Squared Deals

Around here, we're always ready for a good contest. Especially when it involves a match up against our friendly rivals in Cleveland. Which is why Mayor Luke Ravenstahl stepped up to the podium in Market Square at lunchtime on Tuesday to accept a unique challenge. Here's the wager - Pittsburgh will buy more pink ribbon bagels from local Panera Bread stores than our counterparts in Cleveland. And it's all for an important cause, as it raises awareness about the all too real risk of younger women getting breast cancer.

With former Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke at his side, Mayor Ravenstahl dared the city by the lake to out buy and out eat the City of Champions — all in good humor and good taste, of course. Though the bet is light-hearted, the results are down-to-earth serious - the triumphant city will earn an extra $10,000 in donations from Panera.  This money will help more young women understand, assess and combat the risks of breast cancer. The contest runs from October 1st-31st, in support of the Young Women's Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. In the long run, no matter which city comes out on top, everyone is a winner as Panera goes pink. And that's a call not even an NFL replacement ref can botch.

This weekend, the Art Resource Teaching Society will creatively host Art Squared in Market Square, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. each day. More than 40 local photographers, chefs, musicians, writers and other creative types will be on hand to help everyone unleash their artistic potential though various hands-on activities and lessons. Plus, super model hopefuls can learn how to strut their stuff on the cat walk while laughter specialists will do their best to tickle funny bones of all in attendance. You can even learn how to make your own knightly chain-mail armor, if slaying dragons is in your plans. Budding Frank Lloyd Wrights can enter architectural competitions as emerging entrepreneurs design their own business cards and marketing materials. With the entire Downtown as your canvas, you can unleash your creativity in a thousand ways during Art Squared. Best of all, festival proceeds will help support arts programs in Pittsburgh's public schools.

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in nearly 45,000 Americans every year. This coming Sunday, September 30th, people with pancreatic cancer and their families, along with those who lost loved ones to the the disease will gather in the Square at 7:00 p.m. for a the Purple Light National Vigil for Hope as a reminder that much more work needs to be done to fight this serious illness. As part of the National Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, this candlelight tribute will illuminate the need for ongoing research and treatment improvements that will lead to a cure. You can add your light to the fight and keep the flame burning bright for those suffering from this disease.

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