A Challenge to the St. Louis Culinary Community

Web Banner Large_Dine Out2015Josh Allen, Susan G. Komen St. Louis Pink Tie Guy and owner/founder of Companion, is Honorary Chair of the 2015 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Dine Out for the Cure.

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Josh Allen’s challenge to the St. Louis culinary community: Sign up to participate in Dine Out for the Cure 2015. And show us your best pink tutu pose.

On Thursday, October 8, restaurants and food trucks throughout the St. Louis metro area will donate a portion of their proceeds to Komen St. Louis.

Josh is challenging the St. Louis culinary community to join the fight against breast cancer by signing up to participate in Dine Out for the Cure 2015.

Watch Josh’s video on our Dine Out web page: http://bit.ly/1i1UslW

2016 Race for the Cure T-shirt Design

TShirtContest_612x612_WinnerHere it is: the official 2016 Race for the Cure T-shirt that you helped pick! The winning T-shirt designer is Simona Gentile from Rome. Italy. Thank you to all who voted.

Save the date for the 2016 Komen St. Louis Race: Saturday, June 11.

Vote for the 2016 Race for the Cure T-shirt Design

TShirt Voting_8.13Ready. Set. Vote for your favorite 2016 T-shirt design for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®.

The Komen Race for the Cure T-shirt is a unifying symbol of the spirit of strength and hope, a sign that we’re all in this fight against breast cancer together.

Help choose the official 2016 Komen Race for the Cure T-shirt!

Vote now.

The Inter(n)view: Lexie Sprague

Guest Writer: Shelby Narike, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Intern

Shelby and Lexie, Susan G. Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Interns, Summer 2015

Shelby and Lexie, Susan G. Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Interns, Summer 2015

Meet Lexie Sprague: Komen St. Louis Intern, Glitter Enthusiast, the Next Elle Woods.

Vital Stats
Full Name: Alexis Gabriele Sprague
Hometown: Streamwood, IL
Age: 20
College: Washington University
Majors: Marketing & Psychology

Fun Facts
Favorite meal: Dessert
Guilty pleasure: Glitter
Favorite flower: Carnation
Current Netflix addiction: Scandal
Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint Oreo

I had just arrived at my first staff meeting on the first day of my Komen St. Louis Internship when in walks a cheerful young lady with genuine enthusiasm and instant likeability: Lexie. Over the next 12 weeks, she would be my fellow intern—my phone-answering, T-shirt-folding, blog-posting, copy-making, data-entering partner-in-crime.

Lexie discovered the Komen St. Louis public relations and marketing internship at her university’s career fair for student athletes; Lexie plays soccer for WashU. She was immediately intrigued after hearing Bree DeGraw represent Susan G. Komen St. Louis. Lexie describes the reasons for her instantaneous excitement for the opportunity:

“1) I had no idea there was an affiliate office so close to WashU, 2) my mom has worked in mammography my whole life so I know she would be extremely proud of me for working with Komen and 3) Bree was looking to find a marketing and PR intern for their team! It was the GREATEST NEWS EVER. After a few email correspondences and a meeting, I found myself all set up with a real-person-summer-internship for a company whose mission I wholeheartedly supported.”

This “real-person-summer-internship” has her thinking about her future career. Lexie’s interests are vast and vary by season, just like her Starbucks orders (iced vanilla lattes or caramel macchiatos in the spring, pumpkin spiced lattes in the fall, and peppermint mochas in the winter). Her childhood-self wanted to be a veterinarian. She describes an “undeniable compassion for all the furry things in the world,” but she soon realized it was her truly her big sister’s dream, not her own.

As for her current dream job, Lexie gushes, “I would absolutely LOVE to plan weddings. I really enjoy getting to organize big lists of tasks; I love the color schemes, the flowers, the rehearsals, the catering, the dresses…Being in charge of one of the happiest days of a person’s life would be such an amazing job to have.”

As a young woman in her twenties, the world is Lexie’s oyster! Will she be a vet? A wedding planner? A PR & marketing director? Or possibly the next Elle Woods? If Lexie had to pick a movie to represent her life, she quickly declares, “Legally Blonde!” She explains, “I am super girly and probably give off that typical blonde impression to people, but I actually am a smart person! I also wanted to be a lawyer for a while, and even used her ‘We did it!’ line at the end of my graduation speech.”

Lexie is bubbly and driven, adorable and intellectual, blonde and ambitious, just like Elle Woods. She has an air of congeniality and success. Lexie’s movie persona, Elle, is right in alignment with her self-professed spirit animal: cat. As an avid cat lover, Lexie explains, “they’re just so independent and sassy and funny without trying to be.” This narrative fits Lexie’s personality well. She is a charismatic and amiably feisty go-getter.

Looking back on our time at Komen St. Louis, what moments stand out? Lexie responds thoughtfully, “I think I’ve felt the most proud of myself for finishing bigger projects, like mailing tons of shirts for Sleep in for the Cure or creating a pamphlet for Dine Out for the Cure, as well as for being so closely involved in Race for the Cure. But, now that I’m thinking back about my time at Komen St. Louis, I realize what stands out the most is who I’m working with. I have seen a level of compassion out of my “four new moms” [the Komen St. Louis staff] that I did not even believe to be possible, and have had so much fun hanging out with Shelby in Intern Headquarters. Whether it be cheering me up when I need it, genuinely caring about what is going on in my life, or simply making me laugh with their amazing sense of humor, it is an absolute pleasure seeing each of these women every single day. My time at Komen St. Louis would not be the same without them.”

Lexie is incredibly complimentary of the Komen staff; however, she complements the women of Komen well because she too has the passion and motivation that precede and sustain success. I am incredibly happy to have been able to work closely with her in our Intern Headquarters (a.k.a. the back office of Komen STL, where we have set up camp). Lexie, with her infectious laugh and her lively work ethic, has been the perfect Komen Kompanion for the summer.

Want to know more? Lexie’s here to Fill in the blanks.

I can’t live without my family. They are everything to me, and I would never be able to go a day without talking to them. Please note, this does include my cat, Pancakes.

Before I leave the house, I have to have my apartment keys! (I’m hoping if I write this down it will make me stop forgetting to grab them on the way out…).

If I’m running late, it is most likely because ________________. I’ll be the first to admit that I take forever to get ready in the morning. So if I’m late, there is a 99% chance that is the reason why.

I have way too many Lululemon headbands. I wear them for soccer practice/games, and my collection has grown to somewhere between 30 and 40 different colors. Do not ask me why, because I will not have a good explanation for you :/

The Inter(n)view: Shelby Narike

Guest Writer: Lexie Sprague, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Intern

Shelby and Lexie, Susan G. Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Interns, Summer 2015

Shelby and Lexie, Susan G. Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Interns, Summer 2015

Meet Shelby Narike. Shelby is a 21-year-old from St. Louis, attending Tulane University as a double major in public relations and English. Although she does not know what she wants to do yet, and does not want to “grow up and graduate and be a real person!” yet, she is enjoying learning everything that fascinates her, and decided to spend the summer before her senior year as a fabulous intern for Susan G. Komen St. Louis. I got a chance to sit down with Shelby and really find out who she is, intern to intern.

I asked Shelby questions both Komen-related and not. I had gotten to know her fairly well through our time together at Komen, but this seemed like the perfect setting to ask her questions that wouldn’t get brought up in day to day conversation. Let’s see what she had to say.

Q: Tell me what brought you to Komen St. Louis.
A: I am a recent breast cancer survivor. I wanted to be part of an organization that fights to end breast cancer, and that is exactly what Susan G. Komen St. Louis does. I wanted to be part of the fight. The Komen public relations and marketing internship is perfect for my PR major, and the organization’s mission is one that I have a newfound passion for. Although I personally beat breast cancer, I wanted to help beat the disease on a larger scale. […] At Komen, breast cancer is not taboo. Komen does everything it can to be a formidable opponent to the disease, and that is what brought me there.

Q: If you could be in any animated movie, which one would it be?
A: I would want to be in Monsters, Inc. because I want to know what Monster Shelby would look like. I’m picturing a tiny, furry, mint green monster who looks cute and innocent…but who gets big and ferocious if need be.

I then found out that Shelby’s friends believe her spirit animal is the white tiger, although she sees her “playful, protective, pack-oriented” self as more of a dog. When she was five, an episode of ‘Madeline’ made her aspire to be a can-can girl; and the combination of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pie, and family makes her absolutely adore Thanksgiving Dinner. When asked about her guilty pleasure, Shelby explained that she has not one, but three. While the little girl in her loves to color, the old lady in her loves needlepoint, and the classic twenty-one year old in her loves junk food and reality TV. And, if Shelby is running late, she said it is most likely because “one of my four dogs jumped on me with muddy paws and I had to go change my clothes.” Who doesn’t adore an animal lover? Here are a couple more of her responses:

Q: Looking back at your time at Komen St. Louis, what moments stand out?
A: The 17th annual Race for the Cure has been the highlight of this internship for me. I have loved all of my time here, but Race Day stands out in my mind. It was wonderful to see so many people supporting the same cause, on the same mission [to end breast cancer]; however, it was also chilling to see how many people have been affected by breast cancer just in the St. Louis area. I will always remember walking in the Survivors Procession with individuals who share similar stories. Race for the Cure is definitely an event that you need to experience first-hand. It exposed me to another support system that I did not even know I had.

Q: What is an item you have way too many of?
A: Chapstick. I lose chapstick like it’s nobody’s business. I buy the value pack at Sam’s Club. I try to carry one with me at all times and leave the rest on a shelf, but I always end up losing it and grabbing a new one and losing it and grabbing a new one and losing it and grabbing a new one. Then I’ll rediscover lost chapstick in strange places around my house. I’m convinced that I am always within five feet of chapstick at my house; I just have to find it. Those lost chapstick always turn up somewhere, but never when I need them most.

Shelby was so drawn to Komen St. Louis because she knows that not everyone has the same experience with breast cancer that she did. She had “unwavering confidence” in the team of doctors covered by her insurance, but she knows not everyone fighting breast cancer is as fortunate. She loves that it is Komen’s mission to help underinsured individuals receive the breast health care that they need. Everyone involved with Komen, Shelby included, wants to see a world without breast cancer.

So there you have it. Clearly, this twenty-one year-old breast cancer survivor has a whole lot of spunk and personality in her. I think the whole office would agree that Shelby is a joy to be around; her inspiring story and positive demeanor both help to fuel the fight against breast cancer. I’ll leave you today with a couple more fast facts about this Thanksgiving-loving, chapstick-losing Komen intern:

Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip
Netflix Addiction: Criminal Minds, The Office, The Walking Dead, Parks & Recreation, Breaking Bad, Scandal (Apparently she couldn’t pick just one!)
Celeb crushes:
Girl: Cara Delevinge
Guy: Jon Jay… I’m a St. Louis girl, so of course I have a Cardinal crush!
Favorite flower: Orchids or poppies (Take notes, boys!)
Starbucks order:
When it’s cold: tall cappuccinos or flat whites
When it’s hot: venti iced cappuccinos or green tea lemonades
Can’t live without: My family. And popcorn.

Thank you, Shelby!

Calling All Artists: Design the 2016 Komen Race for the Cure® T-shirt!

TShirtContest_625x288_SubmitEach year, more than a million people across the globe participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® series. Each participant has a personal story. Race participants run in honor of someone they’ve lost. They walk to support a friend or loved one currently battling breast cancer. They walk for themselves. No matter their story, they rise before the sun, put on their Komen Race T-shirt and join a community to race for a better future.

As we look to the future, we need your help…and your creativity! We’re calling on all breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and our supporters to help us design the shirt that a million fellow walkers and runners will be wearing in 2016. Would you like to showcase your original art on the front of our 2016 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure T-shirts worn at Races around the world? Get creative and help us inspire!

Want to submit a T-shirt design? Simply follow the guidelines below: 

  • Design theme should be focused on the power and passion of a global community coming together for a common goal – to end breast cancer
  • Please do not use stock images, photos, copyrighted work or clip art, we are looking for your original designs
  • The design should include the color pink and up to 5 additional colors from this palette
  • Please submit your entry as a web-friendly image (.jpeg, png, pdf) not to exceed 5MB in size

This is YOUR Race T-shirt for YOUR community, so don’t wait! The due date is July 26.

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Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure: Survivors Standing in Solidarity

Guest Writer: Shelby Narike, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Intern

I experienced the big, pink whirlwind weeks leading up to the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure in the temporary position of intern; however, I experienced Race Day in my newly permanent role: breast cancer survivor.

Lexie Sprague and Shelby Narike, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing interns, Summer 2015

Lexie Sprague and Shelby Narike, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing interns, Summer 2015

I discovered the Komen internship opportunity because I was desperately trying to make sense of why I had breast cancer. After beginning my internship, I have learned that the why is unimportant; the how is what matters. How is this going to shape me? How am I going to use this? How am I going to make something good out of this?

I decided to make something positive out of my diagnosis by interning with Susan G. Komen, an organization that diligently fights the very breast cancer that rattled my life and continues to rattle the lives of others.

In the weeks leading up to June 13, 2015, I assisted the wonderful women of Susan G. Komen St. Louis in preparation for the 17th Annual Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure as a public relations and marketing intern. Lexie, my fellow intern, and I were warmly welcomed into the Komen St. Louis office. These first few weeks as an intern are a caffeine-fueled blur in my mind. My coworkers are magical women who somehow manage infinite tasks to insure the Race runs smoothly. Lexie and I tried our best to assist in anything and everything Race-related.

Lexie and I arrived in Downtown St. Louis at 5 am with eager anticipation of the day we had both only experienced vicariously through the memories of our coworkers. The office attire had been jeans and purple Komen Committee T-shirts all week long, but on Saturday, I transitioned from my well-worn purple tee to the pink shirt of survivors. Race Day was one day shy of the six “monthiversary” of my bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction. I put on my pink shirt with a brief wave of emotion at how far I had come.

Shelby and co-intern Lexie pink-ing their hair before dawn on Race day 2015

Shelby and co-intern Lexie pink-ing their hair before dawn on Race day 2015

I was diagnosed with stage one invasive ductal breast cancer on December 19, 2014 while home in St. Louis for winter break during my junior year at Tulane University. I was only 20 years old. My cancer experience has been a lucky one. I did not have to suffer through chemotherapy or radiation. At 21 years old now, I am cancer-free.

Wearing the pink survivor T-shirt was a big step for me. I spent the first few months of 2015 avoiding people. I do not mind talking about my situation, but I struggled to deal with people’s initial reactions. I felt an irrational guilt for watching people worry about me. I would much rather have cancer than have to watch someone I love have cancer. I know my loved ones feel the exact same way about me…they would rather be sick than have me be sick. I dreaded making people think that way.

St. Louis can feel so small to the point of always seeing someone who you know everywhere you go. I was sick of going out and having people ask me why I was not in New Orleans at school. I hated catching people off-guard with some variation of “Oh, yeah I’m not in school this semester because I have breast cancer. How are you?” I was tired of the shock, the sympathy, and the feeling I was ruining someone’s day. I did not want to leave my house.

Survivor Procession at the 2015 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure

Survivor Procession at the 2015 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure

Fast-forward a few months, and I’m leading the survivors’ procession at the Race for the Cure in front of thousands of people and multiple cameras. Helen Chesnut, Komen St. Louis executive director and breast cancer survivor, kindly asked me to join her in leading the procession. I was overwhelmed by the sea of pink-shirted survivors at the Race.

Raising money is not the only thing the Race does for those affected by the disease. The Race provides the opportunity for unity, for support, for awareness, for closure. The Race allowed me to be surrounded by survivors and loved-ones who were filled with conflicting relief, anger, hope, grief, comfort, pain, and resilience just like me. Not one person greeted me with shock or sympathy. I was greeted with immeasurable solidarity. We hugged, we shed tears, we breathed as a unified whole. It was in this moment that I found closure. I finally felt like I could close the short cancer chapter of my life.

It happened. It’s over. I’m standing here. We are standing here.

* * *

Shelby is a senior at Tulane University majoring in public relations and English at the School of Liberal Arts. She is a member of Chi Omega.