WESTBANK PHILANTHROPY

Art Bra Austin draws in 800

Eighth annual gala — with help of costumes, art — helps fund Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas.

By HollyJackson Westlake Picayune Contributing Writer

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Costumed fashions, original art and theatrical themes collided at the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas’ eighth annual Art Bra Austin benefit. More than 800 festive philanthropists attended the recent sold out, flagship fundraiser at the Austin Music Hall.

Partygoers enjoyed a mingling cocktail reception and delectable donated bites from eight restaurants, including Cipollina, Cover 3, David Garrido’s dine, Dunkin Donuts, Foxhole, Lucky Robot, Moonshine and North by Northwest.

Police officer Jarrett Crippen again acted as emcee, while wearing matching pink suspenders, sneakers and bow-tie. A video montage highlighted last year’s Art Bra, while female drummers donned ethnic clothing to provide upbeat music on stage.

The silent and live auctions showcased 55 wearable and juried brassieres, which were eclectic creations by national and local artists, designers, fashion students, celebrities and BCRC clients. Led by three-time auctioneer Gayle Stallings, the top-selling bras were “Studded Warrior Goddess” by jeweler Kendra Scott, accented by an animal skin cape and bought by Dr. Nabil Habash for $4,500; and “Treasured Chest V” corset created by Dianne Sonneberg and Monica Meadows, composed of 24-karat gold and multi-colored mosaic glass, which was won by Westbanker Dr. Chris Butschek for $8,000.

The grand finale featured 70 celebratory, BCRC survivors including a proud pregnant woman who unabashedly strutted down the 30-foot runway. Dressed in themed outfits with representative names for their art bra collection, their touching bios and special stories were shared with the audience. The enthusiastic crowd gave a lengthy, standing ovation and posed for pictures with the appreciative models.

Proceeds grossed a record-breaking $390,000, surpassing the fundraising goal by $40,000.

“We are thrilled with the most successful Art Bra to-date having an amazing culmination of passion and talent,” said Ray Anne Evans, executive director. “We paid a transformative tribute to the courage, strength and tenacity of our diverse clients, while the BCRC commemorated our 20th anniversary.”

Established in 1995, free familial, medical, psycho-social and legal services are provided for those directly and indirectly affected by breast cancer. Approximately one in eight will contract the illness, and one in four will exhaust their savings combating it.

BCRC serves an estimated 2,100 clients annually in Central Texas. Staffed by survivors, their mission states that no one has to face breast cancer alone.

For further information, visit www.bcrc.org.

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