting sponsor for the exhibit and in working so closely with me and Vanessa on the planning committee. There would have been no Cincy exhibit without a venue, but we simply got the best when lucked into meeting you. On top of a fabulous friendship. Wow.
- Pam Irvin, thank you for your passion and tireless devotion networking and helping us make connections.
- Banita Bailey, how would we have pulled this beautiful thing off without you? Let's not even think about that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you....
- Oncology Hematology Care, thank you so much for your more than generous sponsorship, encouragement, and support (not to mention care, as quite a few of us on and around the committee are also your patients). We simply could not have financed bringing the exhibit without you. And we couldn't have found a more benevolent partner to work with.
- Anne Lisbin's Elegant Fare (and your amazing generous, kind-hearted staff), thank you so much for donation of the catering for the gala and the friends and family cocktail party. The food was so delicious it's ridiculous.
- Cheers to Cork 'N Bottle and Party Source for providing the wine that was paired so elegantly with the fare for the gala and friends and family cocktail party, respectively.
- Plastic Surgery Group, thank you for your financial and promotional support. How cool was it to see The SCAR Project up on the US Bank Arena?!
- The Eisen Agency, thank you Rodger and Tara for the generous donation of your time and PR skillz. I guess getting coverage in practically all the local print media, on all the local TV news stations (three times on channel 9, twice on Fox 19, once on channels 5 and 12), on two local talk-radio programs, and a beautiful Cincinnati Enquirer article (kudos Lauren Bishop) that got picked up by USA Today online was pretty much knocking it out of the ballpark.
- To the 20 SCAR Project Girls who were able to come to Cincy for the exhibit, thank you. You made it even more beautiful and meaningful by your presence. I heart you all.
- Residence Inn, thank you for your generous discount and wonderful service in helping us provide The SCAR Project staff and Girls with rooms with a view and a hub to hang out together.
But so worth it.
- And thank you to all the volunteers who made everything run so smoothly from unpacking crates with white gloves on, to running the elevator, to lighting luminaries, to tying "Live Sincerely" notes on cocktail glasses, taking tickets, to selling SCAR Project books and DVDs, to passing out exhibit programs, to pouring wine, to keeping the SCAR Project documentary DVD playing throughout the exhibit, to manning the guest book, to helping hang the portraits, to cleaning the gallery each night, to packing everything up when the exhibit was over, to photographing the events, to putting the gallery back together afterward, to blogging about the exhibit, to... and that's not the half of it. So. Much. Work.
In the end, here's what we did. We brought an amazing art exhibit to our city—one that looked beneath the pink ribbons and exposed the absolute reality of surviving cancer. We did because we were in sync with The SCAR Project's mission: to raise awareness that young women do get breast cancer, to raise funds for a local organization that serves young survivors (in our case, The Pink Ribbon Girls), and to help other survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens.
Besides the success our committee and PR team had in getting the word out about The SCAR Project Cincy Exhibit, we estimate 700+ people came to the exhibit. If one young woman went home and checked herself after coming to our exhibit, it was worth it. If one young couple went home and checked second base after coming to our exhibit, it was worth it. If one woman over 40 or high risk for breast cancer went home and scheduled a mammogram after coming to our exhibit, it was worth it. Maybe one of the doctors or researchers or students who came to the exhibit will be the one to find a cure for breast cancer. Like one breast surgeon said after viewing the exhibit, "I hope to be put out of business because we find a cure."
Three of us from our Cincinnati committee (myself, Litsa, and Pam) and our PR girl Tara, were all able to travel to the opening of the NYC exhibit a few weeks after our Cincy exhibit to present David Jay with a check for $7,500. The fun part was that he did not see it coming.
|Scar Project Manager Sandie Samuels, Joules Evans, SCAR Project Photographer David Jay|
We were also super pumped to be able to write a big fat check for $13,500 to The Pink Ribbon Girls!
|Pam Irvin, PRG Banita Bailey, PRG founder Tracie Metzger, Joules Evans, Litsa Spanos, and Vanessa Tiemeier|
As for the third part of the mission, to help survivors see their scars, faces, figures and experiences through a new, honest and ultimately empowering lens, not to mention, a pretty darn good recap of The SCAR Project Cincy Exhibit, please click here to check out a cool photo blog put together by one of our volunteer photographers, Donna Carr. (Thank you, Donna:)
And that, my friends, is a wrap. This SCAR Project Cincy blog is going to take a nap. When it wakes up, parts of it will become part of The SCAR Project website blog [which is in the works].
I usually sign off with Cheers and love, Joules. So there. I'm lifting a glass to all you lovely peeps, and to your health. But in this case I'd like to let Vanessa have the last words, since she summed up so perfectly everything our committee became all about, having experienced the honor and pleasure of working so closely with her on The SCAR Project Cincy Exhibit...