October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the annual Bras for the Cause, native to Greenville, has continued to flourish and make an impact on the community.
Janeen Cunningham, the founder of this innovative nonprofit organization, began this back in 2009. A graduate of Greenville High and an alumna of Texas A&M University-Commerce, she wanted to create an event that ensured all the revenue would directly benefit the community’s residents by aiding in cancer detection and providing treatment.
The annual Kick-Off Party was held on Aug. 25 at Landon Winery (in downtown Greenville), which unveiled this year’s Texas theme of “B4TC Ya’ll.” Last year, Bras for the Cause was able to raise a total of $122,216 to pay for new UV sterilization units for the Lou and Jack Finney Cancer Center. In previous years, the contributions have also benefited Janice’s Closet and Hunt Regional Healthcare.
Janice’s Closet provides free treatment, clothing pieces and wigs for women in Hunt County who are referred. Hunt Regional Healthcare’s Tubby Adkisson Mobile Mammography Coach is entirely supplied with the latest appliances to appropriately administer a mammogram. This portable service provides previously incapable women this opportunity without being restricted by distance.
Anyone is eligible to submit a bra idea decorated with anything that interests the person as long as it is appropriate. The public, who pay $1 per vote to endorse their choice bra, is responsible for the money raised.
There will be a total of 12 “Bra-bie”awards given out to different designs. The top five bras that receive the most donations earn “BRAgging Rights Bra-Bies” awards. The other seven punny awards are independent and set in different categories. All bra-makers earn a ribbon to wear during the night of the festival in recognition of their participation.
“B4TC Y’all” is given to the bra that best incorporates the year’s theme. The most ingenious use of materials on the bra wins the “BRAids, BRAds, & BRAss.” “BRAnches & BRAmbles” is awarded to the artwork with the most original use of natural materials or focuses on a nature theme. “Training BRA” is awarded to a designer who is 18 years or younger. “BRAndishing your BRAnd” is given to the bra that advertises their company logo or product the best. “BRAniac” is presented to the piece with the best usage of technology, from lights to sounds. The display with the most outstanding name is awarded the “BRAinteaser.”
Physical voting takes place in downtown Greenville on Lee Street between Landon Winery and the Texan Theater from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13. The event welcomes everyone and is free to attend. Awards will be given out later that night at 9:30 p.m. Online voting opened Tuesday, Oct. 11 at www.b4tcgreenville.com to allow a greater audience participation.
Meanwhile on campus, the Morris Recreation Center held their annual Big Pink Volleyball Game from Tuesday Oct. 4 to Thursday Oct 6. This was a unique sport event played with a gigantic 4-ft Kin-ball instead of a regular volleyball ball. A maximum of 10 players on one team could have registered before Sept. 30. The $5 that each player paid will aid in the fight against breast cancer. This limited occasion provided an enjoyable experience while helping a bigger cause.
These two occasions are uniquely different, but both work towards the same cause. Although breast cancer is a major disease, the cities of Commerce and Greenville have been doing their part every year to bring awareness and help patients. These two events prove that whether it is one person or one university, anyone can contribute.