The bra is the new blank canvas.
Indiana Business and Professional Women’s Club, in collaboration with Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, is presenting the fifth annual Bras for the Cause event from Sept. 27 to Oct. 24.
The event aims to support and promote breast cancer awareness. With no limit on the number of entries, participants may decorate a bra any way they please and the bras will be displayed and voted for by donations.
“We hold our final event during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So, bras ‘fit’ the theme,” Roxanne Lanning, chair of Bras for the Cause, said.
“We believe the event continues to see dedicated participants because everyone has had someone they know, whether a relative, a friend or an acquaintance, that has been diagnosed with cancer.”
Proceeds of the event benefit Birdie’s Closet, a cancer patient support project at the Indiana Regional Medical Center, and the BPW scholarship fund.
As well as benefiting Birdie’s Closet, last year’s event raised $250 for the BPW scholarship fund, according to Lanning.
“Birdie’s Closet assists all cancer patients with supplies to help cope with appearance-related side effects from cancer treatment,” Lanning said.
Kelly Poland, BPW Indiana local president said she loves seeing the reactions when the bras are displayed.
“All types of people are interested in looking at and voting on their favorite design,” Poland said.
“Men, women, kids, elderly – it never ceases to amaze me. I like the aspect that even though we do not raise thousands of dollars, we are raising awareness in this area about the disease, and we are reaching a lot of people in different financial situations.”
The first display of these decorative hooter harnesses will be Oct. 1-3 at IUP’s Stapleton Library. Voting will continue at Lucy Rae’s from Oct. 4-17 and again from Oct. 18-24 in Dingbat’s sports bar and restaurant located in the Indiana Mall.
The event will come to a close Oct. 24 with a gala event and auction.
“The greatest part of the event is the unveiling of the bras,” Poland said.
“I cannot get over the imagination of the people who create them, and every year I am surprised with the results. We also hear stories from people who have battled breast cancer and won and those who lost. It is always amazing to hear of the incredible strength that women have when faced with this life-changing illness.”
The decorative bras are to be submitted by Sept. 27 at one of six drop-off locations. There is a $5 registration fee.
Drop-off locations include: IUP’s Center for Student Life located in Pratt Hall, Room 303; Smith, Lewis, Chess and Company, LLP: located at 1776 Warren Road; Lucy Rae, Inc. located at 682 Philadelphia St.; Consol Energy located at 280 Indian Springs Road, Suite 333; S&T Bank located at 205 East Market St. in Blairsville; and S&T Bank located at 111 Resort Drive in Blairsville. Submissions can also be mailed to Indiana BPW P.O. Box 1165, Indiana, PA, 15701.