I dropped off three bras and a donation at the West Barnstable Fire Department today!
The Barnstable and West Barnstable Fire Departments decided to hold "Bra-toberfest" in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They each placed a pink ladder in front of their firehouse and invited people to bring a bra to hang on the ladder along with a donation. The majority of the donation will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the rest goes to the International Association of Firefighters Charitable Foundations, both great causes.
You would think people would have been supportive (pardon the pun) of this noble bra event. Instead they were blasted in the Cape Cod Times in an article written by Sean Gonsalves for their efforts. In the article, that you can read here, the words misguided, incredibly tacky, offensive, boyish snickers, and tasteless gimmicks were all used.
How rude is it to assume there would be "boyish snickers"? That is an insult to firemen everywhere! In this day and age men just need to turn on their computer or flip on the TV to see things much more titillating than empty bras on a pink ladder! The men (and women) in the firehouses all have mothers, wives and daughters and are well aware of the devastation that breast cancer can cause.
What most intelligent people see is a harmless and fun way to bring attention to a very important issue. It is a gentle reminder for people to remember to continue the ongoing fight to end breast cancer.
It is unfortunate that the Barnstable Fire Department had to bow to the negative pressure and take down their display. My daughter and her friends participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk last Sunday in Barnstable and were happy to see the Fire Department's bra display... they thought it was there to show support for the walkers.
There are many different ways to fundraise for many different causes. Everyone should be free to support and donate as they see fit. It is not productive in any way for people to complain and be negative about raising money to support good causes! Negativity like this makes people less apt to organize and hold fundraisers - I wonder how likely it is that the Fire Departments will want to hold another one.
This isn't the first time that bras have been used in a Breast Cancer Awareness Fundraiser and hopefully it won't be the last. In October of 2004, Tumbleweed held an Art Bra Event. Our customers were asked to decorate bras any way they wanted and bring them in to be put on display at the shop for a month long silent auction. The event culminated in a "Bra Day Party" complete with a bra shaped cake. All of the money raised from the auctioned bras was donated.
The bottom line is DONATIONS SAVE LIVES. It was brought up in the article that there is a local organization that could have benefited from the Fire Departments' fundraiser. Perhaps a better way of suggesting that to the Fire Departments would have been to take a bra and a donation, along with an information pamphlet, to the Fire Departments and politely suggesting they consider them for future fundraisers. Now, I wonder if there will be any.
Please be supportive and drop off a bra and donation this month to the West Barnstable Fire Department! They Care!!