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Decorate-A-Bra contest features bra masterpieces for breast cancer fundraiser

Bra contest and silent auction lifts awareness about breast cancer with one-of-a-kind creations

September 30, 2010 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Victoria’s Secret has nothing on last year’s collection of 133 metal-welded, headlight-beaming, magic-spell-casting, no-monkey-business, peacock-feathered sets of boulder holders that put even Madonna’s cone-capped ta-tas to shame.

Decorate-A-Bra

Where: Ellis Fischel Cancer Center
When: Oct. 6, 6-7:30
Cost: $75 for VIP tickets, $30 for general admission
Call: 882-6100

This frilly, jeweled bra was judged at last year’s Decorate-A-Bra contest and fundraiser. This entry ...

The bras aren’t the only thing boosting bosoms. The silent auction is part of Ellis Fischel Cancer Center’s Decorate-A-Bra contest and fundraiser, and staff, patients, survivors and their supporters from all over mid-Missouri will come together to raise money for breast cancer. “Everybody can say, for the most part, that they know somebody who has had cancer, so I think this is a fun way to celebrate life and survivorship,” says Kristen Fritschie, Ellis Fischel’s guest services coordinator.

The success of last year’s event, which was held at the cancer center, put the wonder in Wonder Bra as nearly 500 people showed up. That figure exceeded expectations, and the submitted bras boosted the entire event’s earnings to a substantial $8,500. The Pamela Anderson’s twin-sized proceeds went toward assisting women without money to pay for mammogram screenings, supplies for cancer patients or other patients’ needs. A portion of the profits was also set aside for education and awareness events.

The Ellis Fischel Auxiliary, a volunteer group devoted to cancer fundraising and awareness, planned the previous year’s event, which it based on a similar one in North Carolina. Because of the considerable time commitment and size of the event, Ellis Fischel’s staff and development group took over planning for this year.
Last year, attendees lined a stretch of wall at the cancer center, crowded the hallway and pointed out favorite bras. Five judges scored the bras by cup size: A (artful cup), B (bodacious cup), C (cancer cup), D (delightful cup), F (funny cup) and people’s choice.

“Some of these things were amazing,” says Chris Stevens, co-owner of PS: Gallery and a 2009 judge. “They went way beyond adding glitter and beads. These were definitely pieces of art that went beyond the call of duty.” Although he says he knows how to unclasp a bra with one hand, his expertise was the art.

Stevens’ favorite, entitled “Simply Riveting,” was the artful cup. The bra was a standout with pink metal-riveted cups welded by the Sheet Metal Workers Union No. 36. It was a bra GaGa would go gaga for. Fritschie pointed out the Joe Machen’s Ford Dealership bra. It was decorated like a red Mustang complete with working headlights. But the real crowd pleaser and people’s choice winner was the impressive sock monkey bra called “No Monkey Business – Let’s Find A Cure.”

Nancy Gore, Registered Nurse at Ellis Fischel, submitted two bras last year. Her “Abracadabra” –– with magician hands extending from the cups, dealing cards in action — was the second place winner in the artful cup. This year’s bra isn’t based on magic, but she has tricks up her sleeve.

Starting two weeks after last year’s contest, Gore sent a plain white bra on a journey across the nation to be photographed in every state.

The idea behind this bra’s theme is that breast cancer doesn’t have any boundaries. The traveling bra saw Elvis in Las Vegas, a moose in Anchorage, Alaska and a Native American reservation in South Dakota. Eleven months later, the bosom beauty is safely on its way home.

The highest bidder will take home the bra, in addition to a scrapbook of all the places it has been. However, winning is the last thing on Gore’s mind. She’s focused on raising money for the cause and increasing awareness for breast cancer.

After all, a bra is used to support your breast friends.

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