U.S. Postal Service raises over $50 million for breast cancer research

May 9th, 2006

The U.S. Postal Service announced today that the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has raised over $50.3 million for research. With Mother's Day just around the corner, the Postal Service encourages consumers to use this stamp on Mother's Day cards to further increase funding for research.

The U.S. Postal Service's Breast Cancer Research stamp was first issued in 1998 pursuant to legislation enacted by Congress and over 695 million stamps have been sold. As a "semipostal" stamp, the U.S. Postal Service's Breast Cancer Research stamp sells for 45-cents and is valid for postage at the prevailing 39-cent First-Class Mail letter rate. Seventy percent of the net difference is paid to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and 30 percent is paid to the Department of Defense (DoD). The NIH and DoD, which both conduct breast cancer research, were identified as recipients of the funds by the legislation enacted in 1997.

The self-adhesive Breast Cancer Research semipostal is a nondenominational stamp, bearing the words "USA" and "First-Class." The background of the vertically formatted stamp design features overlapping areas of pastel blue, yellow, orange and green. Along the top are the words "BREAST CANCER." A line drawing of a female figure, suggesting a "goddess of the hunt or fight" is the main element, while the phrase "FUND THE FIGHT. FIND A CURE," appears flowing left to right across the stamp in a clockwise, circular pattern, outlining where the figure's right breast would be.

The stamp was designed by breast cancer survivor Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, and illustrated by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore.

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