Denim Day fundraiser for breast cancer foundation set for Oct. 13
From Staff Reports

Sept. 23, 2005 -- If you don't much cotton to breast cancer, then Thursday, Oct. 13, is a good day to do something about it.

That's when employees of Hopkins County schools and businesses will be taking part in the 10th Annual Lee Denim Day, the nation's largest single-day fundraiser for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.

In the fundraiser to aid in the fight against cancer, employers and school administrators give their staffs permission to wear casual denim attire on Thursday, a privilege for which the workers pay $5. The money raised is turned over to the local sponsors, who send it to the foundation. 

Most places across the country will be holding Denim Day on Friday, Oct. 7. The local chapter of Beta Nu, an international honorary teacher sorority,  has moved the day to Thursday, Oct. 13, in Hopkins County for a good reason, however.

"We move it because so many schools and businesses get to wear jeans on Friday that this gives them more of an chance to participate," said Johnna West, who has helped organize Denim Days locally since 2000.

"We know this is a good cause, because cancer has affected many people in our lives," says West.

Denim Day was launched in 1996 by Lee Jeans to raise $1 million, with 100 percent of the donations going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The results were better than expected -- more than 3,000 companies signed up and raised $1.4 million.

This is the sixth year Beta Nu has sponsored the event in Hopkins and other counties in the region, and the payoff for casual dress has increased almost each year, from $1,500 in 2000 to $1,800 the following year, then $3,000 in 2002 and $2,600 in 2003. Last year, the drive raised more than $3,000.

Sulphur Springs, Cumby, North Hopkins, Como-Pickton, Saltillo and Mount Vernon school districts participated last year, as did such businesses as Galyean Insurance, Alliance Bank, City National Bank and Guaranty Bond Bank.

Representatives of local schools and businesses that want to take part in Denim Day on Oct. 13 can contact Johnna West at Saltillo Independent School District, 903-537-2386, or at her home number, 903-885-9868.

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