Tuesday, September 26, 2006

BoobieThon.com Expose your Breasts for a Great Cause!

BoobieThon Begins Sunday, October 1st. Donate $$$! Submit your Beautiful Boobies and Save our Breasts!

Last week while blog hopping myself into a heated frenzy, I happened upon a very pink site, BoobieThon.com. Being a well hung dame with an, I love my breasts blog motif, it was love at first sight. So… I read. I clicked. And, I read and clicked some more.

2006 BoobieThon Press Release -> Bloggers bare all for breast cancer research

This year’s Fund Raising Goals -> We're requesting that in the spirit of the original Boobie-Thon, the first $359 donated this year go toward Children's Hospital Boston as the "bloggers helping bloggers" portion of the Boobie-Thon. We have selected this charity to honor Baby Samson, the son of the bloggers at snazzykat.com and minorthird.com. Samson was born on February 24, 2006, with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome a.k.a. HLHS. His parents have requested Children's Hospital as the recipient of donations in his honor. (You can find more on the history of the $359 donation here.)

The remainder of the proceeds raised will go directly to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, for the fifth straight year in a row. To date we have raised more than $24,000 for Komen alone since starting the Boobie-Thon in 2002.

I thought this is tits! Broads proudly baring their titskeas in artsy, creative ways and raising money to save them. Dames bravely showing the world their mastectomy scars to educate. Heal and save lives. Men stepping up for men, and women’s boobsicles. I’m in!

Boobie-Thon raises money each year during October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. Since inception, Boobie-Thon has raised over $24,000. 2006 promises to be their best year yet.

Unfortunately though, and not surprising, Boobie-Thon has taken one hell of a hit for the v-team, having been called, porn pushers and contributors to the exploitation of women. Why is this surprising in 2006? Well, think about it, since the reds elected a GINORMOUS BOOB into office, our beloved boobies have been on the Most Wanted list, both metaphorically and quite literally:

Bush Undermines Women’s Healthcare Security: Despite the known success of this program and its reputation for saving lives, the President has proposed a $1.4 million cut that will stop 4,000 women from benefiting from early detection. More

President Would Cut Funding For Critical Healthcare Research: Funding for the National Cancer Institute at NIH would be $645 million less than FY 2003, and $213 million less than last year, after adjusting for inflation. That includes research into breast cancer, cervical cancer, brain cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and uterine cancer. These funding cuts come on top of cuts to programs at the Centers for Disease Control for programs such as early cancer screenings, and prevention activities. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 1,500 Americans die of cancer every day. More

Bush’s new slogan should be, Killing one woman every 13 minutes, one breast at a time.

Until our government is willing to MAN UP, we need to support BoobieThon.com, and organizations that are dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.

I emailed Robyn Pollman, the founder, and her colleague, Lisa, the event coordinator, and asked them if they would let me do an interview. They graciously emailed me back and said that I could ask them anything.

Robyn, what gives, why BoobieThon?

Why not? Seriously though, a detailed history of the event can be found at, Boobie-Thon History.

Did you know when you started BoobieThon that you’d be facing a lot of opposition? If so, why’d you do it? if not, why’d you stick with it?

I assumed there would be some opposition, yes. Unfortunately in today’s culture it seems any time a woman is proud and unashamed of her body it can make her a target for criticism. Fortunately, as we’ve kept up with this event annually, the dollar amounts raised have started to speak for themselves. Coverage by mainstream-media has added even more legitimacy. However, we were recently criticized for doing this to be ‘fashionable’ on BlogHer, so for every step forward…

Lisa: I have been involved only for the past three years, but I've seen this event gain much more positive publicity than negative. I think one of the primary signs of a good fundraiser is that it brings people back year after year and takes on a life of its own. Boobie-Thon has been very successful in that aspect.

Do you think BoobieThon exploits women?

On the contrary! The photographs submitted must be sent in by the individual in the images. Each woman chooses whether or not to submit to us, how she wishes to be portrayed in her photo(s), and just how much she is willing to bare. Rather than being objectified because we have breasts, it gives the women who submit the photos (and the men who view them) the power to say “if they’re worth looking at – they’re also worth saving!” We also take male photo entries. Males get, and die from, breast cancer each and every year. We are all about the equality.

Lisa: Absolutely not! The women (and men) whose photos appear on BoobieThon.com all have submitted photos of their own free will. Exploitation is not our goal in any way.

What is your ultimate goal with BoobieThon?

The ultimate goal? To find a cure and never have to do this again!

Lisa: Right now the "ultimate goal" is to get through the 8th of October this year and raise more money than we did last year. We're already well on our way to receiving more photos than we did by this time last year. We could always use more pics of pecs, though. Men get breast cancer too and this is one thing the Boobie-Thon strives to keep in mind.

What is your history with breast cancer?

I don’t have a personal history. However, this year is the first year I have disclosed that my husband lost his maternal grandmother to the disease when his mother was a little girl. He never got to meet her. There is every chance our children carry the gene.

And a dear online friend, no bra required, lost her life to the illness on November 20th of last year, a month after the 2005 event. Another wonderful blogger, a day without rain, has seen her cancer return and spread aggressively since we started the Boobie-Thon.

Each year of the Boobie-Thon’s existence, we have requested for donations to be made “in honorarium” of these two brave women bloggers if the donor so-chooses. It saddens me beyond words to have to change that request to “in memoriam” for one of them for the first time this year.

Lisa: My husband and his mother tell stories about my husband's aunt. I never got to meet her. She died too young during a time when treatments were not as good as they are today. I have friends who have had encounters with breast cancer, whether in the form of a lump found during a routine breast exam, lumpectomies, even two who have had partial mastectomies. Something about knowing someone who's been there lit a fire under me. Maybe someday, I’ll be able to train and do a *three-day, but for this is one way I can do a little something for a cause I believe in.

Do you think it’s important for women with mastectomies to submit their photos? If so, why?

I think it’s very important for women who have battled, or who are currently battling, the disease to submit their photos if they’re at a place in their lives (and their fight) where they are comfortable in doing so. We are not a porn-site. What better reminder of exactly why we as volunteers – and photo-submitters and donors – are truly there?

Lisa: I truly believe it's important for women who've dealt with this up close and personal to be able to show the world that it doesn't change the inside. I think we help if only just a little by posting photos sent to us from those women who've faced breast cancer and beat it. I think the biggest help comes from those brave women strong enough to submit those photos in the first place.

Are women wiser and more educated today about breast cancer? Or are we still na├»ve about it? And, if we are, why, and what’s missing? How can we change this?

I think women are more educated to a certain extent, but statistics still show that over 13 million American women over the age of 40 have never even had a mammogram – be it for personal or financial reasons. Although mammograms are not a form of prevention, they are still the best hope for early detection.

As for the rest of this question, I honestly think it’s best answered by organizations such as the Susan G Komen Foundation. I don’t feel qualified to speculate.

Lisa: I think I'd have to defer to the experts as well.

How many bloggers were involved last year?

Last year we had 198 individuals who chose to be listed on our participant’s page. More submitted anonymously. Over 500 photos were submitted to just the “covered” photo gallery alone. This does not include photos submitted to the “uncovered” and male galleries.

How many bloggers do you anticipate this year?

I honestly can’t answer that question. Every year we are shocked at how quickly word of the Boobie-Thon spreads like wildfire. The number of online-bloggers increases dramatically each and every year. Not to mention with the growing popularity of new services like Flickr and Vox, there are even more online communities to link to the site now than ever before.

Is this BoobieThon different from previous years?

If it ain’t broke, why fix it? The “bloggers helping bloggers” charity changes each year. This year we are asking that the first $359 donated – the price of the original plane ticket that launched the reasoning behind the very first Boobie-Thon – go to Children’s Hospital Boston. Other than that, the only real changes are occurring behind the scenes (to help streamline the submission and donation processes, making life easier for the volunteers and coordinators).

If I want to submit a photo, where do I submit?

On the main page of boobiethon.com there will be a link to submit a photo” with detailed instructions for doing so. Are there any photo restrictions that I should know about? Yes, and they are outlined in great detail on our photo-submissions page, including photo examples of submissions from years-past for a better idea of what we are looking for.

Should I submit a full body shot?

From the photo submissions page: “We'd like to kindly point out that this is called ‘The Boobie-Thon’. Although we certainly appreciate the enthusiasm, we're not here to compete with Playboy. Those sites are a credit card a dozen... October is breast cancer awareness month and we're all about the boobies here. Photos containing more than we've called for will be tastefully edited before appearing on the site.”

Is my privacy protected?

We strive to protect privacy at all costs. Donors and photo submitters all have the choice of having their real or online names and/or URLs linked, or remaining anonymous. And the participant’s page always lists photo submitters in random order, so that photos can not be matched with their owners. No identifying information (names, URLs, etc.) is allowed on photos submitted, and no faces are ever shown on the site.

When will you begin accepting photo submissions?

We are currently taking early photo submissions and will continue to do so from the official launch date of October 1st through the final day of the event on October 7th. More information can be found at boobiethon.com.

If I want to donate money, what do I do?

Check the site, BoobieThon.com on October 1st. There will be detailed directions on how – and where – to donate. We do not collect the donations ourselves. Rather, we refer donors directly to the online sites of our two charities where they can donate directly. We operate in a pledge-only capacity (and require a copy of an e-receipt, personal identifying information removed, in order to view the pay-section of the site).

Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes, because your donation goes directly to the charity and not to us, your donation will be tax-deductible according to the guidelines set by the individual charities.

Anything else we need to know? Spill!

The website main page at boobiethon.com will always remain text-only and worksafe. We update it continually throughout the event and even do a few promotions and contests for free pay-logins along the way. So it’s always best to check in often from October 1st – 7th. We even provide an XML feed and Google Calendar reminders to make this easier.

Find out more about BoobieThon
Find out more about breast cancer education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment
Find out more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation
Find out more about the Three Day. Walk 60 miles in three-days, a fundraising event that raises millions of dollars each year.

Be a mensch! Get involved.


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