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Bras bring support for fundraiser

Adrian Lysenko
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Twenty-nine bras and eight body casts created by local artists were modelled at a fashion show held on Friday night at the Explorer Hotel to raise money for a digital mammography machine at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

 NNSL photo/graphic

Cindy Dolynny walks the runway in a bra made by Pia Williams for the Images for Strength and Hope fundraiser at the Explorer Hotel on Friday Night. - Adrian Lysenko/NNSL photo

The Images for Strength and Hope fundraiser was organized by the Stanton Foundation in partnership with CIBC's Run for Our Lives. The bras featured in the show are made with materials from stained glass to caribou hide.

The digital mammography machine costs about $400,000 and so far an estimated $300,000 has been raised.

"I'm a breast cancer survivor and that machine has saved my life," said Mickey Brown, a member of the steering committee for the fundraiser.

"This machine won't in any shape or form have a direct impact on breast cancer but it will have an impact to have a better image for early detection," said Linda Bussey, executive director of the Stanton Foundation.

"The foundation and the run decided to partner to raise the money to be able to purchase this machine as soon as possible."

Bussey was approached by Brown, with the idea for the fundraiser. Brown had gotten the idea from other organizations down south that had created bras for fundraising events.

"We approached people to get involved and it just grew and grew," said Joanna Tiemessen, who directed the fashion show.

"It's another event that makes the North so unique."

Aside from directing, Tiemessen also edited a book profiling the people involved in the fundraiser. All the proceeds from the book are going toward purchasing the machine.

"The personal stories range from I love the North and I wanted to be in a community event to I'm a breast cancer survivor," said Tiemessen.

"A lot of the artists have experienced (breast cancer) through family or themselves and that adds a very personnel touch to the show."

Attending the fundraiser was Wendy Mesley, a well-known reporter with CBC who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

"The sooner you find the tumour the sooner you save someone's life," said Mesley.

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