Models sashayed down the pink runaway on Second Street as Ink’d Chronicles hosted its fourth annual Tattoo for the Cure on Oct. 15 in Pomona.
The annual event held in the middle of breast cancer awareness month, had more than 200 people in attendance and raised more than $8,000.
Terry Dipple, founder of Tattoo for the Cure and owner of Ink’d Chronicles, said he was pleased with the turnout.
Three years ago Dipple, who is also a University of La Verne alumnus, was touched by breast cancer when his fiancé Michelle Cowles, was diagnosed with the disease.
To show support Dipple, a few shop artists and family members got pink breast cancer awareness ribbon tattoos.
Three months later Cowles was cancer free.
“I was feeling really emotional and wanted to do something,” Dipple said.
Dipple then went to tattoo artists and asked if they would be willing to donate a full day’s work to raise money.
The funds raised would then be donated to the Breast Health Program at the Robert & Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center.
The first year the event was planned in a month and raised $4,000.
“We have had more than 60 appointments and we have been very busy with walk-ins,” Michelle Cowles said.
“The first year we had people come from San Diego and wait three to four hours,” Crowe said.
Ink’d Chronicles was better prepared to accommodate the expected turnout this year as opposed to its first year.
“Four artists do only appointments and two artists handle any walk-ins,” Crowe said.
Each artist volunteered to work 12 hours and only accepted tips from the customers, allowing all the proceeds to go to the cause.
The signature breast cancer ribbons are tattooed for a minimum donation of $80 with six different designs to choose from.
“We used to do any tattoo but it did not work from a scheduling standpoint,” Dipple said.
Artists also tattooed custom ribbon artwork brought in by customers.
However, preparation and procedure time must be within the one-hour block allowed for each customer.
“We helped last year, and we have friends and family who are also survivors, so when Terry asked us this year we said absolutely,” said Nikki Johnson, co-owner of Push Boutique.
The boutique, located next to Ink’d Chronicles, was the central location for all the models in the fashion show.
“We helped with styling the models, did make-up, hair and donated clothes,” Johnson said.
The nonprofit Keep a Breast Foundation, responsible for the very popular “I Love BOOBIES” wristbands, was also there to educate others on breast cancer and how to detect it early.
“I like connecting with other survivors and helping to educate people,” said Ayaunna Barnes, representative from Keep a Breast Foundation.
Even when the sun went down people were still coming to help raise money for the cause.
“I heard about the event and thought the idea to do something like this was so unique I had to come,” Monique Andrews , attendee from Grand Terrace, said.
“My goal next year will be to raise $10,000,” Dipple said.
Tennille Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.