NEW YORK - Sept. 9, 2009 - The next time you see a distinctively pink Vespa zooming by, it might just be one of the Vespa LX 50 scooters that more than a dozen non-profit agencies devoted to battling breast cancer are adding to their autumn Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives. Through a partnership with Lifetime Networks' 15th annual National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign, "Stop Breast Cancer for Life: The Power of 15," Vespa USA (www.VespaUSA.com), is bringing a boost of extra horsepower to each of the participating agencies' Breast Cancer Awareness Month programs by donating a limited-edition pink Vespa. Each agency, from internationally known organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation to the Breast Cancer Network of Strength, My Vision Foundation, BreastCancer.org and the Prevent Cancer Foundation, is creating its own unique Vespa-fueled fund-raising initiative, from online auctions to special events and membership incentives.
"In today's economy, people are being more and more selective about how they donate, which means we are always considering creative ways to connect with new audiences," said Dr. Susan Love, President of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. "While the color pink is now universally associated with breast cancer awareness, simply being aware is not enough. Our mission is to move breast cancer beyond a cure and we are doing it by recruiting one million women nationwide to sign up and be part of our Army of Women initiative. We welcome Vespa to our arsenal and plan to use our pink Vespa to ignite all women to reach out and recruit every woman in their life to sign up and be part of the movement to find the cause and prevent breast cancer once and for all."
The Vespa Pink Campaign invites all current and future scooter fans to actively participate in one or all the Breast Cancer Awareness Month programs. The agencies adding a pink Vespa to their October fund-raising initiatives are: Breast Cancer Network of Strength, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, BreastCancer.org, Bright Pink, Cup With Love, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, The Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G.
Komen for the Cure, My Vision Foundation, Nueva Vida, Prevent Cancer Foundation, SHARE and the Young Survival Coalition.
Since its post-World War II debut in Italy, Vespa has been a symbol of freedom - a perfect match for the organizations whose mission it is to help the millions of women and men touched by the disease to prevent, manage and survive its indiscriminate reach. Prior to the launch of October's Vespa Pink Campaign, Vespa USA dealers already ordered 1,000 limited-edition pink Vespa LX 50s, some of which were purchased by local supporters of breast cancer-related causes. Vespa aims to build on the popularity of the retail models by offering the donated scooters as a platform for catching the eyes - and donation dollars - of even more supporters.
"There are so many unique needs in the fight against breast cancer, and we're happy to play a small part in helping these agencies get the word out about their special work," said Paolo Timoni, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas. "For instance, Nueva Vida's efforts focus on the Latina community, Breast Cancer Network of Strength provides information from a survivor's perspective and the Young Survival coalition is devoted to education and supporting young women affected by breast cancer - these organizations and their missions are as diverse as the people who ride Vespas."
Here is the current list of charity events and activities that feature a pink Vespa LX 50:
. Breast Cancer Network of Strength www.networkofstrength.org will host an event on October 6 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago, IL;
. BreastCancer.org will host an event in Philadelphia November 14 with Fuelthecure.net;
. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation's www.bcrfcure.org auction, including the pink Vespa LX 50, goes live on charitybuzz.com September 29 and ends October 22, 2009;
. Bright Pink www.BeBrightPink.org will list its pink Vespa on eBay during the month of October with eBay's Giving Works;
. Cup with Love www.cupwithlove.org will conduct a raffle from October 1 - 31, 2009
. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation www.dslrf.org will launch a social media contest titled "How Would You Recruit an Army of Women?," October through November, 2009;
. The Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure www.komennyc.org will offer the Vespa as a reward incentive to fundraisers who exceed their Komen NYC Race for the Cure pledge goals between September 14 and October 31;
. My Vision Foundation www.myvision.org make a minimum $100 donation through October for a chance to win the pink Vespa LX 50;
. Nueva Vida www.nueva-vida.org will conduct a raffle from September 23 through October 31;
. Prevent Cancer Foundation www.preventcancer.org Sign up for "Screen Your Boobs" alerts through October and participants are automatically entered to win the pink Vespa;
. SHARE's www.sharecancersupport.org sixth annual "A Second Helping of Life" tasting and live auction event features leading female chefs and chance to bid on the pink Vespa LX 50. The event is scheduled for September 21, 2009 from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 719-0364, ext. 239;
. Young Survival Coalition www.youngsurvival.org Through November 16, become a "fan" on the Young Survival Coalition's Facebook page and you can have a chance to win the pink Vespa LX 50;
Vespa USA will announce the final details concerning each of the charities' pink Vespa fundraising initiatives during the middle of September. Information about the charities and their programs can also be found on the Vespa USA Web site (www.VespaUSA.com).
For 15 years, Lifetime's Stop Breast Cancer for Life initiative has been dedicated to offering women the most up-to-date, comprehensive information about breast cancer. Lifetime has also collected more than 24 million petition signatures on myLifetime.com, and for 13 years has fought to urge Congress to pass the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act. The bi-partisan bill would end the practice of "drive-through mastectomies," which refers to the practice where women are sometimes forced to leave the hospital just hours after invasive breast surgery.
Breast cancer affects everyone. This year alone, 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in the United States.
It is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 15 to 54, and almost half of all Vespa riders are women. A woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes and the disease claims a life every 13 minutes. These women are mothers, sisters, wives - but breast cancers also directly touches men. Every year almost 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer and 440 will die.