By BRAD KELLAR
Tonight’s Bras for the Cause promises an evening of fun and games, as people vote for their favorite decorated undergarments.
But the event serves a much more serious purpose, in helping to provide hope to victims of breast cancer by benefiting Janice’s Closet through the Hunt Regional Healthcare Foundation.
“Bras for the Cause doesn’t have a bank account, so every penny comes here,” said the Foundation’s Lisa Hill.
Janice’s Closet was named in honor of Janice Weldon, who died in 2010 after dedicating her life to volunteering for multiple causes.
Hill said the first Bras for the Cause in 2009 raised $3,000 for the Foundation’s Fit Steps program, which provided free physical therapy rehabilitation services.
The 2010 Bras for the Cause raised $25,000, with the money going toward supplies — such as wigs and breast prostheses — needed by breast cancer patients who might otherwise not be able to afford them.
“We thought Bras for the Cause could help pay for those things,” Hill said.
Martha Hamilton and Donna Hughes serve as the Certified Mastectomy Fitters for the organization.
“We have bras and prostheses in all sizes and shapes,” Hill said.
The 2011 Bras for the Cause raised $40,000 for Janice’s Closet and the Foundation.
“We’ve got about $35,000 in the bank right now,” Hill noted.
The money can pay for items such as compression garments for lymphadema patients and selections under the Foundation’s Care Couture service.
“This year we’ve added patient treatment gowns,” Hill said. “These are very cool.”
The gowns are specially designed to aid patients receiving care for breast cancer and related ailments.
“The women really appreciate these,” Hill explained. “It really makes life much simpler for them.”
The funds can also be provided for patients needing assistance with their prescriptions and gas cards for those patients who need to make multiple trips during a week for treatment.
Hill said all of the above are available to the Foundation, thanks to Bras for the Cause.
“Every penny raised is used to provide these services,” Hill said.