Hundreds of people dressed up for the masquerade-themed 19th annual Bras for a Cause fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Valencia ballroom on Saturday.
The event, organized by Soroptimist International of Valencia, had models strut handmade bras down a runway in order for them to be auctioned off to raise money for local breast cancer organizations.
Laura Chesler, president of Soroptimist Valencia, said that beneath the glitz of the event was an effort to make sure local women with breast cancer did not feel alone.
“Too often, women are alone and they’re like, ‘Oh, there’s other people who are so much worse off than we are.’ But no. Everyone needs help and we’re here to help those organizations.”
Organizations that would receive funds raised at the event include the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Center at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Circle of Hope, and other nonprofits in the area.
To raise funds for these organizations, 11 models wore 11 bras — made by Soroptimist members — to an audience in the manner of a fashion show. The bras themselves varied in value, with some worth up to $5,800. In addition to the show, attendees could also bid on gift baskets, a U.S. flag donated by Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, that flew above The Capitol in Washington, D.C., or other swanky items and experiences.
“Events like this are what makes Santa Clarita. Santa Clarita has always been about nonprofits and the community coming together and supporting good causes,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jason Gibbs. “Supporting women with breast cancer is huge and you can see by the turnout, what these ladies do, and the work that needs to be done to support them. My wife always joins me for this event, so it means a lot to me to support it.”
Chesler echoed the sentiment that Santa Clarita is a community that always shows up to support causes such as this one.
“Santa Clarita is like nonprofit USA, and having this many people that come out that want to not only buy a ticket, but bid on our auction items… everybody needs some help, everybody needs help with a mammogram support treatment and that’s what we’re all about,” said Chesler.
Attendees at the event seemed equally thrilled to be able to support women with breast cancer, and lauded the design and execution of the event. Former Soroptimist member and attendee of the event, Irene Boden, said fundraisers like this give women a voice in the community.
“It gives us a voice, it gives us an opportunity and kind of a spotlight on the issues that women face and you know, we get to come together and do a great cause and breast cancer is terrible. So it’s just nice to come in support,” said Chesler.