Vans Warped Tour – Keep A Breast

Tuesday, July 31, I volunteered at the Vans Warped Tour in Cincinnati with the Keep A Breast [KAB] Foundation! It was a long, hot, sweaty day but it would have been no matter what, so might as well get sweaty doing something you love, right?

Sometimes you don’t realize how much a simple decision impacts the others around you. Getting your story out there not only raises awareness in others but can also be a form of therapy for you. Seeing this continue to happen in the tent really touched me as all of these strangers shared their cancer stories. A young teenage girl at her first ever Warped Tour became very emotional at the tent and was glad Warped Tour partnered with such an organization. She requested that me and another volunteer sign the T-shirt she brought with her to have bands sign. The volunteer and I looked at one another, confused at why she would want this and she said “Please just sign your name and make sure you say you’re from Keep A Breast. You’re just as awesome as any of the bands I’d have sign it!” And that was my first “wow” moment of the day.

I do have to say that working for Keep A Breast really reminded me of my passion for promotions and awareness through the arts. Their mission is as follows:

The Keep A Breast Foundation™ is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts, we seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.”

They truly do abide by those words.  This was proven to me by the people I worked with who were some of the nicest people I have come into contact with in a long time. They were all really friendly, loved their job, and (even better) loved the music at warped tour. We – the volunteers – were allowed a one hour break but they really just let us leave if we asked. One woman, Kayla, heard that I liked All Time Low and let me and the other volunteers leave to booth to go the All Time Low signing! We got to sneak to the front of the line; It was like we were VIP. And now have a poster signed by the band!
Other full time Keep-A-Breast-ers weaved in and out of the tent frequently to check out a band, promote KAB, and simply socialize. They brought in a band called June Forever to do an acoustic set and had a band called Life After Lift Off do a signing right in the tent.
Both bands were totally chill and down to earth; Hands down, some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. A member of Life After Lift Off was excited to be signing in the KAB tent because he is a cancer survivor! He told us his story and it was amazing. He had liver cancer and found it early on so it was treatable but he still has to go to treatment at least once a month. I even took his picture for the “Imagine If…” campaign, which is a special interactive feature of the KAB tent where you can tell your story of how you imagine the world would be if there was no cancer.
As a matter of fact, taking pictures for the “Imagine If…” campaign was my job the entire day and I saw some very inspiring things. If you would like to see the pictures, KAB uploads them all to their Facebook Page so that everyone can see! < Linked are the images from Cincinnati that I took! I am very proud of these people for the will to share their stories with the world ❤

On a lighter note, our tent was located near the Monster Energy Stage and I got to hear some pretty awesome music while I was working. One of the more exciting bands, Mayday Parade, played one of my favorite songs and I couldn’t help but scream the words with my co-volunteers as we manned the tent. Other bands I got to hear while working include: Blessthefall, The Ghost Inside, Motionless in White, Sleeping With Sirens, Vampires Everywhere, Rise to Reamin, Everytime I Die, and Chelsea Grin. And although I am not a huge fan of post-hardcore, metalcore, deathcore music, I quite enjoyed the live performances. We were at a prime location.

After my shift was said and done I went and saw some more amazing bands such as Breathe Carolina, Yellowcard, All Time Low, and Taking Back Sunday. My brain just about exploded from musical intake that day – in a good way. Music is really important to me and I can’t really explain why… but when I hear a song I love being played live I go to my happy place and the world seems so carefree for just a moment – or a whole day if you’re at a music festival.
As I mentioned before, it was a long, hot, sweaty day but it was totally worth it. I had an amazing time both while I was working and after. Glad I can say I helped out such a wonderful organization.

How did I get involved? Well a friend of mine who had volunteered previously (and came to this date as well) recommended the experience to me and I am ever so thankful that I took her advice! Thank you Katie Fink, you were made to do this kind of stuff!
If you’re at all interested in getting involved with Keep A Breast, please check out their website HERE, They truly are an awesome organization!

My KAB arm ❤