All-age, Gender Neutral Bra Decorating Party Raises Awareness
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 16:10
For seven years, “Honor, Humor, Hope” has been the motto spoken in the Hotel Donaldson as they make Bras on Broadway a success in the Fargo/Moorhead area. This year, for the first time, Bras on Broadway hosted Deck the Bras, an all-age, gender neutral bra decorating party to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.
Unlike other breast cancer focused fundraisers, Bras on Broadway works with the American Cancer Society, and the money raised through Bras on Broadway stays in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. The money is put primarily toward gas cards for women who have to commute to get treatment for breast cancer.
“The idea for Bras on Broadway came from when a friend said to me ‘hey, my sister was at an event where the artists in the community made these beautiful bras and auctioned them off. The Hotel Donaldson is all about art in our region, so what do you think?’ and I said, ‘I think it’s a great try,’” said Karen Stoker, owner of the Hotel Donaldson.
The first Bras on Broadway event sold out, raising over $13,000.
“It’s grown to wearable work, non-wearable work, being able to donate online, we form teams, we’re having this bra decorating party, and last year we raised $102,000,” said Stoker.
Deck the Bras is something new to Bras on Broadway this year. A casual bra decorating party with 40 people in attendance sparked the idea last year.
“We thought ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we were the pancake feed of bra decorating?’” said Stoker,
“so with the help and ideas of a really great team of people, we’re at the Civic with music and root beer floats. At the hotel where we auction off bras and non-wearables, it has sold out every year. This is a kicked-back, casual way for everyone to come, have fun and contribute money.”
Breast Cancer survivors and women currently diagnosed with breast cancer can be seen in attendance at many different Bras on Broadway events, modeling and making bras and helping to spread awareness. Bras on Broadway provides scholarships for these women each year to bring them to a national convention of breast cancer survivors.
College students in the community also get involved. NDSU students baked cupcakes, took orders and raised money at the Deck the Bras event, and college students are encouraged to form teams, register online and collect bras and money to donate.
“MSUM students went through the women’s dorms and collected old bras. It’s easy to do, register, collect bras and $5 each, and whoever donates the most wins a party,” said Stoker. “MSUM is currently beating NDSU.”
A lot of residual events come from Bras on Broadway as well. Other business owners who have been directly or indirectly affected by breast cancer sponsor events during October to fundraise money for Bras on Broadway. Others donate some of their proceeds from the month of October to the organization.
“It’s good to know people are helping their neighbors,” said Stoker.
Bras on Broadway benefits more than just the Fargo/Moorhead community by raising awareness. One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and a small percent of men are also affected.
“Women have breasts, we wear bras, one in eight get cancer,” said Stoker. “The more we talk about it, the more we take care of ourselves and learn, the better off we will be.”
The Deck the Bras events took place 7-10 p.m. at the Civic Center Tuesday.