The teal ribbons lining Boonville’s streets aren’t just for decoration this month.
Mariena Shore decided to participate in September’s ovarian cancer awareness program “Turn the Towns Teal” in memory of a family member who passed away last year.
The late Meme Brown was Shore’s niece.
Shore first became aware of the campaign as Meme’s battle with cancer was nearing its end.
“We knew about this program last year, but when Meme got so sick we were just too busy to do this,” Shore said. “So I decided last year as soon as she passed away that this was something that I wanted to do this year to honor her memory.”
Meme’s battle ended Oct. 15, 2012, and Shore went to work preparing for the upcoming September.
“Turn the Towns Teal” was founded by Gail MacNeil of Chatham, N.J.
MacNeil battled ovarian cancer for ten years and realized there was not enough being done to make the public aware of the disease, so in 2007 she started the teal campaign.
The main message of the campaign is one of education and awareness. No early detection test exists for this type of cancer, making the teal ribbons a visible reminder of the danger.
The program provides the ribbons, cards with symptoms for distribution, brochures and more in exchange for tax- deductible donations to the organization.
The ribbons are then tied and placed around the individual towns on signs, power poles, and anywhere else travelers will see them.
In Boonville that includes the Town of Boonville sign, the new kiosk at the corner of Main Street, and Meme’s nearby grave.
Shore said that the Boonville town council had been very helpful in the passing of a resolution letting the teal ribbons be placed around the town.
Boonville Flower and Decor tied the ribbons and Shore and volunteers placed them around town.
Shore said there were few families that did not have someone in them that had not been affected by cancer.
“Everyone has it in their family,” Shore said. “I had of course knew people. I had heard people talk about how sick they are. But until I witnessed it first hand - it’s just a horrible disease. Cancer is a horrible disease.”
The ribbons will be present all through the month in Meme’s memory and in honor of others battling ovarian cancer in the town. Shore hopes to make the ribbons an annual occurrence in the town.
“We want to bring awareness for the people that are still alive as well as the memory of those who have passed on,” Shore said.
Meme’s Sparkling Smile
A local winery has introduced a new wine in memory of a young woman who passed away from cancer last year.
The wine is called “Meme’s Sparkling Smile” and is named in memory of Brown.
Sanders Ridge Vineyard and Winery of Boonville has added the new sparkling white wine to coincide with September’s ovarian cancer month.
Meme was winery owner Neil Shore’s niece.
Friends and family gathered at Sanders Ridge for a plate dinner fundraiser Sept. 8.
Plates were $50 a piece. Mariena Shore said the fundraiser sold their goal of 100 tickets.
Proceeds went toward Brown’s memorial scholarship - the “Meme Brown Fight Like a Girl Scholarship Fund.”
One of Meme’s doctors was the evening’s guest speaker. She talked to the audience about ovarian cancer and the number of people it affects.
Tables were decorated with ovarian cancer’s special awareness color, teal, and pictures of Meme.
The wine is capped, not corked, to allow the sparkling wine to remain fresh in the bottle.
Each bottle is priced at $25, with $5 of every bottle going toward Brown’s scholarship. Purchases may be made at the winery.
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