Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bras bound for businesses’ windows

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 9/27/2013

Bras soon will be taking over Franklin County businesses.

Bringing awareness to breast cancer has gotten a little more creative, Heidi Kingsolver said. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Franklin County Cancer Foundation has teamed up with local businesses to help raise money and attention, Kingsolver, president of the foundation, said.

Bras soon will be taking over Franklin County businesses.

Bringing awareness to breast cancer has gotten a little more creative, Heidi Kingsolver said. Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Franklin County Cancer Foundation has teamed up with local businesses to help raise money and attention, Kingsolver, president of the foundation, said.

“Tour Des’ Bras is a bra decorating contest that is being held between businesses, but individuals can participate if they can find a business to display their bra in,” Kingsolver said. “They make a minimum donation of $10 to be in the contest, decorate a bra and display it from Oct. 1 to Oct. 19 and put a donation jar out to collect money.”

This is the first time for the Tour Des’ Bras, she said, but the event already has taken off and is gaining interest.

“It’s a fun way to get people involved to bring awareness to cancer,” Kingsolver said. “I’ve already had people ask me if they can hang their bras where I work because we have a lot of window space.”

A tour map of the businesses where the bras will be displayed will be available, she said. The bra with the most money raised is set to win a “Boobie Prize,” and all the funds will go to the Franklin County Cancer Foundation, Kingsolver said.

This isn’t the only event coming in October that will involve bras being displayed throughout town, she said.

“There’s also going to be the Bras Across Ol’ Marais,” she said. “On Oct. 19, we’ll take bras that people have brought that may be decorated or may just say ‘in memory’ or ‘in honor’ of someone and we’ll be stringing those across the Marais des Cygnes River and they will hang there for two weeks.”

A festival at Edward E. Haley Community Park, Second and Main streets, is planned for Oct. 19 as well, Kingsolver said. The event is expected to include games for kids, a barbecue, pink-colored cars and booths for women to get information about breast cancer.

“This is the first year we’ve done anything,” she said. “The breast cancer support group has in the past gone around and put pink ribbons on the light poles, but I don’t know of an event that anyone’s actually done in town.”

Bras are already hanging in the window at Ottawa Paint Frames and Decor, 109 S. Main St., where Kingsolver works, she said, and has already caused passers-by to do a double take.

“It’s an attention getter,” she said. “There’s a few people that raise an eyebrow, but most people are just excited and on board and ready to have fun with it.”

With bras set to be a decorative item in the coming month throughout the county, Kingsolver said, she’s not concerned about children or anyone else having questions.

“Breast cancer, not just breast cancer, but cancer period is not a discriminatory disease,” she said. “Cancer doesn’t care what age or gender you are. We’ve had kids under the age of 16 with breast cancer. We have kids under the age of five that we help with cancer. It’s a way to promote awareness and if we make them ask a question — good.”

The bra decorating contest runs Tuesday through Oct. 19. For questions or to enter the Tour Des’ Bras decorating contest, call Kingsolver at (785) 242-5007 or the Franklin County Cancer Foundation at (785) 242-6703.

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