“Bras for a Cause Celebrate the Arts” — that was the 2011 theme for the go-to annual fundraiser of the spring. Presented by Soroptimist International of Glendale for the eighth year, artistically decorated bras spilled over every nook and cranny at the Oakmont Country Club on April 9. All were on full display on auction tables in the dining room and two extra rooms so that supporters could bid on them.
The Soroptimist mandate was that bras could be decorated in any way, as long as they were innovative and imaginative. You could start with a bra and design a masterpiece or create a bra by using unexpected materials.
How about sparkly, feathered masquerade masks? Those were attached to the “Most Unique”-winning “Sing and Dance for a Cause” bra, created by Phyllis Nieman. She painted a guitar a bright pink for the base of the bra. Nieman purchased the guitar at Charles Music. Owner Ruth Charles was determined to win it. In fact, she had the highest bid of $110. Charles will lend the bra to a friend before displaying it at Charles Music.
Creator of “Bras for a Cause” Kathy Lefkovits never misses a chance to create and sponsor a bra. This year, her “Some Like it Sparkly” was covered in Swarovski crystals. It was accompanied by a 16-inch Swarovski necklace and an earring set valued at $125. The bra — priceless. Appropriately, it won “Most Beautiful.”
The “Phantom of the OpBRA” won awards for “Most Unusual Use of a Bra” and “Bra Submitted by a Non-Profit.” The OpBra was sponsored by Glendale Adventist Cancer Services and decorated in honor of all those who have survived breast cancer and those lost to breast cancer. Cancer survivors painted the colorful flowers on the black torso supporting the bra.
The winning bid went to Karine and Dr. Boris Bagdasarian for $90. Dr. Bagdasarian is chairman of Cancer Services at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. The Bagdasarians had already won a five-night stay at Cancun. In a very generous mood, the couple also spent $350 on the live-auction prize, “Go Dodger Blue!” The package consisted of four VIP tickets to the Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers game in May and a coveted preferred-parking pass.
After the bra-viewing, Soroptimist President Liz Mirzaian, Event Chair Janet Hamilton and event emcee and auctioneer Jim Ciccoli welcomed their audience of close to 300 bra supporters. Right before dinner, guests at each table voted for the “People’s Choice Bra.” It was won by a design that took its name from play on the Charles Dickens classic, “A Tale of Two Cities.” But the word “Cities” was replaced by a word denoting a bra’s usual contents. This bra most likely got the most votes for its title alone. Voting “Yes” was Glendale resident Steve Wilder. “I really became attached to some of those bras,” he said.
Official bra judges were Glendale City Councilmember Laura Friedman, Dr. Carol Ann Burton and radio talk-show host Mother Love. Love, a much-in-demand speaker, was accompanied by husband Kennedy Rogers.
Soroptimist event volunteers were Paula Devine, Susan Hunt, Nancy Kochi, Talin Mangioglu, Kathy Van Houten and Sue Wilder. Wilder is also Women’s Council president of Verdugo Hills Hospital.
VIPs present included Lynne Raggio and former Glendale Mayor Carl Raggio, Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation President Yulanda Davies-Quarrie, VHH CFO Cindy Trousdale, Kathy Lefkovits with hubby Bill Lefkovits and Glendale Community College’s Jill Lewis and Ann Ransford. Lewis is also a Soroptimist director. Ransford is a member of the College Board of Trustees.
The full-packed evening ended at an early 9 p.m.—a time appreciated by many.
Expected proceeds of $40,000 will help fund breast cancer services at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Verdugo Hills Hospital, as well as other local Glendale charities that improve the lives of women and girls.