“My grandmother was diagnosed 11 years ago,” she said.
A year ago, she and her mother, Tracie, decided it was time to do something about it. With Breast Cancer Awareness Month now in full swing, the two have scoured the city of Springville looking for donations to their fund. Last week, Olivia spoke to the City Council and to the Chamber of Commerce.
Their goal, through the sale of bows and T-shirts, is to turn Springville pink on Wednesday, Oct. 19. They hope to hold a ceremony marking the event at Springville Junior High School.
“It’s a fund for breast cancer research,” she said. “One hundred percent of the money raised goes to a foundation that will help fund breast cancer research at UAB.”
In 2010, their efforts raised $3,336. Olivia said she wants to “get over that.”
“We want to see it grow and grow each year,” she said.
In addition, the two are partnering with the Fire Department to raise funds as well. Fire Chief Richard Harvey told the City Council that they have “joined forces.”
“All the money is going to breast cancer research,” he said. “We hope to have a proclamation from the city declaring Oct. 19 the day to turn the city pink.”
The council voted to donate $250 to the effort. Tracie Hutto said last week that she was impressed with the response from business owners a year ago.
“It touched my heart that so many people are willing to give and do anything to help out,” she said. “It’s a long process, but it’s something we want to continue to do and get bigger every year.”
The efforts have a special meaning for Tracie, whose mother, Charlotte Keith, was the inspiration.
“We learned last year that it was coming back,” she said. “We’ve had a tough year of really watching her go through a lot. So it means a lot to me to see people who want to get involved and help with it.
“We’re hoping one day to find a cure.”
T-shirt sales closed on Friday, in order to process prior to the “Turn the City Pink” day on Oct. 19. Pink bows will be on sale through the Junior Beta Club at Springville Junior High, through the Fire Department or by calling Tracie at 205-629-6594.
“Every little bit helps,” Tracie said.
For her part, Olivia said she finds the work gratifying.
“I feel like I’m getting something done,” she said, “in the community and at school.”
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.