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Tattoos leave a mark for the cure

Steve Kurtis gets a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon with boxing gloves hanging from the ends tattooed on his left hand by Ink’d Chronicles tattoo artist Guillermo Gonzalez. Ink’d Chronicles hosted its annual “Tattoos for the Cure” event Saturday to raise money to fight breast cancer. / photo by Ryan Gann

Steve Kurtis gets a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon with boxing gloves hanging from the ends tattooed on his left hand by Ink’d Chronicles tattoo artist Guillermo Gonzalez. Ink’d Chronicles hosted its annual “Tattoos for the Cure” event Saturday to raise money to fight breast cancer. / photo by Ryan Gann

Hayley Hulin
Staff Writer

Ink’d Chronicles tattoo studio held a breast cancer charity event, “Tattoos for the Cure,” from noon to midnight Saturday in the Pomona Arts Colony.

People from across Southern California flocked to Ink’d Chronicles to get a tattoo in honor of breast cancer awareness.

The starting price for each tattoo was $80 and all of the proceeds went to the Breast Health Program at the Robert and Beverly Lewis Cancer Care Center for women who cannot afford mammograms.

Terry Dipple, owner of Ink’d Chronicles, created “Tattoos for the Cure” after his fiancé Michelle Cowles was declared cancer free in 2008.

“This is our sixth year and we’ve raised over $30,000,” Cowles said. “The first year was so overwhelming. People came from San Diego.”

Barricades blocked the street leaving room for featured artists, vendors, raffles, bands and a fashion show.

At the center of the street, chairs lined a catwalk with a band settled to the side.

The fashion show consisted of two designers and 38 models wearing clothes ranging from 1950s to current pin-up styles.

Mixed in throughout the show, models wore “Tattoos for the Cure” apparel that was sold at a table outside of Ink’d Chronicles. Volunteers for the charity ran booths and helped set up events.

Tattoo artists only kept tips left behind by their customers; vendors donated items for the raffle, and people like Brittany Macias, student at Cal Poly Pomona, volunteered to work a four hour shift at the apparel table.

“I’ve sold at least 10 plus,” Macias said about the “Tattoos for the Cure” shirts and hats.

People getting tattoos ranged in ages and all had different reasons.

Some of the most common were in memory of a loved one who did not survive and survivors themselves getting a tattoo to celebrate their victory and commemorate their journey.

“We’ve been planning it for a year and then we heard about this event,” El Monte resident Julia Chavira said. “I have an aunt and a friend, so it holds a lot of meaning.”

Chavira got the word “hope” written through the center of a pink ribbon on the back of her right shoulder.

Ontario resident Kim Ortiz went back to “Tattoos for the Cure” with family a year after her tattoo at the same event. “Our nephew had brain cancer, so we got it in grey,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz got a grey heart-shaped ribbon with the number 24 on her wrist in honor of her nephew.

For the event, Ink’d Chronicles limited the size of the tattoo and kept the theme of cancer awareness.

Dipple began planning the event in July and met with tattoo artists, vendors, designers, bands and both fire and police departments.

“Terry starts in April and passes out flyers to the breast cancer awareness events,” Cowles said.

“Tattoos for the Cure” was a successful event with the block packed for the fashion show and Ink’d Chronicles packed with people getting cancer awareness tattoos, Cowles said.

Hayley Hulin can be reached at hayley.hulin@laverne.edu.

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