More than 20 people have embraced themes both serious and playful in the second Moore’s Greenhouse & Flower bra decoration contest in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month through October.
Launched last year by business owner Rhoda Moore, the event raised more than $1,000 last year, with proceeds benefiting Relay for Life of Pettis County donated in the memory of Cathy Berlin. Bras are decorated by local individuals, with money raised through $1-per-vote donations at Moore’s, where the bras will be on display until the end of the month. This year’s proceeds will be donated to Relay for Life in memory of the late Cathy Lewis, of Hughesville, who died of breast cancer in March.
Greenhouse employee Melinda Moore said 22 people have decorated bras this year, but “people will bring them in throughout October.”
This year’s entries feature a range of messages and designs — from Pam Ollison’s twin snowmen, complete with stocking caps and scarves, to a leopard print bra with tape-covered cups and a simple, if blunt, message inscribed on a tab that hangs above it that reads: “If only duct tape really could fix everything.”
Moore said the contest is a fun, creative way for community members to raise money and awareness about breast cancer, which, according to the American Cancer Society, claims nearly 40,000 lives a year.
“For women, your bra is something most people will never see, so I think the contest is fun because it gives them an opportunity to display them out in the open and decorate them,” Moore said. “And hopefully it helps remind women of the need for prevention and screenings.
Ollison, who served as the chairwoman of the 2011 Relay for Life of Pettis County’s survivors committee, said she spent about four days working on her entry, which was inspired by her own snowman collection.
“I was just trying to think of something fun,” Ollison said.
She echoed Moore’s sense that the contest was a fun way to deal with a serious issue and to help raise awareness.
“I think it is something different, something to get people talking,” Ollison said.
Ollison and Moore said they hope this year’s dedication to Lewis will serve as a reminder to women to seek regular breast exams.
“Cathy was a friend of mine,” Ollison said. “So there is a lot of meaning there when you know someone personally that lost their battle. It just drives it home.”
The bras are on display at Moore’s, 3311 Green Ridge Road in Sedalia. Voting ends at the end of the month, and a winner will be announced then.
For more information, call Moore’s at 827-5800.