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Supporting the cause; St. Marks annual bra contest, fundraising efforts net more than $1,200

Patti Bayley examines several paper bras at the Bras for a Cause contest Wednesday at St. Marks Living. -- Photos by Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

Patti Bayley examines several paper bras at the Bras for a Cause contest Wednesday at St. Marks Living. — Photos by Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

St. Marks Living bared its giving spirit to the world Wednesday with the second annual Bras for a Cause contest, featuring decorative paper bras, as a fundraiser for the breast cancer research drive.

“They’re works of art,” Paint the Town Pink Director Kathi Finley said. “It was just such a creative idea.”

St. Marks staff and residents created and decorated more than 15 paper bras for this year’s contest. The home also featured a bake sale, silent auction and a raffle Wednesday, among other efforts.

In total, St. Marks raised more than $1,200 for Paint the Town Pink.

St. Marks Living residents and volunteers made more than 15 paper bras for the annual Bras for a Cause.

St. Marks Living residents and volunteers made more than 15 paper bras for the annual Bras for a Cause.

“You’re providing good, vital support for us and we appreciate it very much,” Tim Ruzek of the Hormel Institute told St. Marks residents and staff.

The annual Bras for a Cause contest was organized by Cheryl Schneider, Barb Meyer and Gretchen Sikkink, who came together to create ways St. Marks could contribute to the annual breast cancer fundraiser. Schneider saw a similar paper bra contest put on by the gym Curves and thought it would be a great way to raise money.

“It seems like every year, somebody comes along and gives us more suggestions,” Schneider said.

Using bras as a way to destigmatize breast cancer may be fun, but it also means a lot to area residents who have loved ones dealing with cancer. Patti Bayley has survived three bouts of cancer and was pleased to see so many creative bras on display.

“It’s something so simple and so memorable, it really is,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Meyer’s bra entry won first place in the contest, judged this year by Austin Bruins players Brian Bachnak and Trevor Boyd. All the bras will be on display at the Bruins Paint the Rink Pink game Saturday.