Bras Across the Bridge: Locals raise breast cancer awareness

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - October is breast cancer awareness month, and all sorts of unique events are taking place across the country to raise money and awareness.

“Bras Across the Bridge” is one way the American Cancer Society Of the Mid-Ohio Valley hopes to memorialize those affected by the disease and increase awareness.

Carmen Hathaway is the community development manager for the American Cancer Society in the Mid-Ohio Valley. She worked with another community development manager, Tracy Barnhouse to put on Bras Across the Bridge.

“We haven’t seen a whole lot of things done lately for breast-cancer awareness in our community, so i thought as a staff for the American Cancer Society to try to come up with something new and different and attention getting and that’s where we came up with Bras Across the Bridge,” said Hathaway.

To participate, community members purchased bras during September to drop off at support hubs – businesses that pitched in to support the cause. Some people brought even brought bras to a kick-off ceremony on Tuesday. Every bra donated came with a ten dollar donation, and all the money went to the american cancer society. Nearly $850 was raised with roughly sixty bras.

“It warms your heart a little bit just to know that the community cares. And this community is where I’ve lived all my life and you won’t find a more giving community than Parkersburg or really the Entire Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce.

Supporters got a chance to walk across the Belpre Bridge Tuesday night to view bras displayed on the bridge, and to unite Belpre and Parkersburg as one community. For many, breast cancer awareness hits pretty close to home.

“I have a good friend, Kim Spencer, who died and I have an aunt, Aunt Mary Woodyard who died of breast cancer. And I, it’s a good cause and I want to do what i can to get rid of it,” said Elaine Fullerton, a Belpre resident.

Generally, the bras donated come with a card that’s been filled out with information about someone affected by breast cancer. Some are even decorated to personalize the tribute.

While the event is new to the Parkersburg area, similar events have been put on across the nation, including in St. Marys. Organizers say they would like to try the event again in the future.