Capitola Soroptimists fundraise with their seventh annual ‘Bras for a Cause’ event
Bras are best known for being a literal support system. But one local group has found another way in which bras can help support women, and it involves everything from glass beads to feathers and sequins.
On Sunday, Aug. 19, the Capitola chapter of Soroptimist International hosted the seventh annual “Bras For a Cause” gala and auction at the Seascape Golf Club in Aptos. The event attracted nearly 100 participants who bid on 49 donated, bedazzled bras—16 more than were donated last year, according to co-chair Mary Kashmar.
“Initially, the concept behind using bras as a fundraiser was [closely tied] with raising breast cancer awareness,” says Kashmar. “[But now the fundraiser is] used to raise awareness toward all types of cancer that both women and girls are suffering from.”
In addition to the cash prizes given to the top three bras (voted on by notable judges, including artists Stella Page and John McKinley, and local business owner Lisa Cecchettini), gift certificates and trophies were presented to winners in categories such as “Best Crafted,” “Most Creative Use of Materials,” and “Most Outrageous.” Eleven-year-old Sky Champagne was the winner of the “People’s Choice” award for her bra, which was titled “Please find the missing piece to cure cancer!” Champagne’s handcrafted bra, laden with assorted puzzle pieces, was decorated in honor of her Nana, Sherri Larrabee.
All proceeds from the Soroptimist fundraising efforts this past weekend were donated to services that support women and girls in Santa Cruz County. The two leading recipients were WomenCARE, which provides free support services for women with cancer, and Gemma, a program of the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. that helps women reunite with their families and the community after incarceration.
PHOTO: Chelsea Larson’s first place “Dia de los Muertos” bra.