Apr 252005
Authors: Anne Farrell

Red and white rubber bands once found on newspapers have taken a persona of their own and become trendy for some people. Now, however, the rubber has become multi-colored silicone printed for charitable causes.

In August came the birth of yellow "LiveStrong" bracelets. However, now many causes and colors can be seen adorning wrists around campus.

"I usually wear them every day," said Stephanie Ellsworth, a freshman technical journalism major who owns seven different bracelets. "I wear them because of the cause; I know the money is going to a good place."

The Lance Armstrong Foundation can be credited with starting the trend with a quest to raise $5 million for cancer research through sales of yellow "LiveStrong" bracelets. More than 40 million bracelets have been sold, according to the foundation's Web site, and at $1 each, the foundation has more than met its goal.

With the bracelets becoming such a success, it may not be surprising that other organizations and companies have jumped on the silicone bracelet bandwagon.

A rainbow variety of bracelets are seen on campus, each with different meanings and to its owner.

"I've seen like four different colors," said Janna Fair, a freshman microbiology major.

Other organizations that have chosen to use the silicone bracelets to support their causes include the Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation for breast cancer, with pink bracelets stating "Share Beauty, Spread Hope"; The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, with light blue bracelets; and the SAM Spady Foundation, with red, white and blue "Think before you drink" bracelets, along with many others.

"I have a reason to wear one, but I think a lot of people do it because it's the 'in' thing to do," said Jane Morris, a sophomore psychology major who sports a blue bracelet for spinal cord injury research supported by Sciwalker International.

Some bracelets, however, serve no better purpose trendiness. Anyone may now choose to order the bracelet of his or her choice through www.ReminderBand.com for custom orders of more than 40 or www.Bandsonhand.com for small orders with quirky sayings.

"I just wear the (the bracelets) because I like them. They're trendy," said Kyle Dollar, a sophomore computer science major.

For those who have yet to join the bracelet bandwagon, there are numerous campus organizations sponsoring sales, and bracelets are also available at various local stores, including Claire's Boutique in the Foothills Mall, Rams Bookstore and 7-11, among others.

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