Kristina Frank doesn’t consider herself to be especially creative, but she can now say, when it comes to decorating a bra—and raising money for an important cause—she’s a bonefide champion.
Kristina is the 2015 Grand Prize Winner of Bras for Cause, a colorful fundraiser benefitting Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program, and her winning entry is a beautiful depiction of her own journey through cancer.
Kristina was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2014. That fall, she heard about Bras for Cause, but it was too late to participate.
“The whole event looked like so much fun,” Kristina says. “The bras were beautiful and so creative. I knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
Making good on her vow, Kristina joined the Bras for Cause fun last year. The hardest part was coming up with an idea, but she found it in her love for yoga, which helped her cope physically and mentally following her breast cancer diagnosis. Kristina’s design titled “Bramaste Namaste” incorporated the symbolism of the lotus flower.
“The lotus flower begins growing at the bottom of muddy, murky water and it slowly emerges to the top, held up by a very strong stem. It then opens to the sun and it’s unstained by its soiled surroundings,” she explains.
“If you think about anybody who’s been through a physical challenge, you go through all of the muck and the mud. You trudge through and it can be ugly and feel awful, but you learn from it and you become stronger.”
Kristina had a lot of fun decorating her bra entry with help from her mom and once finished, the real work began—raising money to help those going through cancer treatment in Lane County.
“I had a letter with a picture of my bra ready to go out the day voting opened. I set a goal of $2,000 and I made sure everyone knew I was serious about raising the money,” Kristina says. “I sent the letter to friends, family and colleagues telling them about Oregon Cancer Foundation, what the foundation does, and that I really needed their support.”
Kristina asked for a small donation and says around 50 people responded. Throughout the month-long fundraiser, she shared her progress and made it a point to thank those who donated to the cause and voted for her bra during the fundraiser.
Kristina encourages everyone who creates a bra for Bras for Cause to actively fundraise and share his or her story.
“People want to help,” she says. “They want to see you succeed. If you break it down, $1,000 is a very doable goal for most people. It averages out to $20 per donation.”
Kristina is already thinking about her bra entry for this year’s Bras for Cause fundraiser, which kicks off on Wednesday, October 5 with the second annual Build-A-Bra event at Valley River Center. While she is keeping her theme for this year’s creation under wraps, she says she’s increasing her personal fundraising goal to $3,000 and planning to use Facebook and texting, in addition to her letter, to solicit donations.
“If every participant sets a fundraising goal of $1,000 and reaches it, imagine how far that would go in our community to help patients who need financial assistance while going through cancer treatment. We could have a huge impact.”
Registration for Bras for Cause opens October 1. Mark your calendar for these fun events:
- October 5: Build-a-Bra event, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm at Valley River Center in Eugene
- October 14: Deadline for submitting bras.
- October 17: Voting begins at brasforcause.org
- October 18: Reveal Party at Dandelions Flowers and Gifts, 4:00 pm-6:00pm
- October 31: Voting ends
- November 10: Winners announced at Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Annual Neighbors Helping Neighbors with Cancer breakfast
Click here to download the Bras for Cause flyer
Bras for Cause is hosted by Dandelions Flowers and Gifts and is supported by these generous sponsors.