VALDOSTA -- The Sallas-Mahone Elementary School family raised more than $500 Tuesday for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Elizabeth West, kindergarten paraprofessional, said teachers and students were encouraged to wear denim and pink to school and make a donation to the cause. Monies raised Tuesday will be donated to the foundation in memory of Catherine Parramore, former Sallas-Mahone Elementary School first-grade teacher who lost her battle with cancer in 2001.

Alona Jones, 5, made her donation in honor of her "Auntie Jean," who is a breast cancer survivor. She said participating in the project was a good thing to do.

"She lost a lot of hair," Jones said. "She's doing better now."

Ashlyn Horton, 5, gave in honor of her grandmothers. She said both her "Grammy" and "Grandma" got really sick with breast cancer.

"We are helping people with cancer," Horton said. "That makes me feel happy."

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1982 by Nancy Goodman Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan Goodman Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36.

According to the foundation, an estimated 215,990 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and another 40,110 will die from the disease this year. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. Early detection increases a woman's chance of survival.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation recommends women conduct a breast self-examination each month starting by the age of 20, have a clinical breast exam by a doctor or nurse at least every three years starting at age 20 and every year after age 40, have a mammogram every year starting at the age of 40.

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To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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