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Companies, nonprofits support breast cancer awareness

For the rest of this month, shoppers should keep an eye out for pink ribbons. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many companies are supporting the cause with a variety of pink products.

Campbell's has replaced its classic red soup label with a pink one. More than 7 million pink cans of Tomato and Chicken Noodle soup will be stocked on store shelves this month. The company is donating funds to breast cancer awareness initiatives across the country. Visit www.campbellsoupcompany.com for more information.

This month, The Hershey Company is also thinking pink with limited edition York peppermint patties, milk chocolate Hershey's Kisses and dark chocolate Hershey's Nuggets. The York peppermint patties will have pink filling and all the candies will be wrapped in pink foil. For more information, visit www.hersheys.com.

The company is also making a $250,000 contribution to the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that supports young women who have breast cancer with programs, services and a network of survivors. The group was founded in 1998 by three women under the age of 32 who were diagnosed with breast cancer. Call 646-257-3000 or visit www.youngsurvival.org.

The pink Hershey's candies will be available in stores and online through Candy Favorites. The Web-based business has pledged to donate a minimum of $500 from sales of Hershey's pink products to the Young Survival Coalition. Visit www.candyfavorites.com.

With its Pink Ribbon boxes, the Tic Tac brand will support CancerCare, a nonprofit group that provides free professional support services to those affected by cancer. Five cents from each sale of the Freshmint Tic Tac pink box will be donated to CancerCare's breast cancer programs.

CancerCare, founded in 1944, offers counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help from trained oncology social workers. The group helps more than 90,000 people every year. Call 1-800-813-HOPE or visit www.cancercare.org.

The Oreck company is producing a pink cleaner to support breast cancer awareness. For every pink Oreck XL Ultra Hypo-Allergenic Plus Vacuum Cleaner sold, the company will donate $50 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The vacuum cleaner, priced at $549, will be available through February 2007 at Oreck Clean Home Centers. Visit www.oreck.com. For more information on the Komen Foundation, call 1-800-462-9273 or visit www.komen.org.

Even Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants has adopted a new color. The cartoon character has donned a pair of pink pants for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The limited edition SpongeBob PinkPants Ty Beanie Baby is available at stores and online at www.nick.com.

Both Nickelodeon and Ty will make donations to breast cancer charities. Profits from the sales of a Sponge Bob PinkPants T-shirt sold only on www.nick.com will also be donated to the cause.

To Make a Donation

If you'd rather donate your money directly to an organization working to fight breast cancer, here are three of the best options:

•Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

This grassroots, volunteer-based group was founded more than two decades ago. Susan Komen died at age 36 after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978, when little was known about the disease.

The group sponsors the annual Komen Race for the Cure fundraiser, funds research grants and supports education, screening and treatment projects. About 75 percent of the money raised by local Komen Foundation affiliates funds local programs.

You can donate online at www.komen.org, by phone at 888-888-3317, or mail. Mail cash or check donations to The Komen Foundation, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas, Texas, 75244.

•American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society offers programs across the country to reduce the risk of cancer, detect cancer early and help cancer patients cope with the disease.

ACS also sponsors the annual Relay for Life fundraiser. Research funded by ACS has developed the Tamoxifen medication, bone marrow transplants and molecular therapies, among other things.

The American Cancer Society funds research for all types of cancer, but donations can be earmarked to specifically fund breast cancer research. You can donate online at www.acs.org, by phone at 1-800-ACS-2345, or by mail. Mail cash or check donations to American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, Okla., 73123-1718.

•Breast Cancer Research Foundation

This independent, nonprofit foundation funds research grants and awareness programs.

Research funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation has helped develop six new drugs in pre-clinical or clinical development, as well as six vaccines that are being tested as a possible prevention for breast cancer.

You can donate online at www.bcrfcure.org, by phone at 866-FIND-A-CURE, or by mail. Mail checks or U.S. money orders payable to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to 60 E. 56th St., 8th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10022.

- Compiled by staff writer Shelley Mann