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Auction of clever 'cups' to help fight breast cancer

Here, TALISMANS, a bra designed by artist Erica

Here, TALISMANS, a bra designed by artist Erica Klein, for the exhibition Creative Cups, a fundraising effort to benefit the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program. Photo Credit: Handout

Octopus tentacles, mah-jongg tiles, crayons -- they're not the types of materials you'd expect to see on a bra.

More than 100 clever, colorful -- and at times, comical -- brassieres will be artfully displayed and auctioned at Adelphi University's "Creative Cups" benefit Tuesday night. The anything-but-conventional bras were mostly made by Long Island breast cancer survivors and loved ones of those who have battled the disease.

BACK STORIES

Grace Verderosa, 47, a "passionate knitter" and semiretired patternmaker from Farmingdale, created a pink yarn bra dedicated to her sister-in-law, who recently overcame breast cancer. She named the design "Unraveled."

"That's what happens when you're diagnosed," Verderosa says. "Everything falls apart."

Breast cancer survivor Jennifer Montgomery designed a warrior-themed bra trimmed with plastic soldiers. "My bra is created out of thanks for all the support I received during my battle against cancer," says Montgomery, 58, of East Rockaway.

Holly Hunt, 35, of Centereach, recycled centerpieces she made for her 2009 wedding for her white-feathered bra, "Angel of Life."

"My mom and I have been creating things together since I was child," says Hunt, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 21. "This was another opportunity for us to do something creative together."

AT THE EVENT

The evening will begin at 6 with live music and refreshments as guests mill around the bras on display, which will be sold in a silent auction. Bidding will start at $50 per bra and climb in $15 increments. Proceeds benefit the university's breast cancer program, which has been providing emotional support for patients, family and friends for the past 30 years.

Bras in Adelphi's inaugural Creative Cups auction in 2009 sold for an average of $75, with the event netting about $50,000, according to spokeswoman Lyn Dobrin. The top price was for "Bronx Bombers," a creation by Mary Ann Mearini of Valley Stream that sold for $300.

Contributions will be especially helpful this year, Dobrin says, because the program unexpectedly lost about a third of its funding after being cut from the state budget. "Making up that difference is very important," she says.

Talon Rubino, 19, a sophomore from Bellmore majoring in fine arts, created a bra as part of a class assignment. Her design, "Bra-sons," depicts a husband and wife cups made of blue and orange yarn and papier-mâché, which is meant to remind viewers of the love and support between two people.

"I was trying to go for something that's lighthearted and makes you laugh," she says. "I also want this creation to demonstrate that you always need someone by your side, to help you through the hard times."

Creative Cups Auction and Reception

WHEN|WHERE: 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, Ruth S. Harley University Center at Adelphi University, Garden City, 800-877-8077, adelphi.edu/nysbreastcancer

ADMISSION: $100

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