September 16, 2010

Deadline to enter 'Be My Bra' contest is Sept. 24

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Breast cancer touches nearly every family at one time or another and a unique event this fall will raise awareness about the disease and the importance of taking a proactive stance.

The fourth annual “Be My Bra” competition will be Oct. 2 at the food court in Carbondale’s University Mall. Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) and Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Development and Student Health Center-Wellness Center are sponsoring the competition, which asks contestants to take a stand against breast cancer by creating one-of-a-kind, thought-provoking brassieres. Participants will use their imagination in decorating the undergarment to symbolize the impact of breast cancer on their lives.

The first Be My Bra event in 2007 drew nearly a dozen SIUC sororities competing for the title and the next year the event expanded, opening to all of the University’s 450-plus registered student organizations as well as other student and staff groups. By 2009, the contest drew a record 25 competitors from fraternities, sororities, registered student organizations, individuals, and various students and affiliated staff.

After three years on campus, the event is moving to the mall, and will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The public is welcome to visit the show, which will be part of the Ultimate Women’s Expo.

“The contest provides a powerful opportunity for SIH and SIUC to come together as the region’s largest employers to raise awareness of breast cancer, something that impacts each one of us at some point in our lifetimes,” said Jennifer Badiu, administrative director of Cancer Care Services for SIH.

One of the goals of the event is reminding women, even college-aged women, of the importance of monthly breast self-examinations as a critical component of early detection of problems. Contest winners will earn prizes and regional recognition. Entries should be in good taste, as the adorned bras will go on display at a variety of breast cancer events throughout the region.

The entry deadline for SIUC students and affiliated staff for the Be My Bra-Unite to Fight contest is Friday, Sept. 24. Entry is free. Send your name or the name of your group along with a primary contact name, telephone number and e-mail address to Valerie Baker via e-mail at or by fax to 618/529-0568.

For more information, contact Valerie Baker of SIH Cancer Care Services at 618/457-5200, ext. 67128.

The competition is one of the most visual and popular of SIH’s events during Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October. Also supporting this year’s Be My Bra event are the University Mall and Mediacom.