THOMASVILLE — Throughout October residents will see pink bows sitting on benches in downtown Thomasville in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month all because of one resident’s efforts.
“The benches are always there, but you add that little pink bow to it and it just makes it so much more special,” Randie Wortman, co-founder of Kickin’ Cancer, said.
For over seven years, Wortman has made it her mission to create and place the signature pink bows around the city, reminding residents that the fight against breast cancer is never over.
“Something needed to be done in our community,” she said.
Fundraising and participating in Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives isn’t new to Wortman, as she has done many in previous years, but she decided to take matters into her own hands when it came to spreading more awareness in the community.
“I kind of wanted to go down a different avenue and thought ‘you know, I can do this; I can put bows on all the benches downtown’ and that is from me to my community,” she said.
This year, with the help of volunteers, Wortman has placed 107 pink bows on benches.
Every year she does it for the same reason.
“I just want people to be aware that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you can wear all your pink fun stuff but it’s a very serious disease and it can be fixed," she said. "You just have to have the faith. The motto is 'be positive.'"
The month of October also holds a deeper meaning for Wortman as she celebrates 20 years of being a breast cancer survivor.
“I wanted to do something for me,” she said.
Christy Owens, City of Thomasville Main Street and special events manager, said that the pink bows are just one of many other initiatives Main Street is happy to support.
“Our merchants and visitors enjoy coming through downtown and seeing the different color bows that might be put out throughout the year, so I think it’s just a win-win for the community and our offices as well to be able to assist these different organizations,” she said.
For some residents like Jackie Harrison, the pink bows serve as a reminder to stay on top of annual health visits.
“I think this is something that has a big influence when you see the bows. You question why, so it gets people to talking about it. This is a good thing,” she said.
Wortman is already planning and preparing for next year's bow distribution and said she hopes it continues to inspire more residents.
“That makes you feel good that you’ve at least touched one person,” she said.