Friday, February 22, 2013

Pink It Up! against breast cancer

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM


Breast cancer touches everyone’s lives.

One in eight American women will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. As startling as this number is, you have to realize that not only does this affect the women who are diagnosed, but everyone in their lives as well, said Bylli Peiper, founder and director of Pink It Up! Ska Bands and Fans Against Breast Cancer, which takes place Saturday.

“Everybody knows someone who’s had it,” she said.

Now in its fourth year, Pink It Up! has grown into an annual ska extravaganza. This year’s event features Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso, General Tso’s Fury, Victims of Circumstance, UNRB, and Madison Turner. All of the proceeds from evening will benefit Morton Plant Mease Foundation’s Mammography Voucher Program and Cancer Patient Support Services.

Peiper grew up in Pinellas County, attending Countryside High School. She came out as a lesbian as a teen and got involved with local LGBT organizations at an early age. But by her twenties, she became tired of the political nature of these groups and of how insular the community can sometimes be.

“Gay and lesbian issues are important to me, but they aren’t the be all and end all of life,” she said. “I wanted to show people that you can be gay and lesbian and care about other things too.”

Now a legal office assistant, Peiper was inspired to take a stand against breast cancer when an attorney in her office, whom she is close to, was diagnosed with it. “She was my role model, my inspiration,” she said.

Looking for a way that she could help, Peiper realized it was a chance to bring together a number of different communities — medical, ska, legal, and more — for the same cause. “It’s a great grassroots event,” she said. “And it brings so many different people together.”

The all-ages event, held at Ybor City’s the Market on 7th, takes place this Saturday, Feb. 23, starting at 7 p.m. Work by local artists Wade Slater and Pedro Jermaine will be on display, and Bay area singer-songwriter Jeremy Gloff hosts. Find Pink It Up! on Facebook for more information.

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