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T Q&A

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A little flirting and a crafty plan to score a date morphed into a charity that's raising money to fight breast cancer. Now, UA student Sarah Bruner and two of her close friends are hosting weekly fundraising gigs at Tempe bars, and they're putting together a calendar of hunky bartenders to come up with some money. Visit their MySpace page, which appears with the headline, "Just a few girls trying to make a small difference." They're also on Facebook.

Tell me about your charity and how you came up with the idea of starting it.

Our charity, Thinking Pink, started out as a bit of a fluke. See, there are three founders: myself, Jessica Lamar and Jennifer Smell. One of our founders has had a huge crush on a bartender in Tempe. We were brainstorming a way to get her to be able to start a conversation with him--yes, girls do brainstorm things like this. I thought of us doing a Tempe bartender calendar. From there, the ideas just kept rolling. Doing the Tempe bartender calendar quickly turned into a reality, and then it turned into something we were doing for charity. So, the focus started out as an attempt to get a date with this bartender, but has quickly moved away from that focus.

So you're selling calendars? Where's the money being donated?

Profits go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. We are still finishing up the production of the calendars, and as soon as we do, they'll be all over MySpace and Facebook so people can get a hold of them.

So describe the calendar for me. Is this going to be some sort of shirtless-type thing?

The calendars are going to be people from the bars. The (photos) are going to be all black and white. Not all of the bartenders wanted to be shirtless, and we didn't want it to be some cheesy, "Here are the guys with their shirts off" type of thing. Somewhere on their bodies, there will be painted a pink ribbon, and that's the only part that's going to be shown in color.

How'd you get the bartenders to sign up for this?

We just went in and kind of talked to them about it. A lot of people are affected by (breast cancer), and so they're completely down to help. We just had to ask them, and they were pretty willing. And then at the bars we were doing promos with, they were pretty open to helping us out, because we were doing them a favor, too. We don't have 12 bartenders yet, though; we're still trying to get some.

How did you decide to donate funds to fight breast cancer?

My grandmother is a breast-cancer survivor. Jessica's grandmother has breast cancer as well. Our best friend's mother is a breast-cancer survivor. So picking the charity to donate 100 percent of our profits to was easy.

Where's the charity at now?

Only about two months ago, this started off as just a small idea--and now we have more than 100 friends on MySpace and Facebook, and our Web site is in the works. We are having promotional parties at the busy bars on Mill (Avenue, in Tempe). Plus, tons of people want our Think Pink shirts, so this is just the beginning. We're scheduled to have a photo shoot this coming week for the calendar, and we'll be shooting bartenders from The Cue Club on Mill.

Why do people want the shirts so much?

People want the shirts because they're just so dang cute!

Tell me about these parties.

The past three weekends, we had promotional events at different bars in Tempe--Thinking Pink parties! The Tavern on Mill has even requested that we continue to have parties there every Friday through September, because we had such a great turnout. That means every Friday through September, Thinking Pink will be there, accepting donations and selling shirts. Eventually, we'll be selling our 2008 calendars after those are complete.

Is it hard starting a charity? Have you run into any bumps along the way?

For us, it wasn't difficult. But for other people, I don't know. You have to have the determination to not take no for an answer. Brainstorming is key. And be ready to give up a lot of your personal time, because something like this makes any person extremely busy. But to us, it's worth it.

Did your friend end up with the bartender?

At this point, no, she has not ended up with the bartender. Not even a date!

PQ: A lot of people are affected by (breast cancer), and so they're completely down to help.

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