Bras for a Cure
According to the Susan G. Komen Cure Foundation, Oregon has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the country. Many local Oregon businesses have found their own unique ways to participate and donate to the fight against breast cancer.
Dandelions and Flowers, a local Flower shop in Eugene, Oregon, has created a new tradition help fundraise for Breast Cancer Awareness month. "Bras for a Cure" allows individuals to a decorate a bra anyway they want, and enter it in a contest for $10 to help raise money for the cause.
Contestants have the opportunity to win from a variety of categories including "Most Creative", "Most Humorous", "Best Cancer Support Bra", "Best Name and Title design." Attendees can place however many votes they want for a dollar each although they are encouraged to “Stuff the Cup” and enter multiple times. The Grand prize winner will receive a trophy, 100 dollar gift card, and of course flowers.
On Tuesday night, Dandelions and Flowers hosted “The Reveal Party Competition.” Everyone finally got to see their bras put into action and see all of the creative designs. A wide array of women and even one man submitted their garments in the event.
Many of the participants were breast cancer survivors, women going through the process, and many who had lost loved ones to the sickness. Four of the staff members are breast cancer survivors, so it hit close to home for everyone in the business.
“It’s a fun way to engage with the community even though it’s a really serious issue” explained the Bras for a Cure event coordinator, Toviana Jackson, “each bra has its own story to tell, and the stories behind them are really touching.”
Pine cones, jewels, and a steering wheel were just some of the many materials used to embellish their skivvies. One parcipant, who is currently going through chemo therapy, decorated a black bra with felt fabric to create the Dr. Seuss characters Thing 1 and Thing 2; however, she named them BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 after the genetic mutation that causes breast cancer.
Businesses also entered and used the fundraiser as an opportunity for office projects; Curves, a women’s weight loss center, entered a sports bra with all of their member’s names on it. Even a seven year old girl decorated a feathery bra after seeing her mother’s book club participate.
“I think across the nation it’s a very pervasive disease, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been affected by it. And as women, it’s close to our heart.” Jackson said.
"Bras for a Cure" donated 100% of the proceeds directly to the community. Dandelions and Flowers decided to partner with Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps low income families who are going through cancer. The foundation provides cancer patients with their individual needs by providing support groups, utility bill aid, help mowing the lawn, transportation, housekeeping, free wigs and covering.
“They have tickets for joy where people donate tickets to events (sporting, music, etc.) and match them up with someone who is undergoing treatment and maybe just need a night to enjoy themselves” explained Jackson.
Last year, Bras For a Cure raised $2000 and this year there goal is to raise twice as much. The contest ends October 31st, 2014 so make sure to place your vote by going to 1260 Chambers St. or online at brasforacure.com.