BYO bra a creative success

Support was needed — and given —
in an entertaining twist to fundraising for local breast cancer awareness at
24K-Mon Jeweller’s Bring Your Own Bra workshop last Saturday.

Some 24 women and young girls
turned up, each toting a brassiere that they spent the next three hours
customising in aid of next month’s Lions Club of Tropical Garden’s annual
breast cancer awareness campaign. All the attendees spoken to said that they
were submitting their decorative creations for entry into October’s BRAvo art
exhibition, which, like the workshop, was conceived and hosted by Gale
Tibbetts, owner and proprietor of 24K-Mon Jewelers & Art Gallery.

Having settled down at the tables
scattered throughout the Buckingham Square store, participants were given a
quick presentation by Miss Tibbetts, who has worked to raise awareness of the
disease since her sister, Brenda Lund-Tibbetts, succumbed to breast cancer 12
years ago. Many attendees brought their own materials and most of them added
items such as buttons, ribbons, trims, sequins and glue guns provided by the
store. The workshop’s ambience was celebratory, with groups of friends and
family members sharing ideas and comradeship. Participants were also encouraged
to come up with inspirational names for their creations. The festive atmosphere
was also helped by the light refreshments supplied.


Style with a purpose

Melissa Rewalt and friend Molly
Braggs each worked on their fun and flirty bras and turned in stylish exhibits.
Miss Rewalt’s creation, with its black feathers and heavily sequinned
halter-neck strap, was called Mardi Bra, and Miss Bragg’s fetching hot pink
number was called Loosen Up My Buttons. Miss Rewalt said, “ I love creative
workshops and when I heard about this one, I thought it was the perfect way to
support a good cause.”

The bra customised by Leslie
Bergstrom was quite literally good enough to eat. Her storm in a D-Cup
submission was covered in the good stuff with every visible surface covered in
edible candy of every hue. Jelly beans, fruity gum, swizzle sticks and Chiclets
were just some of the sweets that were stuck on to the elaborately designed
bra. Mrs. Bergstrom said she found her inspiration close to home, “In my store
Cabana in Camana Bay we give out free candy and that gave me the idea …”

Pamela Graham’s black and silver
Icebreaker, which was artfully covered in braid and crystal-effect buttons,
said: “I think this was a fun workshop for ladies, many of whom aren’t sporty
enough to do sea swims and run marathons, but want to participate in

Artist Avril Ward’s purple pompom
creation was intentionally tactile to make viewers think about the need for
regular self-examination.


Poignant tributes

Almost every attendee had a story
to relate about how breast cancer had impacted their life. Eleven-year-old
Katie Klein, who went along with her mother’s reason for participating, was
heartfelt. “Mom told me about the workshop and I thought I’d come along with
her because one of our friends in Canada is battling against breast cancer.”
Evelyn Tibbetts, the mother of Gale and Brenda, busied herself with making
24-Karat, festooned in gold glitter and – yes you’ve guessed it — 24 fabric

To honour her mother – a nurse who
lost her fight against breast cancer – Clara Reid designed a bra that was very
personal and touched many participants’ hearts. Her submission had slogans on
it like patient, kind and nurse, as well as a tiny stethoscope and a nurse’s

Miss Tibbetts, who spent the entire
three hours bustling around and making sure everyone had enough materials to
work with and enough refreshments to be getting on with, was delighted with the


Healthy turnout

“Most of the ladies came with their
own ideas, and it was a fabulous turnout… It was very encouraging to see so
many youngsters accompanying their moms. They are the future of breast cancer
awareness and they totally understood the concept and the reason behind it.
Unfortunately, you see younger and younger women being struck down with the disease,
some as young as their 20s.”

Despite a shout out, no men
attended, which was a shame said Miss Tibbetts, since she knew of at least
three men locally who had breast cancer. “No one is immune from it,” she said,
adding that since the submission date for BRAvo art exhibition entries was 18
October, there is still plenty of time for people to participate.

The workshop cost $5 plus extra for
store-bought materials. Entries in the BRAvo art exhibition opening on 19
October will also cost $5 per submission. The exhibition’s opening reception
will take place on Tuesday, 26 October in 24K-Mon Jeweller’s art gallery. All
proceeds from the events will go to the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens breast cancer
awareness campaign.

Both events were sponsored by the
Caymanian Compass, Island Heritage Insurance and Big Daddy’s Liquor Stores.


For more information about the BRAvo exhibition, contact Miss
Tibbetts at 949-1499 or email [email protected]

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