The annual Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure golf tournament to raise awareness of breast cancer and money for local outreach and education will be held Aug. 8 at the Bangor Municipal Golf Course, but this year things will look a bit different. The women who participate in the tournament will be wearing bras.
But not just any bras — pink ones or white ones with pink bling — outside their golf shirts.
For co-chair Diane Herring, an 18-month breast cancer survivor, it’s about drawing attention to a serious problem that can’t be hushed, ignored, or hidden inside golf shirts. So most of the participants — about 46 so far — will be wearing pink bras over their golf shirts in the Pink Bra Revolution.
“Wearing pink bras, or white bras with pink decorations, will be optional; this is not mandatory,” Herring said. “However, a two-dollar fine or penalty will be assessed for any ‘non-conforming ta-tas.’”
Any revenue from that pot will be donated to the local Komen organization.
Participants will be required to sport their external bras during morning registration and lunch after the tournament, but “It is your choice as to whether you want to wrestle through the game with your ‘blinged-up bra,’” Herring said.
Judges will award prizes in various categories, such as the most beautiful, the funniest, and the most creative bra ensembles. There also will be side games where pink feathers will be placed, such as a game where participants try to throw golf balls into a cup — a 46DD cup.
If it all sounds a bit silly, it’s by design. While Herring says there’s nothing funny about breast cancer, being able to find a bit of humor while working to fight off this disease helps take the edge off the devastation of diagnosis.
“For this to become a fun and celebratory event, we all have to invoke our sense of humor, lose a little vanity, set aside a bit of modesty, and basically lighten up and enjoy,” said Herring.
According to a recent letter from the Maine affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the greatest risk factors for breast cancer are being female and growing older two things completely out of human control, and lifestyle and dietary modification can only do so much.
“The bottom line is we need to improve our percentages of survival through early detection and raise funds for research that will eventually result in the dreaded words ‘breast cancer’ being obsolete,” Herring said.
She knows what she’s talking about. A routine mammogram detected Herring’s breast cancer. She and her co-chair, Nancy Hart, have sisters who are also breast cancer survivors. So while the women are having a bit of fun, they take the subject matter extremely seriously.
“We hope to raise awareness of this horrid disease, spread the word about the extraordinary importance of early detection through annual screening mammograms, celebrate the survivors, and remember out friends, relatives, and all other victims that have succumbed to breast cancer,” Herring said.
She and Hart developed the idea for the tournament when they attended a similar event in Florida over the winter.
“It was mostly 70- and 80-year-old women totally decked out in pink bras,” Herring recalled. “That gave us the inspiration and the idea to do it here.”
There’s a $25 entry fee, which includes lunch and competition prize money, as well as the usual $18 greens fee. A $20 suggested donation to Rally for the Cure is requested; that will get donors a Komen magazine subscription, a Komen goodie bag, and eligibility for the Par 3 “closest to the pin” Skills Challenge.
The Aug. 8 event starts at 8 a.m. Registration must be in advance by emailing email@example.com.