Nelson Junior Leafs fans are used to throwing hockey pucks onto the ice between periods to win prizes, but at tonight’s game it will be bras soaring from the stands.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, local business owners teamed up to offer a breast cancer fundraiser that involves women tossing their gently used bras on the ice at the Leafs game. For every bra collected, $5 will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, plus women can tag their bra for a chance to win prizes.
“It’s putting the ‘fun’ back in fundraising,” laughed Cheryl Cole from Esprit De La Femme Lingerie who will provide a $300 bra and panty set as one of the prizes.
Tea Garden Salon and Spa is also giving away a spa package worth $250 to one lucky bra donor.
The bras will be tossed on the ice after the second period and girls from the Nelson figure skating club will collect them. The bras will be cleaned and sorted and offered to the Nelson Women’s Centre to give away in their free clothing store. Any extra bras will be sent to a charity in Vancouver that supports women in the Downtown Eastside.
“It’s really a great way for women to support other women. Everyone has spare bras in their drawers that maybe don’t fit them quite right. This is an opportunity for them to be put to good use,” said Tea Garden owner Melisa Beyers.
She had the idea to collect bras for charity after hearing about an event in Vancouver called Bras on the Bridge, where thousands of bras are strung along the Capilano Suspension Bridge each October. Similar events occur across North America, and she considered hosting one here using the orange bridge but city engineers told her there would be safety concerns.
So instead she came up with Bras at the Barn, which she hopes will become an annual tradition.
“We all know women affected by breast cancer,” Beyers said of her staff at Tea Garden. “It’s an easy cause to get behind.”
Women who won’t be attending the Leafs game were invited to drop off their bras at Esprit De La Femme and Tea Garden for a chance at the prizes. The businesses had already collected a large bin by Wednesday.
“We’ve had bras donated in all sizes and styles, from fancy bras to sports bras. Anything in good condition we’ll take,” Beyers said. The bras are tagged with the donor’s contact information, which will be used to draw for the prizes.
Bras can still be dropped off during business hours today and at Esprit De La Femme or Tea Garden and at the Nelson Leafs game against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, tonight at the Nelson and District Community Complex. Puck drop is 7 p.m.