Tulsa's turning pink for cancer awareness
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Thursday, October 13, 2011
10/13/11 at 2:56 AM
The week of Oct. 22-29, Grove has managed to talk the right people into "turning" quite a few Tulsa landmarks pink - specifically, illuminating them with pink lights, all for the sake of raising awareness for breast cancer, as well as other cancers.
Grove is the chairwoman of Turn Tulsa Pink, billed as "a week of awareness, kindness and love for women and children." It's part of the Pink Heals Tour, a countywide effort to honor and support all women and children in the community who have experienced any form of cancer.
If Grove's name rings a bell, it's because she has multiple titles, one of which we've known her by for several years: Baroness of Boobs. She came up with it after founding Breast Impressions, which donates breast-casting kits to women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer so they can make a memory prior to surgery.
Last October, the Pink Heals Tour stopped in Tulsa, bringing a bright pink fire truck to Woodland Hills Mall. Local survivors covered a side of the truck with their signatures.
After that visit, four emergency vehicles were wrapped in pink to show support to women and children in Tulsa County affected by cancer.
"Turn Tulsa Pink is an effort to step it up to the next level," Grove said - "to light the county pink, bring awareness and support to 10 local charities who give help to women and children no matter what cancer they face, and to show that Tulsa cares enough to wear pink."
Upon receiving the Tulsey Award for Civic Entrepreneur in November, Grove didn't feel worthy of the honor.
"I wanted to do something to deserve it, above and beyond my work with Breast Impressions," she said.
In February, having been praying about the impact she could make, Grove had an interesting dream.
"I was in a pink wig and tutu skipping down Boston Avenue, heading toward the BOK Tower while pulling a wagon," she said. "People were coming out of the buildings and joining me in the street, cheering and clapping."
Suddenly, she saw a pink glow and looked up to see the building was pink.
"I woke up, rolled over and told my husband Bob, 'I think I'm supposed to turn Tulsa pink,' " she said.
From that dream, she developed an alter ego, Tallulah Tulsa, named after the quick-witted and occasionally controversial Tallulah Bankhead.
With the help of community members and leaders, Tallulah has assembled quite the rowdy pink bandwagon.
"It's going to happen. I believe we will glow pink from space," Grove said.
Among the notable buildings downtown that will be illuminated in pink are the BOK Tower, BOK Center, Tulsa Convention Center, Philtower, Hyatt Regency, ONEOK, 110 W. Seventh Building, Mid-Continent Tower, and the five spotlight towers around the Brady and Blue Dome districts.
Other pink spots in the area will include the lights on Cain's Ballroom, the Golden Driller, the Praying Hands at Oral Roberts University and the Blue Whale in Catoosa.
"The response has overwhelmed me," said Grove, who has been working with more than 200 businesses, organizations, churches and schools.
More than casting a pink glow across the city, Grove has scheduled a slew of events every day from Oct. 22-29 for people to attend, with proceeds from each shindig supporting one or more of the 10 local charities.
Those charities, by the way, are American Cancer Society, Anna's Belles ovarian cancer support group, Breast Impressions, Cancer Sucks, National Cervical Cancer Coalition, the Oklahoma Family Network, Oklahoma Project Woman, Random Acts of Purpose, Soulful Survivors and Young Survivor Coalition.
Grove pointed out that individuals can buy pink gel sheets for flood lights at Tulsa Scenic and pink light bulbs at Lighting Inc.
"Get your neighbors to use pink porch lights," she said.
She might even tell you where to score a pink Tallulah wig if you run into her Oct. 22-29. She'll be tickled pink to help.
For more, including details on Turn Tulsa Pink events, visit tulsaworld.com/turntulsapink
Turn Tulsa Pink
Here is a list of some of the events for Turn Tulsa Pink week, which runs Oct. 22-29:
9 a.m.-3 p.m.:"Car & Motorcycle Charity Show" at Admiral Twin Drive-In. Admission: $5 per car load.
4:30-10 p.m.:"Extreme Pink Sports Night" at Tulsa Convention Center's Exhibit Hall C. Events include "Headlock on Cancer" 5-6:30 p.m. featuring Steel Rage Pro Wrestling, the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys. Then, the roller derby "Bout Against Cancer" will be 7-10 p.m., featuring the Green Country Roller Girls vs. Dallas Derby Devils. Admission: $12 in advance, $15 at door.
8 a.m.-Noon: Countrywide "Wear Pink to Worship Day." So don your pink Sunday best.
Noon-4 p.m.:"Pink Family Fun" at Tulsa Zoo, for kids affected by cancer. Children who have been affected by cancer may contact St. Francis Children's Hospital to be added to the list for free family entry. Those wearing pink get in for half price.
2-3 p.m.:"In Memory Of" balloon launch at ONEOK Field, 201 N. Elgin Ave. Minister Michelle Jackson and the Rev. William Tisdale will be speaking, plus musical performance by Eric Himan.
4-6 p.m.:"In Memory Of" gathering at Fassler Hall, 304 S. Elgin Ave. (adults only).
3-6 p.m.:"Yappy Hour" at Posh Pup, 8263 S. Harvard Ave. Bring your pet dolled-up in pink - and a leash, please.
6-7 p.m.:"Pink Zumba" at LaFortune Community Center, 5202 S. Hudson Ave. Learn how to Zumba and about its benefits. Admission: $10, with 50 percent going to Soulful Survivors.
5:30-7:30 p.m.: Kang's Tae Kwon-Do "Kick Cancer Break-A-Thon and Block Party" at Secret Gardens Candle Co., southeast corner 41st Street and Sheridan Road. Buy a small board to be broken for $2, a bigger one for $5 or a brick for $10.
noon-3 p.m.:"Make a Sundae" benefit and open house at American Cancer Society, 4100 S. 100th East Ave., Suite 101. Each $3 sundae benefits the ACS.
7 p.m.: Must Stash "Fashion C.A.R.E.S. Show" at the Philtower lobby, 427 S. Boston Ave. Admission: $5 donation requested.
8 p.m.-midnight:"Living Arts Kzany Cafe Cabaret Show" at Living Arts of Tulsa, Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E. Brady St. Featuring Turn Tulsa Pink chairwoman Judi Grove's zany alter ego, Talullah Tulsa.
7-11 p.m.:"Pink-A-Palooza" benefit concert at Cain's Ballroom, 432 N. Main St. Wear your favorite '80s prom attire while strolling the pink carpet, and listen to five local talents: Jana Jae, Rebecca Ungerman, Kelly Lynn Baxter, the Ruskettes, and Branjae and the Allstars. Other highlights include a cash bar, raffles and silent auction. Admission: $12.
11 a.m.-1 p.m.:"Survivors Strut Their Stuff" fashion show and luncheon at Golf Club of Oklahoma, 20995 E. 141st St., Broken Arrow. Admission: $10.
2 p.m.:"Pink Power" at the annual Boo HaHa parade in Brookside, 51st to 33rd streets.
6-8 p.m.:"Thank You Tulsa for Caring Enough to Wear Pink" party at OU-Tulsa Learning Center, Founders Hall, 4502 E. 41st St. With special recognition to all who made it a success. Catered by McNellie's Group and Creative Crumb. Admission: $10.
For more details, including additional events, visit tulsaworld.com/turntulsapink
P.S.: Be sure to check out the 2011 survivors' calendar from Breast Impressions, for sale at each event.
Original Print Headline: Paint the town
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
Judi Grove, chairwoman of the Turn Tulsa Pink initiative, has persuaded local officials to turn a number of Tulsa landmarks pink to raise awareness about breast cancer and other cancers. Pink lights will illuminate the local landmarks. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World