Brittany Leonard, Citrine Health’s community engagement specialist, poses with some of the decorated bras from last year’s BraBedazzle. Bra dazzlers are needed for the free crafting bra from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 30 to decorate bras that will be displayed at businesses in Everett during October to raise awareness for breast cancer. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Brittany Leonard, Citrine Health’s community engagement specialist, poses with some of the decorated bras from last year’s BraBedazzle. Bra dazzlers are needed for the free crafting bra from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 30 to decorate bras that will be displayed at businesses in Everett during October to raise awareness for breast cancer. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Bling on the bras — for a good cause

Bra Bedazzle decorating joins a nationwide campaign to bring attention to breast cancer.

EVERETT — Bling on the bras.

BraBedazzle is an artsy way to fight against breast cancer with a hot glue gun and baubles.

Bras with large molded cups provide the perfect canvas. A crafting session is Aug. 30 to dazzle the bras with stickers, candy, glitter, gems and beads at Citrine Health, a nonprofit that promotes women’s health and offers services to breast cancer survivors.

The bras are meant to be seen, not worn.

These will be on display at local businesses during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“We want as many business as involved as possible,” Citrine spokeswoman Brittany Leonard said. “It’s kind of like the pianos (Street Tunes). We want to do the same thing.”

Last October, BraBedazzle’s first year, bras were displayed at bars, salons, businesses and art galleries.

The bras are themed with messages.

“A bra at a bar said ‘Cheers to mammograms,’ ” Leonard said. “The whole point is to promote public health.”

Nationwide, there are contests, auctions and galas planned around decorated bras. The bras are part of fashion shows in some places. At Citrine, the bras serve as year-round wall art.

The agency operates the Bra Shop and has women’s wellness programs as well as social services and disease prevention assistance.

More than 30 people showed up to decorate bras last year.

“We encourage everyone to express themselves,” Leonard said.

There’s a bra festooned with jelly beans, another with gummy bears. A Winnie the Pooh bra. A Seahawks bra.

All ages are welcome. It’s free, and you get refreshments to eat, not glue to bras.

“This tends to be a really great mother-daughter thing,” Leonard said. “We had a couple of men who came in to decorate bras for women in their lives.”

Lourdes Leptich was among those decorating last year. She put a sun and flower appliques on a bright rosy bra that hangs in the Citrine, where she also works.

It represents her own struggle as a cancer survivor, which she credits to early detection.

“It was a very small tumor,” she said. “Even though it is sad and scary when you hear the ‘c word,’ there is always hope. The sun comes out after the storm.”

Laurie Crawford, who comes to the center for fitness classes, last year decorated a bra in green and gold, her class colors. “In honor of a good friend from high school who had breast cancer,” she said.

Target is the official sponsor of BraBedazzle. Value Village and Goodwill stores donated items such as broken jewelry.

People can bring supplies if they want. The center has plenty of bras.

The BraBedazzle crafting workshop is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 30, at Citrine Health, 2940 W. Marine View Drive.

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