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Falcons honor breast cancer survivors during October


Throughout October, the Atlanta Falcons hosted a variety of events and activities to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

On Oct. 2, members of the Atlanta Falcons Women's Association were on hand to show support to all the participants in the It's the Journey, Inc two-day walk. The B'rest Stop, hosted by the Atlanta Falcons, provided refreshments and special "Falconized" items, such as pink pom-poms, Falcons player cards with breast cancer awareness messaging and pink wristbands.

It's The Journey, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2002 that raises funds and awareness for various Atlanta-area breast cancer organizations offering support to many women in the Atlanta community. In just its first seven years, Atlanta's two-day walk for breast cancer has raised $6.6 million and has awarded 107 grants to local breast cancer organizations in the greater Atlanta area.

On Oct. 5, the Atlanta Falcons hosted the second annual Dazzle and Dine event to honor five breast cancer survivors. The five ladies were treated to a little "dazzle" at Jamison Shaw Hairdressers and then "dined" at Wildfire Perimeter. Each of the ladies honored is an active participant in her community and is a courageous steward in raising awareness for breast cancer.

The 2010 Dazzle and Dine honorees are: Valerie Graves, Joya Harris, Andrea Jones, Mahota Matthews and Marie Southern.

The ladies started the day off with a head-to-toe pampering at Jamison Shaw Hairdresser. The ladies each had their hair, makeup and nails done. Following their "dazzle," the ladies were escorted by a limousine provided by Cooper-Atlanta to dinner at Wildfire Perimeter.

The ladies were greeted at Wildfire Perimeter by a guest of their choice — Atlanta Falcons players Jamaal Anderson, Jonathan Babineaux, Sam Baker, Kroy Biermann, Brian Finneran and Christopher Owens. Finneran addressed the group and spoke about the importance of raising awareness for breast cancer and recognizing the ladies for their efforts.

The ladies each received a gift basket of pink Falcons apparel and four tickets with sideline passes to the Oct. 24 Falcons game, where they were honored during an on-field presentation. The Atlanta Falcons and NFL Charities will also be providing a non-profit breast cancer awareness organization of the honoree's choice with a $1,000 in their name.

The culmination of the Falcons' breast cancer awareness activities occurred during the Oct. 24 home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, where breast cancer survivors participated in a variety of activities throughout the game.

The Falcons Fitness Flag Crew was comprised of breast cancer survivors from It's the Journey, Inc. and American Cancer Society. As a participant in the flag crew, the ladies had the opportunity to tour the Georgia Dome, stretch with the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders and unfurl the giant Falcons flag on the field during player introductions.

The five Dazzle and Dine honorees were honored on the field prior to the game for their dedication and devotion to giving back to the breast cancer community. Five-year breast cancer survivor Vivian Varner, choir director for the Shades of Pink choir, performed the national anthem.

In addition, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders, players and coaching staff sported a variety of pink items in support of breast cancer awareness.

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