Art competition's goal is to help families battling breast cancer
Published: August 14, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Anyone with an ounce of creativity in their blood is being asked to join the fun and support the cause for "Beauty and the Bra: An Art Competition," an effort to raise funds to assist breast cancer patients and encourage early detection through screening.
The event is being sponsored by YAGF, INC., a non-profit organization founded by Yvonne Ashley Galiber that privately raises funds to provide breast cancer patients and survivors with families with access to the best medical care, education and emotional support during times of illness.
YAGF supports cancer survivors in the territory who are unable to get proper care because of lack of health insurance or poor economic circumstances.
Galiber, a cancer survivor herself, said the organization was founded in 2007 after she had completed her treatment outside of the territory and came back. "I witnessed so much that so many had to go through because they were uninsured or under-insured, and it made me realize just how fortunate I was," she said.
"I saw many people who left the chemotherapy area crying because they had no coverage for the treatment, and they motivated me to establish the foundation when I came back home."
Because breast cancer can be a sad or depressing topic, "Beauty and the Bra" will help the foundation by offering a fun way to support breast cancer awareness and programs.
The competition is not just for artists, and Galiber said there is a push to spread the competition outside of the territory.
"It is not just for artists and not just for people here," she said. "We are reaching out to people in the states and beyond, whoever wants to submit a bra can do so and help us and the people the programs benefit."
Galiber said many underprivileged people who live in the territory can not afford to pay for screenings and treatment, so many opt not to get tested and run the risk of dying.
"Cancer does not have to be a death sentence, and we want people to realize that," she said.
Galiber said the foundation provides screenings and diagnostic mammograms for people who otherwise would not be able to afford them. With the closing of HOVENSA last year and the exodus of many Economic Development Commission companies and other individuals, the foundation has lost a lot of its funding, but the services are still needed, she said.
There is no registration fee to compete, and most of the money raised will be from votes for residents' favorite bra on the foundation's website.
Bras can be tastefully decorated in any way, and all bras will be on exhibit online. From Oct. 1-30, visitors to the website can pay $1 for each vote they cast for their favorite bra design, and vote as many times as they want.
Winners will be selected on Nov. 6, and prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $100, $50 and $25, respectively.
Registration for the competition began on July 28 and continues through Sept. 13. Galiber said all bras will be submitted to the Heart Center PC in the Sunny Isle Medical Center and must be dropped off or mailed in by Sept. 20. Bras must be submitted hung on hangers, which could be decorated or plain.
Galiber said she is hopeful that the competition will raise money for the foundation and also will get people thinking and help them seek out knowledge about cancer, early detection and getting screenings.
For more information on registration and guidelines for the competition, visit the YAGF website at www.yagvi.org or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Foundation representatives also can be reached at 332-9115, 626-6690 or 643-3322.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.