Cancer foundation, designer blown away by bracelet's popularity

Steve
Steve Bartlett
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Planning to give a Sparkles of Hope bracelet this Mother's Day? Be prepared to wait a little while.

The Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation, which is selling the $40 bracelets to raise funds, is experiencing unanticipated demand and there are more than 1,000 names on a waiting list.

In fact, it's had to enlist a U.S. firm to help a local company - Karlande Designs of Clarenville - fill the backlog.

"We never thought we'd get weekly shipments from both Clarenville and the U.S., and we still can't meet the demands," said Lynette Hillier, the foundation's executive director.

Cancer patient Doug Murphy of Seal Cove made the trek to the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Centre in St. John's Monday to purchase another Hope Bracelet, one of a number he's bought since they hit the market in early spring. The fundraising bracelets for the centre

Planning to give a Sparkles of Hope bracelet this Mother's Day? Be prepared to wait a little while.

The Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation, which is selling the $40 bracelets to raise funds, is experiencing unanticipated demand and there are more than 1,000 names on a waiting list.

In fact, it's had to enlist a U.S. firm to help a local company - Karlande Designs of Clarenville - fill the backlog.

"We never thought we'd get weekly shipments from both Clarenville and the U.S., and we still can't meet the demands," said Lynette Hillier, the foundation's executive director.

The Sparkles of Hope bracelets were unveiled April 1.

The original goal was to raise somewhere around $100,000 in a year, but Hillier said, "we did that in 10 days."

As of Friday, 30 days since the launch, the tally was $260,000, and the list of people waiting for them through Bogart's Jewellers - which is selling them at no cost to the foundation - was growing fast.

Hillier said she knew they had a unique product, but the demand is beyond what they ever imagined.

"It's been absolutely thrilling," she said, noting orders are coming from as far away as B.C. and the U.S.

The bracelet was conceived by Karlande Designs' Andrea Sharpe and her sister. They lost a sister to cancer two decades ago.

Her reaction to the success: "Completely, completely overwhelmed. Just completely blown away."

She said she's hired a student to help out, and has called upon friends to string bracelets.

As well, there is a group of volunteers in Placentia - where her sister lives - who have been meeting to do the same.

Sharpe is grateful to the public for their support and patience.

So is Hillier, who's also glad to finally have a product to offer cancer patients. She said people would often come into the foundation office asking if there was an item that showed their support for cancer care.

According to Hillier, they always struggled with that because the centre treats many types of cancer.

"I couldn't have a pink ribbon, I couldn't have a blue ribbon ... because it was too segmented for the patient population. So, when (Sharpe) approached us with this bracelet last spring and it represented all forms of caner that we treat here in the cancer centre, it was like, 'Ding! That really works for us.' And we can really see now how it works because everyone is calling looking for a Sparkles of Hope bracelet."

Each of the 20 colours of Swarovski crystals on the sterling silver bracelet represents a different form of cancer.

Bogart's expects to receive a new shipment this week and those bracelets will go to the more than 1,000 people who signed the wait list before the week of April 26.

Hillier said the next shipment for Bogart's will be towards the end of the second week of May.

Sparkles of Hope can also pre-ordered by phone or at www.cancercarefoundation.nl.ca. Right now, the waiting period is 15 days before an order is processed.

Hillier - donning her sales hat - says people planning to give one for Mother's Day should put their name on a waiting list and slip a note into the Mother's Day card saying a bracelet is on order.

Money from the fundraiser goes to the H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre and its affiliates across the province.

Hillier said it will be used to fund patient programs, a family support fund and equipment.

sbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Cancer foundation, H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation, H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre

Geographic location: U.S., Clarenville, B.C. Placentia

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Recent comments

  • Marg. Stuckey
    December 19, 2011 - 16:14

    Can u buy the bracelet in Ontario? If so could someone please let me know where!! Thank u!! And Donny, Have u ever lost someone to cancer & see the pain they were in? U would do ANYTHING or pay ANYTHING to help them! Every penny counts to help them find a cure!

  • brenda
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    some-one please help me as to where to go to buy one of these braclet cancer has touched our lives.i want to support.someone please let me know a phone number would be great.Sincerly Brenda

    • cat mccar
      August 10, 2010 - 08:16

      I plan on ordering one of these. It is such a good cause. Have to agree and wish they could enlist Newfoundlanders to help make these bracelets and not go to the outside sources in the states. I hope they reconsider and hire or ask for volunteers from Newfoundland..

    • Sharon Pynn
      August 17, 2010 - 15:28

      Just order mine, and so glad I did, cant wait to get it in the mail....

  • Anne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Donny Dooley speaks of fools. He would know.

  • snuggles
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    I received mine by mail yesterday after ordering from the cancer centre's website. It took only took about 11-12 days to reach me in St. John's. They're pretty and such a great cause! Keep purchasing everyone! :)

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    I understand the effort, the time and the expenses involved with the production of these bracelets. It is truly a noble project.
    Mr. Dooley, read this: From wikipedia...
    Swarovski (pronounced [sw?r??fski?] swor-OF-skee[2]) is the brand name for a range of precision-cut crystal glass and related luxury products produced by Swarovski AG of Wattens, Austria.
    How dare you imply that these are plastic. Do your homework and stop talking like a fool.

  • Sherry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Dear Mr Dooley from NL- perhaps you missed reading the specifics of the bracelet- they are made from silver and crystals which are not plastic..there is not a plastic part on them as far as I know. Accept their kindness Mr Dooley at their efforts- one day you may have cancer and may benefit from their work.

  • Margaret
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    A wonderful idea for a great cause.
    Howver, I feel I need to ask .. Why did you have to enlist A U.S. FIRM to help out?
    Surely, that privilege, and employment, could have been given to a NL company.

  • Elizabeth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    It is a beautiful bracelet - and a fantastic way to support our local community. From what I here it is approximately half for the cause and half for this amazing piece of jewlery! KUDOS to all who are kind enough to support!

  • AF
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I just got mine for my birthday...I think my mom just managed to beat the rush! I absolutely love mine...such a great cause and way to show your support! I wear mine every day!

  • snuggles
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Dear Mr. Dooley...it is NOT a PLASTIC bracelet!!! It is made of Swarovski crystals and stirling silver. If you had any of the sense God gave you, you may realize that. You simply have to ACTUALLY read or listen to the media coverage to know about it. I am proudly wearing mine today and feel wonderful knowing that I have helped people dealing with cancer....and I have a little something pretty on my arm to remind me everytime I look at it. :) I do agree with Margaret about enlisting a US firm, though. Many Newfoundlanders would have been happy to help out...many even on a volunteer basis. :)

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    So proud of my sisters and their efforts in helping out others in the memory of my sister Mary Elizabeth.

  • Maria
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Maria from Placentia. I would like to say how privliged I feel to be part of thisproject. I would like to thank all who have been involved and who have supported the Sparkles of Hope. Mr. Dooley, I truly feel sorry for you if you believe what you say. It must be hard to go through life with such a negative outlook. Those people who are victims of this disease and their families need support. I know when our sister was sick the one thing that she always talked about was hope-that she would recover, that she could see her daughter grow up.Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Hope is something we all need ! It makes life worthwhile!!!

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Very worthy and orginal idea; kudos to the Cancer Foundation. I gave my wife and our three daughters bracelets for Easter. Unfortunately, as with the ribbon campaign, many other charities will steal this idea and flood the market with their own bracelets in short order rather than come up with their own ideas.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    What's that old saying about fools and their money? $40 for a plastic bracelet? That's not on!

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Donny Dooley: A $40 donation to an organization that does so much good is worth it even if you got nothing in return; you know, the kind of nothing that's in your head and cold heart.

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    @Donny Dooley:

    It's not $40 for a bracelet - it's $40 for charity. When you give a door-to-door canvasser $40, do you think you're buying the pamphlet they give you?

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    By the way Donnie Dooley, you said fools and their money and their money parting ... How many times did you send money to that Nigerian before realising that it was an email scam? 10 times maybe?

  • Joanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Way to expensive....

  • Donna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    As one of the volunteers (from Placentia that helped string the bracelets) I would like to send a bouquet to Andrea for taking on such a meanfully project. It gives those that are battling cancer, those that are survivors and those that have lost loved one to cancer a sense of hope. I'm sure I speak for all the volunteers in Placentia when I say that being part of such a worthwhile project gives one a feeling of much pride and great accomplishment. Hats off to the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation for the Sparkles of Hope Bracelet cause you have indeed given people HOPE

  • Leanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    15 days? I ordered mine before Easter and I am still waiting! I wouldn't hold your breath on getting one in 15 days but I am sure it will be worth the wait!

  • brenda
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    some-one please help me as to where to go to buy one of these braclet cancer has touched our lives.i want to support.someone please let me know a phone number would be great.Sincerly Brenda

  • Anne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Donny Dooley speaks of fools. He would know.

  • snuggles
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    I received mine by mail yesterday after ordering from the cancer centre's website. It took only took about 11-12 days to reach me in St. John's. They're pretty and such a great cause! Keep purchasing everyone! :)

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    I understand the effort, the time and the expenses involved with the production of these bracelets. It is truly a noble project.
    Mr. Dooley, read this: From wikipedia...
    Swarovski (pronounced [sw?r??fski?] swor-OF-skee[2]) is the brand name for a range of precision-cut crystal glass and related luxury products produced by Swarovski AG of Wattens, Austria.
    How dare you imply that these are plastic. Do your homework and stop talking like a fool.

  • Sherry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Dear Mr Dooley from NL- perhaps you missed reading the specifics of the bracelet- they are made from silver and crystals which are not plastic..there is not a plastic part on them as far as I know. Accept their kindness Mr Dooley at their efforts- one day you may have cancer and may benefit from their work.

  • Margaret
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    A wonderful idea for a great cause.
    Howver, I feel I need to ask .. Why did you have to enlist A U.S. FIRM to help out?
    Surely, that privilege, and employment, could have been given to a NL company.

  • Elizabeth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    It is a beautiful bracelet - and a fantastic way to support our local community. From what I here it is approximately half for the cause and half for this amazing piece of jewlery! KUDOS to all who are kind enough to support!

  • AF
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I just got mine for my birthday...I think my mom just managed to beat the rush! I absolutely love mine...such a great cause and way to show your support! I wear mine every day!

  • snuggles
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Dear Mr. Dooley...it is NOT a PLASTIC bracelet!!! It is made of Swarovski crystals and stirling silver. If you had any of the sense God gave you, you may realize that. You simply have to ACTUALLY read or listen to the media coverage to know about it. I am proudly wearing mine today and feel wonderful knowing that I have helped people dealing with cancer....and I have a little something pretty on my arm to remind me everytime I look at it. :) I do agree with Margaret about enlisting a US firm, though. Many Newfoundlanders would have been happy to help out...many even on a volunteer basis. :)

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    So proud of my sisters and their efforts in helping out others in the memory of my sister Mary Elizabeth.

  • Maria
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Maria from Placentia. I would like to say how privliged I feel to be part of thisproject. I would like to thank all who have been involved and who have supported the Sparkles of Hope. Mr. Dooley, I truly feel sorry for you if you believe what you say. It must be hard to go through life with such a negative outlook. Those people who are victims of this disease and their families need support. I know when our sister was sick the one thing that she always talked about was hope-that she would recover, that she could see her daughter grow up.Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Hope is something we all need ! It makes life worthwhile!!!

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Very worthy and orginal idea; kudos to the Cancer Foundation. I gave my wife and our three daughters bracelets for Easter. Unfortunately, as with the ribbon campaign, many other charities will steal this idea and flood the market with their own bracelets in short order rather than come up with their own ideas.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    What's that old saying about fools and their money? $40 for a plastic bracelet? That's not on!

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Donny Dooley: A $40 donation to an organization that does so much good is worth it even if you got nothing in return; you know, the kind of nothing that's in your head and cold heart.

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    @Donny Dooley:

    It's not $40 for a bracelet - it's $40 for charity. When you give a door-to-door canvasser $40, do you think you're buying the pamphlet they give you?

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    By the way Donnie Dooley, you said fools and their money and their money parting ... How many times did you send money to that Nigerian before realising that it was an email scam? 10 times maybe?

  • Joanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Way to expensive....

  • Donna
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    As one of the volunteers (from Placentia that helped string the bracelets) I would like to send a bouquet to Andrea for taking on such a meanfully project. It gives those that are battling cancer, those that are survivors and those that have lost loved one to cancer a sense of hope. I'm sure I speak for all the volunteers in Placentia when I say that being part of such a worthwhile project gives one a feeling of much pride and great accomplishment. Hats off to the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation for the Sparkles of Hope Bracelet cause you have indeed given people HOPE

  • Leanne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    15 days? I ordered mine before Easter and I am still waiting! I wouldn't hold your breath on getting one in 15 days but I am sure it will be worth the wait!