‘Tattoos for a Cause’ to raise funds for children battling cancerWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A local charity is hoping its latest fundraiser will leave a lasting mark on its participants.
Elias Adin’s Comforting Hearts, a nonprofit dedicated to comforting children battling cancer, is teaming up April 27 with Bowling Green’s Studio 14 for “Tattoos for a Cause.” During the event, the tattoo parlor will be donating 100 percent of its proceeds from tattoos of cancer ribbons or the Comforting Hearts logo, which includes a heart and a ribbon.
The event begins at 9 a.m. at the 125 N. Main St. shop, and doesn’t end until the last person leaves — which organizers are hoping is well into Sunday morning.
“We’re hoping to do around 500 tattoos,” said Studio 14 manager Tyler Brott, who will have at his disposal all four of the shop’s tattoo artists, plus a friend who will be pitching in as well with the ink art. “We’re talking about 100 per artist. … We’re hoping to be done sometime Sunday.”
The inspiration for “Tattoos for a Cause” comes from Kele Pallitta, founder and president of Comforting Hearts, an organization she started in 2011 after losing her 7-month-old son, Elias, in 2008 to a cancerous tumor in his brain. The organization’s mission is to comfort children and their families as they battle cancer.
Comforting Hearts serves four hospitals in Ohio — Mercy Children’s Hospital, ProMedica Toledo Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and the Cleveland Clinic — providing care packages to children and their families.
After Pallitta got a tattoo several months ago of the Comforting Hearts logo at Studio 14, she decided a tattoo fundraiser would be a unique way to raise money.
This event allows anyone touched by cancer to take part, she said.
“Different cancer charities are often so separate, with breast cancer and ovarian cancer and everything,” Pallitta said. “This is one event that everyone can come together for, no matter what kind of cancer you’ve been affected by. … I do feel it will be a really cool day to have everyone come together, telling their stories. We’re trying to encourage people to bring a picture of the person they’re honoring by getting their tattoo.”
Brott said he was eager to help out.
“We didn’t have to put any thought into it, really,” he said. “She had the idea and we went with it, we all thought it was a good idea.”
Further helping “Tattoos for a Cause” become a reality was Kingpin Supplies in St. Petersburg, Fla. The tattoo shop supplier donated 100 percent of the items needed for the event, a gift worth $1,400.
The event isn’t going to be without its challenges for the tattoo artists, however. Studio 14 averages about five tattoos a day. Brott hopes to do 100 times that amount for the fundraiser.
“We’re going to be wiped out, that’s for sure,” he said.
Tattoo prices will be $40 for a ribbon and $50 for the Comforting Hearts logo. Because the event is first-come, first-served and the line for the tattoos could be lengthy, Studio 14 will take cellphone numbers of those stopping by and call them when it’s time to get under the needle. Each tattoo will take less than 30 minutes, Brott said.
For the slightly less committed crowd, temporary tattoos will also be offered. Additionally, the charity’s T-shirts, reading “I wish cancer got cancer and died,” will be available for $15. Door prizes from Bowling Green businesses will also be awarded during the event.
Pallitta sais she hopes hopes the event reaches a wide segment of the population.
“Our goal is to reach out to different people so everyone gets to enjoy doing these events with us,” she said, noting the organization has also conducted a bachelor and bachelorette auction, a celebrity fashion show, a scavenger hunt and a 5K obstacle course in the past year. “Our goal is to kind of be the cool, new charity that does different events instead of the more usual ones.”
Brott said interest among customers has already been high, with 15 people not able to attend the April 27 event already getting their ribbon tattoos.
For more information, visit www.comfort-hearts.com.