COLUMBIA — This year marks the third annual Artful Bra Contest for the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Contestants compete to make the most creatively decorated bras in a variety of categories.
Completed bras will be judged for creativity by a panel of local celebrities. Entries range from the lighthearted and fanciful to the witty. Many employ wordplay and puns to express a hopeful message, but don't be fooled by the levity, competitors take this seriously.
"It's some tough competition," warned Kristen Fritschie, coordinator of guest services at Ellis Fischel. Fritschie has been involved with the contest since its inception in 2009. "It's a neat fundraiser to help raise awareness about cancer and early detection."
The contest will culminate in a silent auction of the bras at the Tiger Hotel on Oct. 5. All of the money raised by the bra sales will be donated to Ellis Fischel cancer patients.
Within the past two years of the Artful Bra Contest, about $16,000 has been donated to help breast cancer patients and programs, Fritschie said.
"We think that this is a special event because 100 percent of proceeds go to the patients," Theresa Murphy, the division administrator of hematology and medical oncology at Ellis Fischel, said.
Murphy has been involved in the Decorate-A-Bra Competition since its beginning. Last year, she took home first place in the "C Cup: Creative" class with her Lego-encrusted entry, "Lego of Breast Cancer." Murphy won with the help of a partner, Cyndee McCann.
Murphy said she competes not for the victory but for the cause. “It directly benefits patients’ well beings, and that’s why I participate,” she said.
Entry forms for the competition can be found online and are due by Sept. 16. Completed entries are due to the Tiger Hotel by Oct. 3. All contestants will receive complementary entrance to the Artful Bra event on Oct. 5.
For more information about tickets, bra entries or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Charlene Johnson at (573) 882-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.