Bras for a Cause file photo

Courier file photo

HEDRICK — The ninth annual Bras for a Cause (BFAC) will be held April 4, 2020 at the Carl Craft Civic Center in Hedrick.

Laurie Hornback, started the event in 2011, because she wanted to raise money for breast cancer awareness, research, education, and funding mammograms for women unable to afford them.

Even though breast cancer is a serious topic, she said, BFAC is a way to have some fun and fellowship. At each event there is a silent and live bra auction and supper. The bra auction, she said, brings a lot of laughter and excitement to attendees.

“We really do have a lot of support from members of the community,” she said. “It really is a show. We have helpers, firemen and people who will model and have an auctioneer. The Hedrick firemen model our bras for us. One year they had a clown bra with a big bow tie on it. They get really silly doing it. You gotta have some fun — you can’t just focus on the bad parts of breast cancer.”

Hornback, herself, is a breast cancer survivor, so this is something she takes to heart. She was diagnosed in 2008 and underwent two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. She became a survivor and then was diagnosed again in 2011, undergoing a double mastectomy and reconstruction.

“It has definitely made me stronger,” she said. “A lot has happened over the years and it made me feel successful and strong.”

It also allowed her to find out about different treatments and organizations who support people with breast cancer, such as the Susan G Komen Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting communities needs through research to prevent and cure breast cancer. She has been able to pass along this information toward others dealing with breast cancer.

Each event also has raised lots of funds to go toward the foundation as well as research. This is something Hornback feels strongly about as 25 percent of the funds goes to research and 75 percent stays in Iowa. The first BFA raised $4,000 and last year’s event raised $29,250 which was donated to the foundation. It didn’t stop there.

“In the past eight years we have raised and donated a total of $126,567,” she said. “Our sponsorship has also grown from 13 sponsors three years ago to 30 this year.”

Hornback doesn’t have a specific amount that she wants to raise, but only hopes it will grow as well as support for the foundation.

“I was involved in that foundation when I first got diagnosed,” she said. “As a supporter and survivor I want to keep this knowledge going and show how important it is. I’m giving money to show my support.”

What she has gone through also allows her to be empathic toward those going through breast cancer, supporting survivors and their families.

“I just want to build awareness of what’s going on,” she said. “I want them to know they’re never alone. That’s my goal. Putting on [BFAC] is a lot of work, but it’s so rewarding. I want to tell people and help them. I would say to them just don’t try to go through it alone. There are resources out there that will help. There are treatment options and there is support out there.”

To decorate and donate a bra or silent auction, call Hornback at 641-777-4252.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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