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Niagara Apothecary finds unique way to raise breast cancer awareness with the Battle of the Bras

Decorate a bra to show your support for breast cancer research.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As families, businesses and individuals try to think of different ways to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, the Niagara Apothecary has found a unique fund-raiser that is sure to grab the community’s attention.

Pharmacist at the Niagara Apothecary Jamie Latko has held several fund-raisers for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the past. This year she decided to try something a little different. Instead of selling ribbons, as many do, she decided to take it to another level.

“We wanted to step it up a notch because a lot of people sell ribbons,” she said. “I kind of wanted to do something that was really out there, something really unique and something that people really don’t see everyday.”

While reading about involving employees in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Latko found the perfect idea, Battle of the Bras. The reading had suggested doing this with employees but Latko decided to branch the competition out into the community.

The Battle of the Bras is a competition for men and women. It involves decorating a bra of any theme and colors and entering into the contest at the Niagara Apothecary. The entry fee is $5 and all of the money is donated to Roswell Park for breast cancer research. Each decorated bra will be on display through the month of October in the Niagara Apothecary.

Latko has asked a few members of the community to come in and judge the bras and pick a winner. The winning contestant will receive a spa gift certificate at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Since the word began to spread, Latko has received different responses to her new idea. Many people think this is an interesting, fun and creative way to raise money while the older cliental has said it may be a bit inappropriate.

Latko disagrees with this response and said, “Okay ladies, let’s face it. We all have them. We all wear them and all of us could be hit with breast cancer. Bras came out of the closet a long time ago. Women are wearing colored bras under white shirts and we’re showing our bra straps now. Let’s just get (the message) out there.”

Although this is the first year for the competition, Latko hopes to make this an annual event and turn it into much more.

“We’re hoping we’ll raise some money and we’re hoping that this will grow,” she said.

She’d love to turn it into an auction where each bra is in a fashion show, worn over a shirt and then auctioned off, raising even more money for breast cancer research.

The entries that are hanging in the Niagara Apothecary now consist of hand-sewn feathers, sequins and gems. Hours of work have gone into decorating these bras.

“They’re really works of art,” said Latko.

There are no rules regarding how you can decorate your bra.

“A lot of women will say they’re not crafty but you don’t have to be crafty. Just think of something that’s special to you and do it in that theme,” she added.

She is also asking contestants to name their bra. For example, an owl themed bra was named “We Give a Hoot” and a Wonder Woman bra was named “Fight Like Wonder Woman.”

“It’s just a bunch of women battling it out for a cure,” said Latko.

To enter your decorated bra, take it in to the Niagara Apothecary, 8745 Niagara Falls Blvd. before Oct. 20. The competition is open to anyone.


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