October is breast cancer awareness month, so restaurants throughout the region are helping to raise money by joining with some local bloggers. Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle was packed with diners, most of them local food bloggers taking part in a kick-off for “Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer" -- a new campaign focused around food to raise awareness among D.C.'s under-40 crowd.
"We have restaurants stretching all the way from Herndon in Fairfax County, all the way to Takoma Park and Silver Spring in Maryland," says Lisa Shapiro, the chairperson of the event and creator of the blog, Dining in DC.
More than 24 restaurants will donate 25 percent of their food sales to Pink Jams, a breast cancer awareness organization. The group was founded two years ago by Shapiro's sister, Christa Floresca, after their family friend died from cancer at the age of 35.
"I have a daughter she's three and basically, you know, I believe in karma," says Shapiro. "I believe in balance of life and my sister and I, we haven't had anyone touched in our immediate family, but we believe that by supporting this cause and hoping to find a cure, that myself and my sister and my daughter won't ever be affected."
Throughout the event, there are many conversations centered on friends and loved ones who have been affected by cancer.
"My mother just battled cancer last year," says Shane Mayson, events manager for Hank's Oyster Bar. "Actually I got the call yesterday that she's in remission. That's as far as I'm going to go with that. Well, I'm just not going to cry, that's what I'm not going to do."
Mayson holds back tears as his voice trails off.
A few minutes later, Lisa Shapiro makes an announcement to the crowd: the staff at Hank's has just decided to donate a portion of the bar sales to the cause.
Learn more about Take A Bite out of Breast Cancer and PinkJams by visiting their website.