Bras were originally created to support women’s breasts. But today, bras are a fashion statement and the nearly 100 bras on display Saturday in Copperas Cove were no exception.
Dave’s Ice House, wrapped in pink plastic, hosted the second annual Bra Fest as 10 bands played on the roof and more than 25 vendors dotted the parking lot selling items to raise money to fight breast cancer.
The local women’s roller derby team sold pink balloons for $1 and more than 100 balloons were released in a ceremony to honor cancer survivors and memorialize those who lost their lives to the deadly disease.
Lisa Ruiz and Yvonne Lawrence of Beyond Paradise Salon and Spa wrote names of customers affected by breast cancer on the balloons they released.
“I just lost a friend last year to breast cancer and another lady who owns a day care here in town just passed away from breast cancer,” Ruiz said. “We want to show our support and remember them.”
The event’s fundraising goal was $20,000, compared to last year’s $12,000. The money will fund clinical trials for a promising drug that requires only six to eight injections to cure cancer and prevent its return.
Bra Fest was the idea of Joan Kelley who serves on the Killeen Civic Art Guild board of directors. She presented the idea to board members, and 25 bras were created for last year’s event. This year, more than 100 decorated bras were created and donated by people throughout the Killeen area.
One of Kelley’s creations consisted of a bra made of nuts and bolts.
“In October 2004, the nuts came loose and the bolts fell out of my life when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said. “After numerous surgeries and dozens of doctors’ visits, I was put back together again.
“In October 2010, I found my mission when I learned that funding had not been attained for clinical trials for NampEVA, which shows great promise in treating several types of cancer. Research is the nuts and bolts for a cure to cancer.”
Kelley was offered $1,000 for her bra creation but turned it down. Instead, she sent the bra to New York where it was on display and later put into a book, Oncology on Canvas, printed by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.
As the bra fest continues to grow, Kelley is planning a “bra purse swap” in the future.