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Michael Benson

Art Bra show to benefit charity

On Aug. 15, the fifth annual Art Bra Runway Show will take place at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford. The unusual fundraiser benefits After the Storm, Inc., a charity founded by Christine Willet of Middlefield.

Supporters will model art creations in bra form, which are then auctioned off. At past shows, bras have been created with an artistic bent, while others were built around whimsical themes and even puns.

Who makes the bras? “Anybody can do it,” said Willet, who has received submissions from as far away as Washington state and Arizona. “We choose 20 bras to be in the show,” Willet said. The rest become raffle prizes.

As for the models, “they’re all somehow connected to breast cancer,” said Willet. “They keep coming back year after year.” One local pre-school teacher will participate, as will Miss Connecticut 2008, whose platform included support for breast cancer survivors.

The event will benefit After the Storm, which is dedicated to helping cancer survivors. Willet said After the Storm helps fund integrated medical services. This supplementary program is needed, Willet said, because insurance does not always cover these services, making patients pay out of pocket at a time when they may be unable to work.

According to the website, “After the Storm, Inc.’s mission is to assist cancer survivors heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually from the aftermath of their diagnosis and treatments and help restore balance to their lives.”

The funds help cancer patients at four area hospitals: Middlesex Cancer Center, Midstate Medical Center, Griffin Hospital, and the Hospital of St. Raphael’s. To honor Willet, a breast cancer survivor, a portion of the funds are dedicated specifically to the needs of breast cancer survivors.

Willet was able to use the integrated medical services when she was a patient at Middlesex Hospital because the programs were new and she was the “guinea pig.” Realizing that others might not be able to afford the same experience, Willet founded After the Storm.

The Art Bra Runway show will also feature “heavy appetizers,” Pinktinis, a photo booth, temporary tattoo station and, according to the website, “a lot of laughs.” Much of that laughter probably comes during the half time show, which features the male models.

There is a fee for tickets (VIP seating is available) which can be purchased at Ticketmaster or by e-mailing afterthestorminc@yahoo.com.



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