A new fundraiser this summer for the Lemuel Rhodes Cancer Foundation (LRCF) will introduce Bond County to a new form of art—the decorated bra. The Bling Out the Bras Contest, while new to our area, has been a popular event in Branson, Missouri for a number of years. Participants are encouraged to be creative (and tasteful) in decorating bras, which can be dedicated in honor or in memory of breast cancer patients. A Bling Out the Bra decorating workshop will be offered in June.
Entry forms for the contest can be picked up at Watson’s Drug Store, Third Street Market, The Green Door, the Bond County Health Department and local hair salons. There is a $10 entry fee. Forms and decorated bras can be submitted to Linda Marti. Deadline is September 1.
Once completed, the decorated bras will be displayed in store windows leading up to the voting, which begins September 1 when the entries can be seen at the Green Door. Voting will conclude September 4 at the LRCF Celebration of Life Festival. Each vote will be cast for a $1.00 donation to LRCF. First, second, and third place winners will be announced at the conclusion of the Celebration of Life Festival. Winners will earn a cash prize for their artistic efforts.
Kelly Tabor, Pat Kious, Anne Langham, and Linda Marti, organizers of the Bling Out the Bra Contest, hope the event provides an opportunity for the issue of breast cancer to be creatively, thoughtfully, and personally expressed by the contestants. While the event has a whimsical side, LRCF sees this as a way to recognize the strength of the women who have been through the breast cancer journey.
A free design workshop will be offered on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at the Bond County Senior Center. Contestants can bring materials and their bras to the workshop. Examples and suggestions will be shared.
Lemuel Rhodes, a long-time Bond County resident, lost his brother to cancer and his own life to the disease in 2002. In his will, Rhodes set aside proceeds from part of his trust to be used to help other Bond County residents battling cancer. Through a confidential application process, individuals may apply for assistance to help with items such as medical bills not covered by insurance, assistance with lodging and travel for treatment, and other necessary items.