Handcrafted bras help fight against breast cancer
By Jaime Angio For The Herald-News October 27, 2012 9:58PM
Bras for the Cause organizers Cheryl Salaiz (left) and Randy Jones auction off handcrafted bras Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, at West Side Tap in Joliet, Ill., to help local breast cancer survivors. | Jaime Angio~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 30, 2012 6:20AM
West Side Tap in Joliet was packed Saturday afternoon for the Bras for the Cause benefit that raised nearly $1,500 for local breast cancer survivors.
Members from the Joliet Hog Motorcycle Club, Will County Abate and the Big Hearted Bikers, along with area breast cancer survivors’ family and friends, came in support of breast cancer awareness.
More than 30 handcrafted 38DD bras were on display. The bras were voted on in categories of People’s Choice, Most Creative and Best Support.
Linda Killian, of Crest Hill, is a two-year breast cancer survivor. She didn’t make a bra but came out in support.
“A friend of mine, we both went through breast cancer, and I survived it and my mother just died in September from breast cancer,” Killian said. “Anything I can do to help out with the cure I’m more than willing to do.”
“I wanted to get friends together and look at decorations,” said Bras for the Cause event organizer Cheryl Salaiz, of Joliet.
When she thought of what she could do to fight breast cancer, Salaiz said, she knew it had to be unlike anything else.
“They needed something different,” Salaiz said. “Everybody here can do it. It’s not a lot of money, it doesn’t take a lot of time. You can all do it. We all wear bras, men, too. Men get breast cancer also.”
Co-founder of the Big Hearted Bikers and Salaiz’s right-hand man, Randy Jones, of Joliet, helped organize the benefit and also served as the “loud auction” bid caller. The auction raised most of the money from the event.
“When she did this, I said, ‘Whatever you need, let me know,’ and we went from there,” Jones said. “I’m into tattoos and motorcycles, and that’s what my bra consisted of.”
Melody Fifer, of New Lenox, decorated her brassiere with a Chicago Bears theme. It fetched $100 in the auction.
“It was a lot of work. We had to dye each side of the bra,” she said.
Lisa Bird, of Plainfield, came with members of Bosom Buddies, a support group made up of breast cancer survivors. Bird’s decorated bra had a Halloween theme.
“I used spiders. But I put a big web on the side that I lost my breast on. I had a mastectomy,” she said.
For Kim Fleming, of Joliet, Saturday’s Bras for the Cause meant a lot.
“This past Wednesday I went through surgery to have two lumps removed from my breasts,” she said. “And I’m glad I came today and received a lot of support from a lot of my friends, and they really showed how much support I have behind me.”
Dave Klimara, of Joliet, was proudly wearing his pink ribbon in support of a special woman in his life.
“I’m supporting my mother-in-law,” Klimara said. “She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and she made it, and I’m just here to support her.”
Salaiz hopes to continue Bras for the Cause every year.
“The turnout is great,” she said. “This is the first year. We hope to go year and year and year and help more and more people.”