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Picture the Cure raises money for breast cancer

Kyra Callens is hoping to raise money for breast cancer awareness this month by encouraging residents in Chilton County to vote in Picture the Cure.

Kyra Callens (left) is pictured with Isabella High School graduate Violet Smiley (right) who is participating in a Picture the Cure contest for breast cancer awareness. (Contributed)

Kyra Callens (left) is pictured with Isabella High School graduate Violet Smiley (right) who is participating in a Picture the Cure contest for breast cancer awareness. (Contributed)

Callens, who is the reigning Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen 2016, organized a people’s choice photogenic contest for breast cancer survivors.

The survivors were treated to complimentary hair and make-up for a photo shoot at Vecchia’s restaurant in Hoover on Oct. 3.

There were 18 patients/survivors who participated from five counties including Chilton, Dallas, Jefferson, Shelby and St. Clair counties.

The survivors include Jerrie Callens, Lonia Parhm, Dorothy Hill, Thelma Cotton, Pam Holton, Kasandra Brundidge, Denise Williams, Gloria Turk, Amy Miller, Violet Smiley, Tracie Williams, Angie Kurosaka, Heather Turner, Litisha Croom Gaston, Alicia Smitherman, Raquel Smith and Kennya Blunt.

The Chilton County participants included Parhm, who is from Maplesville, Smitherman, who is from Clanton, Sullivan, who is from Maplesville and Smiley, who graduated from Isabella High School.

Sharon Reeds, a graduate of Jemison High School, also volunteered time to help with hair and make-up during the photo shoot.

Callens is the daughter of Cassandra and Michael Callens.

“My family and I know personally the heartbreak, struggle and triumph brought by this devastating disease,” Callens said. “My grandmother, great aunts and cousins have been affected. Recently, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a double mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgery.”

“My Aunt Violet Smiley and I have always had a very special bond. So, with her diagnosis and treatment, I knew I had to support efforts to find a cure. The Susan G. Komen Foundation was an easy choice for me to pour out my efforts.”

Currently, Callens has raised $700 with her goal being $1,000.

“My main goal is to make this experience be refreshing for our survivors and to make them feel beautiful and free,” Callens said.

Individuals are asked to simply vote at www.picturethecure.yolasite.com with a minimum $5 donation per vote.

There is no limit on the number of votes that you can cast per person for the breast cancer survivors.

All proceeds will be donated to the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure to help with breast cancer awareness, research and treatment.