Nearly 16 years after she was killed, Selena is helping to save lives.
A recently-unveiled T-shirt has an image of the renowned Tejano singerholding a pink ribbon, a symbol of breast cancer awareness. All proceeds from sales of the $20 shirt will be donated to First Friday, a nonprofit program affiliated with Christus Spohn Health System that provides free mammogram screenings for women.
The shirts were created by Q-Productions and the Selena Foundation, which have been involved in various projects with First Friday for more than five years, said Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla.
The idea for the shirts came after discovering a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, Quintanilla said.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, the timing was right to roll out the shirts, she said.
“We knew we wanted to do something that would help the community and help women overcome cancer,” she said.
“It’s a great cause.”
First Friday staff said they are honored the Selena Foundation chose their efforts to spotlight.
“We’re just really thrilled about the shirts,” said Barbara Little, a member of the First Friday executive team.
“It was a wonderful surprise when they called to tell us about the project.”
First Friday has provided screening mammograms for about 1,200 women each year since 1994, Little said.
The group also holds public workshops to educate women about early detection and options.
“There’s a huge need in the community,” Little said. “The money raised from these shirts will help local women get the care they need.”
So what would Selena think about the shirts if she was still alive?
In Selena’s day, breast cancer awareness was not as prominent a topic in the public conversation, Quintanilla said, but the singer was involved with many causes and often gave to and performed for charities.
She most likely would have loved the fundraising efforts, she said.
“Selena wanted to be involved in anything that was about giving back to the community,” Quintanilla said. “So in a way, she’ll be telling people, ‘take a look at this, this is something that’s important.'”
HOW TO HELP
Commemorative Selena T-shirts can be purchased for $20 on the Q-Productions website, http://www.q-productions.com, or by visiting the Selena Museum at 5410 Leopard Street.