The scene outside of City Hall on Tuesday morning was literally and figuratively rosy.
Artists, sponsors, breast cancer survivors and beneficiaries gathered at the Reflection Pool for the kickoff of the inaugural Pink Ribbon Parade, sponsored by the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas. It was an opportunity for involved parties, government representatives, the media and the public to see the fruits of their labor for the first time: More than a dozen painted ribbon sculptures that will parade across Texas to raise awareness for breast health.
Each 7-foot-tall ribbon serves a dual purpose for breast cancer awareness and fundraising. Artists and sponsors collaborated to embellish their sculptures, and at the event, the Breast Health Collaborative presented each team with a portion of a $38,000 check — which the teams, in turn, donated to a chosen recipient.
One ribbon was sponsored by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's IBC Research Program and Clinic; another by Pinot's Palette; another by young artists Isabella and Hailey, who along with their art teacher, Ms. Betsy, painted a sculpture entitled "Butterfly Kisses" in honor of Isabella's mother, Amy, a breast cancer survivor. Other artists included local talents Kermit Eisenhut and Hahn Tran.
"This project symbolizes the great collaborative spirit in Houston and throughout Texas," said Lyn Widlaski, the collaborative's executive director.
The ribbons will travel next to Tour de Pink at Prairie View A&M, then to the Susan G. Komen Houston Race for the Cure, and finally to the 7th Annual Breast Health Summit. At each location, the ribbons will serve as reminders of and testaments to the strength of breast cancer victims.
State Representative Sarah Davis, Mayor Annise Parker and City Council Members Ed Gonzalez, Al Hoang, Melissa Noriega, Oliver Pennington and Brenda Stardig were among the crowd.
"Let's all join together for a healthier Houston," said Parker, "and let's all join together to fight breast cancer."