A charity-minded event that has helped one florist contribute to a worthy cause and create positive buzz in the community is growing even larger this year.
For three years, former SAF president Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, of Dandelions Flowers and Gifts in Eugene, Oregon, has organized and run Bras for A Cure, a whimsical, fun-filled campaign that raises money for the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center.
At the center of the Dandelions campaign is an in-store contest and art show of hand-designed bras, submitted by people throughout the area who have been personally affected by breast cancer. The public can vote on the winning design, and the event is promoted heavily on social media. Winners are revealed at the end of the month.
It’s an idea Lyons said she adapted after reading in Floral Management about another florist’s bra-decorating contest. The event has raised thousands of dollars for the cancer center, and it’s also allowed Lyons to capitalize on a great PR opportunity.
This year, Lyons is again hosting the in-store event but she has a new and impressive partner: her area mall will “help create awareness through their larger venue, with signage throughout the mall, and will create and host a ‘Build A Bra’ public event,” which will drive people to Dandelions.
Bi-Coastal Media, which maintains five local radio stations, is also a partner for the event and will be running ads and promos, along with interviews with Lyons and her team. In addition, Lyons expects TV coverage for the event — even more than she’s received in previous years — thanks to these new affiliations.
“The goal is to encourage larger community awareness of this event and larger participation,” Lyons said. “We needed more hands and contacts to really get the reach we wanted in the community. Our cancer center is thrilled, and it is not often that a flower store is high on the radar of a regional center.”