|Hundreds of women and men will toss aside their modesty and don glitzy, self-decorated bras all in the name of a cure for breast cancer.
They will parade down Main Street wearing their festooned lingerie for the "Bras for the Cause" Moonlight Walk on Sept. 29.
It's the second year for the walk, which was started by a few founders of the Tri-Valley chapter of SOCKs (Stepping Out for Cancer Kures).
"Our nonprofit raises money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and we tried to think of something that would be fun and different to raise money," said Kathy Ellis, director of Tri-Valley SOCKs. "We've done golf tournaments in the past and pretty much everybody does a golf tournament so we decided to do this walk and have something a little on the goofy side. Breast cancer walks can be sort of depressing and we do have our sad moments, but we also wanted to have something where the survivors could feel like they're celebrating surviving."
The silly affair shows a lighter side to the serious nature of breast cancer by having participants gather for bra decorating parties.
"Last year was kind of like Mardi Gras," Ellis said.
For last year's walk, the inaugural event, Ellis ventured to then-Police Chief Tim Neal's office. After Neal inquired why the group wanted to have the walk at nighttime, she told him because it was unique. After she added that participants would be donning decorated bras, his jaw dropped.
Despite the potential embarrassment for men, Ellis said many forego their bashfulness and have a good time participating.
"I think it's a chance for them to walk on the wild side," she said, with a laugh.
And walkers take their intimate apparel seriously.
"It looked like the Electric Parade at Disneyland last year at night because a lot of people use battery-operated lights and really fun decorations," Ellis said.
But all kidding aside, the event raises a significant amount.
"Last year raised $84,000. We are hoping to raise a quarter of a million dollars this year," Ellis said.
A positive of the Tri-Valley SOCKs walk is that all of the money raised goes to the San Francisco chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation to be used locally, she said.
And walks like the "Bras for a Cause" aren't abundant, Ellis said, because the Susan G. Komen three-day walk was cancelled three years ago in San Francisco. She said the walk was competing with the Avon Walk, also held in San Francisco and the competition led to less participation. Now, the only Komen three-day in California is held in San Diego.
The walk will be limited to 600 participants this year and those who are interested can register on the SOCKs Web site, www.trivalleysocks.org
Registration is $50. The walk begins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Amador Valley High School. The route travels down Main Street, through the Mission Hills neighborhood, up First Street and ends back at Amador. A pit stop location is at Lions Wayside Park where family members and friends are encouraged to cheer the walkers on. Those who can't or wish not to participate can donate to the walk, also on the Web site.
Decorated bra judging will take place a half hour before the walk begins.
This year's walk will be dedicated in memory of Rosalinda Church, the sister of Tri-Valley SOCKs member Chit Castro. Church passed away less than a month ago after a five-year battle with breast cancer.
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