Sep/Oct
2011

Bras for a Cause - Give your "support" to breast cancer awareness

Written by Alyssa Koenig
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0015All right ladies! It’s time to take ‘em off and hang ‘em high!

   The third annual Bras for a Cause event is set for Saturday,
October 8, 3–5 p.m. Sponsored by Rochester Toyota/Rochester Ford and Clear Channel Radio, the event raises money to increase breast cancer awareness.

    For each bra collected, sponsors donate $1 to Join the Journey, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase awareness and provide support for newly diagnosed cancer patients through educational material, financial support and more. The donated bras then go to the charitable organizations in the community, such as the Women’s Shelter and the Salvation Army.

    Lesley Salsman, Join the Journey’s community event coordinator, said bras are tied together in strands of 10. “The different-length strands are made by tying multiple strands of bras together. It helps us to count the final number
of bras.”

    On the day of the event the strands are tied to a hot air balloon and let down one by one. Pink-clad volunteers from Rochester Toyota/Rochester Ford follow the balloon to pick up the dropped strands.

    “It’s amazing how Bras for a Cause has grown,” said Lesley. “Last year we collected around 2,500 bras. Every year we have more excitement, and it’s not just women. Our goal is 5,000 bras this year.”

    She tied together 722 bras the night before last year’s launch. “My son didn’t know bras came in so many shapes and sizes. I remember him finding a push-up bra and screaming ‘Women cheat; they cheat!’”

    Veolia Environmental Services provides the pink collection bins around Rochester area businesses. Lesley remembered, “I had to go out to Veolia the Friday night before the event. The guys at Veolia were giggling … my whole trunk was full of bras, but I didn’t have to lift a finger.”

    All proceeds raised for Join the Journey via Bras for a Cause stay within the
organization to increase breast cancer awareness and to help newly diagnosed
cancer patients.

    Want to help? All you have to do is donate. Big or small, old or new, polka dot, lacy or plain, Bras for a Cause will gladly accept your bras.

    Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. Breast cancer is not just a woman’s disease; it affects everyone. We women are caring and nurturing. And what better way to show our support than to take off our bras!  

Alyssa Koenig is an intern with Rochester Women magazine. She is a student at Winona State University.