Think pink

Fund-raiser brings in $500 for breast cancer

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As Jo Sarafis knits, she thinks. Her thoughts fill the time as the pink yarn pours off her needles into scarf after scarf. She thinks of all the women she has known. She thinks about the women who will wear her scarves, and she thinks of the women her scarves will help -- women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Since Thanksgiving, Sarafis' needles have been busy knitting pink scarves, which she sells at Epilogue Book Co. and Pink, a women's clothing store in Old Town Square.

All the proceeds are given to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, a local fund that raises money to pay for any breast cancer related expense including mammograms and help getting to Denver for treatment. The fund gave out $16,000 in 2004.

Sarafis got the idea to help the project when she saw a poster for the Bust of Steamboat fund-raiser. She took the idea to her Tuesday night knitting group and enlisted volunteers to help.

"(Breast cancer) affects all of us," Sarafis said. "I've personally known women with breast cancer, and this is a way that we, as women, can give back."

Although Sarafis has knitted at least 15 scarves herself, she isn't the only one busy turning pink yarn into money for breast cancer treatment. The owners of Epilogue Book Co., Erica Fogue and Whitney Kaaz, each knitted a scarf. The owner of Pink, Ruthie Erickson, knitted one, and Nadine Harrach and Jane Toothaker, two members of Sarafis' knitting group, have done their share of pink scarf creation. Epilogue Book Co. donated the yarn.

Although production has been slow during the holiday season, Sarafis said she has a long list of people who promise to help after Jan. 1 and, so far, every pink scarf has sold immediately.

The handmade scarves sell for $30 to $45, depending on the yarn used. In just three weeks since starting the fund-raiser, Sarafis has been able to give $500 to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.

Sarafis knits in the car, at home and during her lunch break. Anytime her hands are free, she is knitting a trail of pink. She plans to make the scarf sales an ongoing fund-raiser.

People can put their name on a waiting list to purchase a pink scarf at Epilogue Book Co. To volunteer or donate yarn, call Jo Sarafis at 879-8024.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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