Breast cancer survivors and their family and friends unleashed their creative juices to make artistic masterpieces for a good cause.
Creative Cups, or ordinary bras turned into works of wearable art, are to be auctioned off at Adelphi University March 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. to benefit the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program.
As many Long Islanders know, the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program has been helping women, and men, with breast cancer and their families through free services for nearly 30 years. It is supported by major fundraising efforts but relies on a yearly $300,000 state grant to stay afloat. The grant, which the program has relied on for more than two decades, has been completely eliminated from Governor David Paterson's budget.
The bras were made by mothers, and fathers, grandparents and granddaughters, sisters, nieces, godparents, friends and breast cancer survivors; by children and teenagers, students and teachers, co-workers; sororities, sports teams and art classes all over the country. Several Floral Park residents even participated in this effort.
Casey Wakely, and the Sigma Delta Tau sorority, created Yellow Roses to represent their bond and to show their stand against breast cancer.
"Being an organization full of young women wanting to give back to our community, Creative Cups was a definite opportunity to show our commitment to make a difference," Wakely said.
"The yellow roses represent our national flower, and they also represent growth and transformation. The six pearls on each strap represent our bond as sisters, because in order to become a sister of Sigma Delta Tau as a new member you need to earn your six pearls. Lastly, the blue rhinestones represent our national jewel, lapis lazuli, and our love for each other and Creative Cups."
Fellow Floral Park resident Anne Young created Who's Looking? in memory of Mrs. Morgan. "In the early 1990s, several of my sister's childhood friends' moms received the news that they had breast cancer. Although they were all diagnosed with the same disease, each had her individual journey and battle to contend with," Young said.
"Raising awareness and supporting medical research were the avenues my family selected to pursue in order to show support to our extended family. While progress has been made in the medical arena since the '90s, we must continue to publicize the importance of early detection, self-exams and yearly mammograms. If we, as women, can contend with the mental agony of our breasts being too small, too big, uneven, getting measured for cup sizes, purchasing underwire bras, padded bras, unlined bras, sports bras, halter bras, strapless bras and push up bras, then we have proven that we have the strength to contend with having our breasts smashed in a machine for early detection. Treat yourself to good health."
Adelphi alum Beth Tenser, a graphic artist who now lives in Baltimore, first brought the Creative Cups idea to Hillary Rutter's attention. Rutter serves as director of the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program.
"Creative Cups has touched off something wonderful in many people. They took so much time creating something special and we are delighted with the beauty and wit that is expressed," Rutter said.
More than 300 people, working alone or in groups, joined the Creative Cups effort; 247 Perfect Bras have already been created.
Hailing from all over New York, including Long Island, Westchester, Ellenville, Rochester, Canandaigua, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Harpursville, Watertown, Manhattan, Astoria, Bronx, Forest Hills, Flushing, Middletown and Scarsdale, six bras were also from Florida, 22 from Maryland, three from Michigan, three from Virginia, two from Pennsylvania, two from Georgia, two from New Jersey, and one each from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio and Texas.
"This is the first year that we have done this. When we started planning it a year ago, we didn't know that the governor was going to eliminate us from his budget," Rutter said. "So now, instead of helping us to grow, as we have every year, the money raised from this will help us to stay alive. That is why we are hoping that the public will respond by coming to the event and bidding on the bras. And even if they are unable to attend, perhaps they can support us by buying the book that is being produced of all the bras or just making a contribution."
Auction tickets are $50 and $25 for students. For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.adelphi.edu/nysbreastcancer or call 800-877-8077. Please note that tickets will not be mailed. They will be waiting for pick up the night of the event at the registration table.