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Tattoo shops pledging support for cancer research

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

A string of area tattoo parlors has pledged support in the fight against cancer.

Gary Hall, owner of Ink Wizard Tattoo Parlors, said that beginning Sunday and continuing through Nov. 21, his business will donate $100 to breast cancer research efforts for every customer who gets a special, pink ribbon tattoo.

"It's something that touches home for everybody," he said of the disease. "Sometimes you can't do enough good. You can never do too much."

Stockbridge resident, Geri Hughes, was instrumental in organizing the campaign.

Hughes said the money raised will be sent to Relay for Life of Henry County, which organizes an annual fund-raising walk benefiting the American Cancer Society's efforts.

In August, Hughes, a 61-year-old grandmother and breast cancer survivor, marked the sixth anniversary of the remission of her cancer.

She said she initially came up with the idea for a fund-raiser after getting a pink ribbon tattoo from another parlor, courtesy of her husband, Jerry, a few days before her birthday last month.

Hughes said she then began looking for a parlor to help in a tattoo fund-raiser.

"I was determined I was going to raise money," she said.

After calls to Ink Wizard, she made contact with Hall, and Hughes said she was surprised at his generosity.

"I almost fell off my chair," she said. "With [Hall] doing this at seven different locations, there's much money to be raised."

Ink Wizard has two locations in Macon, and one each in Stockbridge, Jonesboro, Griffin, Forsyth and Loganville.

Hall said he chose to support efforts to stamp out the disease because he has tattooed a number of breast cancer survivors. He also has a family member who is a survivor.

Another reason he is involved with the campaign to fight breast cancer, he said, is because of the positive message it sends to his wife, Cathy, their three daughters, and three granddaughters.

Hopefully, Hall said, the money the campaign raises will make a positive difference.

"I want to do anything I can to help combat cancer," Hall said.