The Hard Rock Cafe Seattle celebrated fifteen years of their PINKTOBER campaign during the month of October. Throughout the month, they hosted live bands led by female vocalists, with a portion of all music ticket sales benefiting Susan G. Komen of Puget Sound.
The mission of Komen of Puget Sound is to fight breast cancer and save lives in Western Washington, and ultimately find a cure for the disease. The local chapter is the sixth largest among 119 Komen Affiliates working in communities across the country and has invested over $28.6 million over the last 20 years to fund free breast cancer screenings and patient support for low income and underserved women in our community. Since its inception in 1994, over $9.5 million into medical research to find a cure for breast cancer.
I recently attended a show featuring Mary Scholz and the band, Chasing Jane. Mary, a multi-talented artist based in Los Angeles, sang her beautiful songs while playing a guitar and a keyboard along with her band. In addition to performing at the Hard Rock Seattle PINKTOBER, she also sang at the Hard Rock Denver event. Seattleites Chelsi Marie and DaLona Foster and their band, Chasing Jane, took the stage after Mary’s set. With my sister recently being diagnosed with breast cancer, one of their songs hit me, with lyrics, “…when the world crashes down, look into my eyes, everything’s gonna be alright…” The lyrics gave me some hope that my sister is going battle her way through treatments and beat cancer! I had the opportunity to ask Mary and Chelsi a few questions after the show.
What does PINKTOBER and partnering with Hard Rock and Komen for the Cure mean to you?
Mary: I was so glad to be able to be a part of these PINKTOBER shows with the Hard Rock Cafe and help raise money for Komen for the Cure. When they mentioned that they were planning to feature female acts to raise money for Susan G Komen, I was all in. It’s been a running theme for me recently, putting a spotlight on the strength of women who are battling various issues or illnesses in their daily lives, and this was right in line with that. There are so many inspiring women who have battled or are battling breast cancer, and participating in this fundraiser is my way of saying “you keep fighting your fight and we will keep fighting to find the cure.”
Chelsi: It was a special event. Several of our band members brought people with Cancer. My friend Lisa Quinlan who recently survived a bout with breast cancer was at the event and I know it touched her. I think any opportunity to raise awareness, funds, and hope, is necessary. Playing positive music, that has deep roots, for people who have been through something, is what art and music is about at its core. And, our band enjoyed an excuse to wear way to much Pink live
Why is giving back important to you?
Mary: Being an indie artist, I often rely on the generosity of others, and so I look for any opportunity that I can to give back. Especially when it comes to charities and people in need – if I’m available, I’m there. It’s important to me that we all take care of each other.
Chelsi: Giving back is important to me, and multiple members of our band, because we all have known someone who has had cancer. It’s a life stealer, a joy killer, a thief. But we can take back broken pieces, rearrange them, call it music, and inspire healing, research, and HOPE! We hope that’s what we were able to do partnering with the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle for this event.
During the show, the Hard Rock Seattle staff served me one of their pink margaritas, a Red Berry Press fruit cocktail (the bartender brought out fresh raspberries to infuse in my drink) and a red velvet cake complete with a pink ribbon in the frosting to support Komen Puget Sound. The drinks were the perfect, sweet accompaniment to a fantastic evening of music and charity. I had a chance to ask Andy Robinson, the sales and marketing manager for the Hard Rock a few questions.
What does PINKTOBER and partnering with Komen Puget Sound mean to you? Partnering with Komen Puget Sound was a natural fit because they have invested more than $28.6 million to fund breast cancer screening and patient treatment support in Western Washington. To be able to support an organization that is having a dynamic impact locally is quite incredible.
How much have you been able to raise so far for Komen Puget Sound through PINKTOBER? To date Hard Rock Cafe Seattle has raised more than $2,200 this October for Komen Puget Sound. Nationally, PINKTOBER raises thousands of dollars for various breast cancer research charities.
Are there other charities that you give back to? Hard Rock Cafe Seattle’s goal is to foster a few intimate relationships with charities and grow those connections throughout the year. In addition to our local Komen partnership, nationally, the other partnership we focus on is WhyHunger, through the IMAGINE There’s No Hunger campaign. To date, IMAGINE has helped communities grow enough food to provide more than 9.7 million nutritious meals to children and supported programs that taught more than 27,600 community members techniques for sustained food production. This year, IMAGINE is aiming to hit a program milestone of 10 million meals locally produced and served. From November 3rd through December 31st 2014, a portion of the retail price from the sale of Hard Rock’s limited-edition IMAGINE merchandise will directly benefit WhyHunger and its fight against childhood hunger and poverty.