Noah’s Ark Animal Workshop recognizes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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According to the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, 70 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no identifiable risk factors. And every woman is at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer—a risk that increases with age. So, in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, during the month of October, representatives from Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopsR throughout the country are hoping to make more people aware of the disease by holding “Hearts for Hope” workshops.

During “Hearts for Hope” workshops, guests will hand-stuff 18-inch “Hope Bears”—white plush bears that have pink hearts on them to symbolize hope for the cause. They will make a special wish on a rainbow star, tuck it into their bear, name their bear, and either take it home or give it as a gift of hope, said Debra Stiles, an independent representative for Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopR in Rockford.

“Breast cancer is a difficult disease for anyone to go through, and we at Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopR want to support all of those who are fighting against it,” Stiles said. “The workshop is a fun, easy way for both us and local residents to show our support. We are eager to join residents in this initiative for an important cause, bringing breast cancer awareness, hope and heart—that is what Noah’s Ark is all about!”

With pink, heart-patterned plush, a velvety pink heart-shaped nose and pink accents on her ears and paws, “the ‘Hope Bear’ is sure to make wishes and dreams come to life,” Stiles added.

This month, Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopsR will donate $1 from the sale of each “Hope Bear” toward the fight against breast cancer. This includes all purchases made, either at a workshop or on the company Web site, Stiles said.

Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopR is a traveling “Stuff-N-FluffR” Workshop where children and parents (grandparents, aunts or uncles) come together to stuff, name and love the animal of their choice and personalize their new friend with outfits, accessories and sound chips.

The Workshop is designed to stimulate imagination, inspiration and love in children of all ages by providing a memorable, hands-on activity. Because Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopR is a traveling “Stuff-N-FluffR” Workshop, it is convenient for Noah’s Ark to “set up shop” at home birthday parties, baby showers and play groups, and for groups that would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in a unique event like this—groups such as preschool and day care centers, scouting troops, summer camps, children’s hospitals and boys and girls clubs.

This year marks 22 years of progress for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to the education of breast cancer awareness, detection, diagnosis and treatment. Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, Y-ME says women can reduce the risk factors by avoiding obesity and weight gain, increasing physical activity, and minimizing alcohol intake. Stiles said the “Hearts for Hope” workshops are aimed to keep people aware.

“When you book a ‘Hearts for Hope’ workshop, not only will the workshop leave you with a lifetime of fun, memories and a cuddly plush pal, but it will also leave you with good spirits, knowing that you made a difference in the fight against breast cancer,” Stiles said.

For more information about Noah’s Ark Animal WorkshopR and its “Hearts for Hope” workshops this month, or to book your own “Hearts for Hope” workshop, contact Debra Stiles at 871-7905.

From the Oct. 18-24, 2006, issue

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