The color of bracelets

Published 5:47 pm Thursday, March 3, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - It's a fashion statement that shows your support.
Everyone knows at least one or two people, maybe more, who are wearing a brightly colored rubber wristband with letters or mantra on them.
If you have wondered what they are for, and found yourself seeing a lot of people out there wearing them, you may wonder if this is some new fad, or what is the reason so many are wearing them.
The wristbands are being worn in support of causes such as cancer, the tsunami victims, our troops in Iraq, heart disease, AIDS and a number of other causes.
The whole wristband campaign was launched in May 2004, and started by six time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong started the LiveStrong program in conjunction with Nike in an effort to raise $5 million for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Armstrong who is a cancer survivor, started this foundation in 1997 to help people who with cancer to focus on living while coping with this disease.
According to the Lance Armstrong Foundation website, Armstrong knows yellow is really more than just the color of the leader's jersey in the Tour de France. It's really a symbol of hope, courage and perseverance.
To date more than 33 million of the LiveStrong wristbands have been sold, at a dollar each, raising funds for the foundation.
Tammy Boyer of Edwardsburg said, "We bought the LiveStrong for all of our kids, because we felt that it's important to support the efforts of Lance Armstrong, and every little bit helps."
Since the start of the LiveStrong campaign, many other organizations have created their own wrist band campaign.
In order to promote awareness of breast cancer, the Target corporation created a pink wristband with the saying "Share beauty. Spread hope."
Their hope with this campaign was to spread the word around about how to detect breast cancer early and to remind women to get their yearly mammogram and to do those self exams.
It's really about making people aware of this disease and how it can be fought.
The trend of selling these wristbands has spread locally. Martin's Supermarkets was selling blue ones for Coaches vs. Cancer. This was through Notre Dame head basketball coach Mike Brey.
The list goes on and on of the different organizations that are selling the wristbands in support of a charity.
Hendrick Motor Sports, is selling blue bracelets with the saying "Life is a Team Sport" on them in support of the National Bone Marrow Donor organization.
Beat It Bands, LLC is selling red ones in support of the American Heart Association to help research and education of the diseases.
Many people may think the wristbands may just be a fad, but if it gets the word out about a specific organization, disease or problem, and that's good, along with raising money for a cause.