by Scott Mastro
AGUILAR — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To honor the survivors of this all-too-often deadly disease and to immortalize the memory of those who have succumbed, this past Saturday, October 11, the town of Aguilar celebrated its first Shadow of the Breasts Festival, heightening awareness, offering education, and raising money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure cancer research fund.
Event coordinator Cindy Gulley said, “My family was returning from a Pueblo car trip, thinking of events Aguilar’s Economic Development Committee could sponsor to give the town greater I-25 presence and benefit townspeople and the region. The Spanish Peaks were shading Aguilar. The inspiration and name of the festival come from that.”
Gulley had never organized an event before.
She commented, “I worked on this year’s Aguilar Day with town clerk Tyra Avila, and we went into this festival blindly, hoping it would all work out. There are people here in town who have survived breast cancer, and some who have not.”
Musso’s Farms of Avondale, Colorado brought a truckload of produce and set up a pumpkin patch. “It’s for a good cause,” Musso’s Anthony Prijatel said. “We’re here to pitch in and help celebrate.”
Mount Carmel Wellness of Trinidad supplied information on Women’s Wellness Connection free screenings. Pioneer Services donated the use of a barbecue and grill trailer, Goldminer’s Candy of Manitou Springs offered an array of confections, and Curves of Trinidad had a weight loss display table.
Elvis impersonator, Paul Hurtado, worked the midday crowd. “I was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico. I’ve lived in Aguilar 25 years and loved Elvis since I was five years old. The festival is a chance to donate my support and to do what I love.”
The El Fandango Dancers of Walsenburg presented a traditional and modern folklorico crowd-pleasing performance. Girls fanned their dresses and boys slapped knives and clicked their heels, and in one number a bouncy frog sprinted around the stage. The shimmy dance was choreographed especially for the festival, and the troupe’s final number, the snake dance invited everyone in the audience to join in. Many did.
A featured event was the Mr. Breasts Fest contest. Participants donned wigs, dresses, and make up. David Gulley flashed the enthusiastic crowd with the ample contents of his bright, pink brassiere. Each Breaster had someone to honor or memorialize.
Mayor Leland Gulley honored “Carrie Tarletsky, a cancer survivor and sister of a local Ringo’s Market clerk.” David Gulley memorialized his grandmother, “Fannie Steapleton, a 1960s breast cancer survivor when knowledge and research was not as good as today.” Damien Chavez, Joe Porras, and AJ Ortivez walked the catwalk for their aunts, Toni, Nancy, and Denise. Sam Marcus honored his grandmother Mary Lay, who, “recently completed successful treatment.” William Lane and Taylor Wheeler camped it up in memory of, “The hundreds of angels who have succumbed,” while Eric Wheeler strutted for, “The millions of survivors everywhere.”
Cindy Gulley gave credit to all who helped. “Dragonslayer Sound & Lights donated their time and equipment. Thanks to everyone who helped make the day a success. Next year’s Shadow of the Breasts Fest will be bigger and better.”
For more information, contact Mayor Leland Gulley – 719-941-4360 – firstname.lastname@example.org or womenswellnessconnection.org – 719-845-3190.