Food Sales Aid Breast Cancer Survivors

breast-cancer.jpgCaralea Arnold works as a waitress in Philadelphia. When she participated in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program offered by Landmark Education, she decided her project in that program would be to raise money in the fight against breast cancer. As a waitress, she found a unique way to raise money inside the food industry that caught the attention of the Philadelphia Daily News, a major Philadelphia newspaper.

Cherish the Mammary: Restaurants Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Survivors

MELON SOUP. Tres leches milk cake.

Duck breast a l'orange.

If you're in the mood for mounds of food, look no further.

More than a dozen local restaurants are putting forth their "breast" inspiration to create bustacious dishes in the name of charity at the first annual "Bust Out!" benefit for breast-cancer survivors.

All day tomorrow, restaurants from Liberties Walk to Old City (see list) will donate 50 percent of their proceeds from special, "breast-inspired" entrees, appetizers and desserts that either look like breasts, use dairy ingredients or are pink, the official breast-cancer ribbon color.

The donations – a minimum of $250 has been promised from each participating business – will go directly to Haverford-based Living Beyond Breast Cancer, which for 17 years has provided services and support to women who are living with or have survived the devastating disease.

This fun idea was the brainchild of local waitress Caralea Arnold, who hopes that the one-day event will raise $5,000. She was inspired by a leadership course she recently took at Landmark Education.

"I have always had an interest in women's health issues," said Arnold, who works at A Full Plate Café, on Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties, where the majority of the participating restaurants are located. "I wanted to help show that we can all make a difference."

More interesting still is the fact that Arnold has no direct connection to breast-cancer survivors. She simply wanted to organize a powerful event that could help a multitude of women.

"I wanted to affect a lot of people," said Arnold. "It just seems the more and more I talk to people, so many women are affected by this disease, and the women have charged through [treatment] and found humor and hope from it."

The rules for this bosomy benefit? Chefs can be as creative as they like, as long as the dish has a bosomy name or is literally – yes, literally – shaped to look busty.

"I think this creative way of doing this is a fun way to approach the whole idea," said David Dougherty, whose family owns A Full Plate Café. "It keeps things light, even though it benefits an important issue."

A Full Plate will make a summery, chilled melon soup. Other restaurants, like Bar Ferdinand on 2nd Street, are literally busting out with dishes like seared duck breast with orange saffron sauce, a creation by chef Blake Joffe, who will pan-roast "two full duck breasts" for the charity dish.

Several coffee shops plan to serve a duo of frosted cupcakes topped with cherries.

You get the idea.

"We get approached by a lot of people wanting to do charity events," said Living Beyond Breast Cancer CEO Jean Sachs. "But Caralea's idea was just a really creative way to get the word out and also support local businesses. It's hard to get attention to breast cancer because there are [so many events and charities] out there. Sometimes a creative idea like this helps."

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