Businessman makes shades to honor mom |

Businessman makes shades to honor mom

Edward StonerVail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyBill Cotton, at the Cowboys & Angels salon, has made a pair of sunglasses to raise money for breast cancer research. The disease killed Optic Nerve founder's mother, Toby.

VAIL Bill Cotton knows the statistics. For instance, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.Thats millions and millions of people, he said.But, sadly, Cottons understanding of breast cancer goes far deeper than statistics.He watched his mother battle breast cancer for 17 years. He knows about holding her hand during chemotherapy. He knows about watching her go through a bone marrow transplant. He knows about seeing her continue to help others as a social worker while she fought cancer.Seventeen years, he said. Thats a courageous battle.Cottons mother, Toby, died in 2001 at the age of 59. She was diagnosed when she was just 42.She was far too young when she contracted breast cancer, he said.Cotton is an Edwards resident and owner of Optic Nerve, a sunglasses company. Optic Nerve has created a new model of sunglasses, called the Toby in honor of Cottons mom, to raise money for a cure for breast cancer.

With each pair of Toby sunglasses sold, Optic Nerve donates $4 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer foundation. Optic Nerve has pledged a minimum donation of $25,000 and hopes to raise $100,000 this year for the foundation.Were definitely on a crusade here to sell it all over the country, he said.The sunglasses have been on sale since January, and the company has already raised about $20,000 for the foundation, Cotton said. With the summer season still ahead, Cotton said the fundraising has surpassed his expectations.The glasses are on sale around the country. In Eagle County, Optic Nerve sunglasses can be found at stores including Christy Sports, Vail Sports, Venture Sports and Ptarmigan Sports. The Toby glasses cost $40 and are adorned with a pink ribbon.Optic Nerve, and its sister division, Mountain Shades, were based in Eagle County for many years, but the company moved to the Denver area a few years ago.The company sold 400,000 pairs of sunglasses last year, Cotton said.He hopes to continue the companys efforts next year with a new model of sunglasses for breast cancer research, he said.The company has sold 5,000 Tobys so far. Each pair of Tobys comes with a little fact sheet about breast cancer.Every time we sell a pair, people are learning about it, he said.Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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