BY LISA PERKINS
TRAVERSE CITY — Real men wear bras — at least when they are walking the runway to benefit Munson Healthcare's Women's Cancer Fund.
"Some brave men who have been coerced, cajoled and tortured agreed to participate and now the momentum is building and everyone wants to be involved," said Carolyn McDonald, who works for Morse Moving and Storage, a sponsor of two undergarments created for Bras for a Cause, an event hosted by the Northern Michigan Chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors.
Bras for a Cause, featuring hand-decorated bras modeled by local gentlemen followed by a live auction, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28 at Streeter's, 1669 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City. Tickets are $15 and available online at www.WCRNorthernMichigan.com.
"Cancer has touched so many people and we wanted to do something that will have an immediate effect in our community," said Connie Roundtree, president of the local Realtors association, who likes the fact that the Women's Cancer Fund allows local women to use any money raised for day-to-day expenses.
"You shouldn't have to choose between buying your medication and feeding your children," she said.
Roundtree's northern Michigan group got the idea for showcasing bras on the runway from a similar event held by the Livingston County chapter.
"We saw a video clip of the event and thought we have to bring this to northern Michigan," said Dee-Dee Burch, vice president of the northern Michigan chapter, who has been overwhelmed with the response from local businesses. Hoping for 30 sponsors, Burch said there are now more than 40 participants who have created a one-of-a-kind look for the runway.
"Everyone has been so creative with bras ranging from beautiful works of art to really funny ones," said Burch, whose piece Tie One On to Fight Cancer, sponsored by Keller Williams Realty, features 14 hand-tied trout flies made with pink feathers.
While the actual pieces created by McDonald's group are top secret, she did share their themes. "Boobie Movers and Like A Virgin, they have a real sense of humor, it is going to be fun," McDonald said.