Each year, Penny Bolton, of Penny’s Boutique—a women’s clothing store in Murfreesboro, Tennessee—hosts an event called “Bras for a Cause” to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute. Contestants create a one-of-kind bra and then fans vote for their favorite. It costs $1 to vote. Winners are announced at a fancy party, which also hosts a live auction.
The year 2013 marked the 6th annual celebration of the event, which that year raised over $31,000 to support CRI’s mission of developing immunotherapies for cancer.
Bolton says she got the idea for the event from a friend who organizes a similar event for another charity. Bolton ran with the idea, expanded it, and, she says, “it’s just grown and grown and grown over the years.”
The first year, the proceeds went to support research on breast cancer. Since 2009, the money has gone to CRI. Bolton says she decided to support CRI after doing some online research on Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits based on financial transparency, program growth, operational efficiency, and impact. CRI holds the highest rating of four stars.
“When I went through all the charities, I felt that CRI was doing what I wanted done, where the majority of the money was spent for research.”
“After giving it some thought,” she says, “I thought I really just can’t turn my back on anybody. So I really wanted it to fund research for all types of cancers, not just for breast cancer, even though we decorate bras. Cancer’s bad no matter who gets the diagnosis.”
To find out more about Bras for a Cause, visit their Facebook page.