Think Pink

Fame by Bob Carey

Chances are you know us pretty well by now. Which means you know that David and I don’t gush without reason. And you know that no matter how witty or wacky we may be, we especially don’t gush about a middle-aged guy running around naked save for a pink tutu.

Except lately. We’ve been giving quite a lot of thought this past month to our buddy Bob Carey, the renowned photographer and aforementioned pink tutu attired guy. He initiated this quirk, in which he dons a tutu and takes photos of himself, a decade ago as a whimsical response to a local ballet company’s request for photos. A short while later it took on far greater poignancy when his wife, Linda, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, Bob has taken dozens more selfies as a means of dealing. (Don’t judge. We each grieve in our own way. Besides, a few yards of tulle is far cheaper than a shrink.)

What started as one man’s coping strategy has evolved into a worldwide lovefest. Officially known as The Tutu Project, the iconic photos of a pink tutu-clad Bob drum up awareness as well as funds for those afflicted with breast cancer. It does so most concretely via donations that help defray cancer-related costs—including home care, childcare, medical supplies, and transportation to treatment—through the 501(c)3 non-profit organization The Carey Foundation. But it does so most evocatively through the charity’s stated mission of bringing “laughter and understanding to a community that has endured far too much.” And this is achieved via Bob’s ever-expanding collection of curious photos. Ponderous photos. Humorous photos. Photos you’d want to hang in, say, your front hallway. (That’s exactly where David’s signed print that you see at the top of this page resides.)

Each time we peruse Bob’s latest work, we find it a little harder not to fall more in love with him, whether he’s navigating Times Square, contemplating Lake Michigan, tiptoeing through rural Italy, swinging from a tree branch, or clutching Willie Nelson’s guitar onstage. (For those of you who are as taken with Bob’s work and his signature tulle as we are, the photos are available as individual prints and in a collectors’ edition book, aptly titled Ballerina.) Everyone, it seems, is inspired by Bob—those who follow his blog, those who’ve dressed themselves and their dogs in pink tutus for charity walks, even those in corporate offices for Deutsche Telekom, the National Football League, Bloomingdale’s, and The Big Apple Circus, each of whom has partnered with The Tutu Project in recent months to raise awareness as well as donations.


Homemade Sno BallsWhat does this have to do with Leite’s and our eats? We decided to pink things up during the month of October by donating all proceeds from our famous Pink Sno Ball recipe to The Tutu Project. (Surely you can see the cake’s resemblance to a froufrou tutu, yes?) Each time you click on the recipe, you up the ante. At the end of the month, Leite’s Culinaria will tally the income generated by clicks on the recipe and donate a matching amount to The Tutu Project. We’ll be donating it on your behalf—as well as on behalf of those you’re thinking of this month. If you like, you can list in a comment below the names of anyone whom you’d like us to honor with our donation. Just remember, every single page view makes a difference. So click, share, tweet, like, pin, and do whatever else you can to generate some attention for this recipe and, by extension, some good for someone you love.

Renee Schettler Rossi's signature
  1. Sofia Reino says:

    Love this idea. And right now even more. About 25 years ago, not long after my parents and I moved to NYC, my Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was fortunate to be there for her at every step of her operation, of her chemo, of her recuperation. My life became college classes, trips to Papaya juice stands and back to our apartment and spending time with her while doing my homework. And I treasured every moment of it. I knew she needed me and thankfully I was able to be there for her.

    Today, here I am, on the other side on the pond. Years passed and all seemed good. No more signs of this ugly disease. Though then it attacked my Aunt and all went very fast. I was not there for her, I was there in spirit, but not there physically, next to her.

    And now it decided to get to my Mother again. This time in a more severe manner, so here I am and she is laying in a hospital bed, thankfully with my sister next to her, yet I so wish I too could be there.

    In both their honor as well as many others around this world, I am making the Pink Sno Balls and will have my daughters and husband bring them to their schools/workplace. I believe this is actually quite appropriate as both love to cook, taught me a lot throughout the years.

    To Renee and David, thank you for this post, this gesture and the fact that you are always thinking of others.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Sofia, you’re very welcome. I’m sorry beyond words to hear that this is such a difficult time for you and your family.

  2. Martha in KS says:

    Thank you for recognizing the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness & loved ones who have survived or succumbed to this horrible disease. My wonderful paternal grandmother – Stella Rose Cabiness Heizman lost her battle in 1956, and my sister Nancy is a survivor. For the sake of your loved ones, please get your yearly mammogram. And click on those Sno Balls!

  3. Beulah Douglas says:

    Texas Auntie
    Martha in KS is my sweet niece and I know how close this dread monster has come to her. I too, feel the sorrow it has brought so many. My dear friend, another Nancy, here in Texas is a survivor of cancer also. Ladies, please THINK PINK.

  4. Hah, that’s awesome! I’m an old friend of Bob and Linda’s and remember being on a camping trip with them about 7 years ago in the Catskills ahen Bob exclaimed that he had to shoot a “tutu shot” by the waterfall we passed on a hike! It’s been an amazing journey to watch. Cheers.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Hah! I can just hear Bob say that, Iri. Many thanks for chiming in, we so appreciate it. Kindly give our love to Bob and Linda.

  5. Silke says:

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks even more for supporting this instead of one of the big corporate charities. I just got hit with breast cancer, but was lucky on so many fronts (great support network with friends and a fabulous husband, great insurance, living close to multiple renowned cancer centers), and it made me think about how truly fortunate I am and how much worse it is when you’re alone or can’t afford treatment. Thanks to the Carey foundation for helping those that are less lucky!

    And, it seems I got even more lucky, fingers crossed for 10+ (or 25+ after reading the comment above) years, surgery and pills for a long time but that’s a small price to pay for living.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Silke, our thoughts are with you for 25+++ more years of cooking, eating, and otherwise living life to the fullest. And it’s us who wish to thank you. We all can learn so very much from your attitude and outlook.

  6. Nicole R. says:

    Grandmother Maisonneuve.

  7. Kathleen says:

    I never cared for the color pink.
    I was a tomboy and more interested in playing rough and beating up boys who thought girls couldn’t do things as well as them.
    Hah! I showed them!

    So, while going through this cancer thing, I never bought or wore anything pink, not even a ribbon pin or key chain.

    Now…I have found something that does appeal to me in pink…Bob Carey and his tutu.
    And…little pink houses for you and me.

    Keep on fightin’ the good fight!

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