Tens of thousands raised at 8th Annual Bras for a Cause in Royal Oak, MI

ROYAL OAK, Mich. — What a night it was…The 8th annual Bras for a Cause charity fundraiser returned to the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Saturday evening. Tens of thousands of dollars were collected to benefit Gilda’s Club of Metro Detroit.

The evening featured musical performances by Steve Taylor, live speed paintings by Dave Santia as well as silent and live auctions. More than 40 art bras were on display in the lobby. In addition, 16 local restaurants offered samples of their specialties for attendees to enjoy.

Krystan Kizer designed art bra no. 25 called Everyone is Mad Here, You May Have Noticed I’m Not All Here. “My aunt died when I was about seven years old,” she said. “It’s inspired by Alice in Wonderland the movie.”

Art bra model Sherri O’Berry, a two-year breast cancer survivor added, “I will wear it proudly.”

We also heard an inspiring story from a cancer survivor who later wore one of the art bras during the fashion show. Heather Schepperly was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Triple Negative, grade 3 breast cancer caused from the BRCA1 mutation. She received 14 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, 25 rounds of radiation and preventative surgeries.

“This journey tested me in ways I could never imagine,” Schepperly explained. “My doctor said my cancer was aggressive and so is your treatment. I was ready to fight like a girl. I lost my entire identity. There wasn’t a single cancer left. I’ve had many speed bumps along the way. You need to embrace the journey and fight like hell. I am two years cancer free. I am forever thankful for modern medicine.”

Laura Varon Brown, Executive Director and CEO of Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit also addressed the crowd.

“Bras for a Cause, one of the main funders of our vital services, began with the courage of Shannon Watson and continues in her memory,” Brown said. “Our guests tonight help to ensure our more than 140 monthly programs remain no cost to everyone who walks through our doors. With small, supportive steps, Gilda’s Club provides them cancer-fighting tools, a confident embrace and assurance they are not alone.”

The Survivors Art Bra Fashion Show was the highlight of the evening. A total of 28 cancer survivors walked on stage one-by-one and showed off their art bras. At the end, all of the models came on stage at the same time as Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” was played on the speakers throughout the theatre.

“My friend Marjie Jenkins is a survivor,” said attendee Sherri Olds. “The bras out front are so awesome. The catwalk is my favorite. Fantastic food…there’s so much of it. I’ve been staring at the liquid nitrogen ice cream.”

Auctioneer Kenny Lindsay hosted the live auction part of the program. Here are the final donation figures for each of the live auction items:

  • Dave Santia’s “Gordie Howe” painting: $3,000
  • Dave Santia’s “Spirit of Detroit” painting: $2,000
  • Dave Santia’s “Albert Einstein” painting: $2,000
  • Dine Out + Movie Night For a Year: $1,250
  • Golf Lovers Package: $1,200
  • Home Improvement Package: $1,250
  • Pure Detroit Package: $1,250
  • Backyard Bash Package: $1,600

Fox 2’s Amy Lange served as the emcee for this year. She stepped in on short notice as Erika Erickson cancelled for an unknown reason.

Mark your calendars for the 9th annual Bras for a Cause, which will be held on October 14, 2017…

For more information about Bras for a Cause, visit www.brasforacausemi.com.




Attendees making their way inside the Royal Oak Music Theatre for the 2016 Bras for a Cause. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Fox 2’s Amy Lange with musician Steve Taylor on stage. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


“Poker Face” art bra by April Griffin – created in memory of Mildred Havener. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Tastings from Cacao Tree Cafe and other restaurants at the 8th annual Bras for a Cause. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Eleven year old Krystan Kizer with the art bra she designed “Everyone is Mad Here, You May Have noticed I’m Not All Here.” (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Artist Dave Santia working on a speed painting of Albert Einstein. (Gloria Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Heather Schepperly shared her inspiring story of surviving breast cancer. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Art bra models during the Survivors Fashion Show at the 8th annual Bras for a Cause. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

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