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On May 4th, Söntés is fortunate enough to be hosting a very special event. You may have heard of Join the Journey (and if you haven’t, you should get to know them!), a local nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer in our community and to helping breast cancer victims and their families. The event on May 4th is part gala, part auction, part art show, and all fundraiser for this dedicated organization. Tickets are $40, and can be purchased from us (507.292.1628), at Wild Ginger Boutique, or at the Rochester International Dance Studio. Read on as Francie Ginocchio tells the story of the “Artful Bras” that will be auctioned off at the event.

"Life Can Be Thorny" by Andrea Costopoulos

In September 2010, I volunteered for the Rochester, Minnesota Join the Journey Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. I was there embellishing small pink felt amulet pouches for JTJ participants as part of the Zumbro River Fiber Arts Guild.

Near our table was a tent with bags and bags of bras being collected to fly (later) from a hot air balloon. As a fiber artist, my imagination started working and I remembered a project called The Artful Bra. Then the name “BRA-chester” popped into my mind! I asked for and was given two-dozen bras to start Project BRA-chester.

"Mardi Bra" by Pat Brooks Gaska

I emailed friends and fellow artists from Wisconsin and Minnesota about the idea, asking them to embellish a bra and send it to me by April 1, 2011. My intention was to share and display these embellished bras help raise funds for Join the Journey. The response was enthusiastic and exceeded my expectations. Many others also jumped in, raiding their lingerie drawers or finding bras to embellish at thrift stores. The “rules” were simple: create and have fun!

My paternal grandmother Marie Bock Sager was treated for breast cancer at Mayo in the early 1940’s. My project below is embellished with vintage Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt hexagons in her memory.