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New RI License Plate For Breast Cancer Support Now Available

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Rhode Islanders can now support breast cancer research with a new license plate with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation's trademarked pink ribbon.

In October 2012, Rhode Island lawmakers approved the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s new Ribbon of Hope license plate. Before production begins, state law requires the sale of at least 900 sets of license plates.

Joelle Fournier, a local breast cancer survivor, is determined to help make this happen.

"It took about a year to get legislative clearance and finish the design,” said Fournier. “We actually got all of these things finalized right in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month last year.”

The HOPE license plate

The new license plate costs $41.50 and features the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation’s trademarked pink ribbon image and the word ‘HOPE’ on the side.

The Pawtucket-based organization is donating 100% of remaining proceeds after DMV processing fees, a total of $20 per set of plates, to the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Women’s Cancer Screening Program (WCSP) to expand free breast cancer screenings—mammograms and clinical breast exams—for uninsured and underinsured women between the ages of 40 and 49. In 2012 alone, a total of 397 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed through the state program.

“Early detection saves lives and our donation of all proceeds to the WCSP is testament to our commitment of making breast cancer more survivable in our state,” said Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation Executive Director Maria Gemma. “With this plate, we’re giving Rhode Islanders the opportunity to put our tagline of ‘Give Hope. Give Support. Give Local.’ into action.”

Activist Joelle Fournier

According to Fournier, her motivation to spearhead the license plate campaign is two-fold: “It’s very important to me that money raised from the plate remains local,” she said. “I’m also doing this for my daughter Michaela, because I don’t want her to go through what I’ve experienced.”

To reach the minimum amount of plate orders needed for production to begin, Fournier enlisted the help of Brewed Awakenings. The local coffee house andcafé will host in-store promotional events on two consecutive Saturdays starting on April 20 at select locations each day.

“Joelle was with our company at the start,” said Brewed Awakenings Owner David Levesque, who is providing every license plate purchaser a $5 gift card that can be applied towards any of Brewed Awakenings’ offerings, including an assortment of pink decorated muffins and pastries, as well as beverages decorated with fresh, pink colored whipped cream specially prepared for the in-store events.

“I figured that this is a good way to help a friend out while supporting a very important cause,” Levesque continued.

"The Original Crew"

Fournier has a family history of breast cancer, which prompted her to have bilateralprophylactic mastectomies in 2006. Despite the preventive surgery, she was diagnosed that same year when the pathology came back from the original procedure. Fournier, who is now part of the administration team at Arthur Lambi & Associates, proudly identifies herself as being “part of the original crew” of survivors who were involved with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

“My immediate family has been incredible through my breast cancer journey, with my husband Kevin juggling our two kids and work,” she said. “I consider the Foundation as an extension of my own family,” continued Fournier, who has participated and volunteered at numerous awareness, educational, and fundraising events organized by the nonprofit.

“Attention to this devastating disease is a year-round effort for us,” added Maria Gemma. “We’re in this together, and Joelle’s commitment shows that each and every one of us has the power to ‘step up to the plate,’” Gemma concluded with a smile.

Go to Brewed Awakenings on the dates indicated below to complete and submit an order form along with payment and a copy of your registration. On-site will be representatives from the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, aswell as live music and entertainment. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/GloriaGemma.

  • Saturday, April 20 between 8AM – 6PM at 2 locations: 1395 Atwood Ave. in Johnstonor 1200 Pontiac Ave. in Cranston
  • Saturday, April 27 between 8AM – 6PM at 2 locations: 1577 Atwood Ave. in Johnston or 60 S County Commons Way in Wakefield

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