Breast Strokes: Hadassah Bares All for A.R.T.

NEWS-Hadassah Breast Strokes 4some with Poster

Photo by Doug Friedman – (From left) Greater Atlanta Hadassah President Paula Zucker, centennial chairwoman Phyllis M. Cohen, and event chairwomen Barbara Lang and Holly Strelzik flank a composite poster depicting photographs of the 35 painted torsos.

A venue decorated with canvases of body-painted torsos, delicious food, lively music and an abundance of appealing auction items greeted the more than 300 guests who attended the Breast Strokes: Hadassah Bares All for A.R.T. (Awareness, Research & Treatment) gala and auction Feb. 28 at the Westside Cultural Arts Center in Atlanta. The event continued an effort begun in late October when 35 women, many of whom are breast cancer survivors, had their torsos painted and photographed to raise money for breast cancer research. The event supported Hadassah Medical Organization’s lifesaving breast cancer research and celebrated 20 years of Greater Atlanta Hadassah’s successful Check It Out! breast health awareness program in Atlanta. Breast Strokes also kicked off a series of events leading to the celebration of Greater Atlanta Hadassah’s centennial in 1916.

NEWS-Hadassah Breast Strokes Casella Award ds

Photo by Deborah Singer – Honorary Breast Strokes chairwoman Susan Casella (left) accepts her award from Greater Atlanta Hadassah President Paula Zucker.

Joanie Shubin was the night’s honoree. “As many of you know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 17 years ago,” she said in accepting the honor. “I take a special pride in knowing that Hadassah played a direct role in my journey with cancer and likely had a similar impact on so many other survivors in this room with us tonight. You see, it was our own Hadassah who played a pivotal role in recognizing that Jewish men and women of Eastern European descent have a nearly 10 percent greater likelihood of testing positive for the BRCA gene. BRCA testing is now a standard part of the thinking about breast cancer assessment and treatment.”

Honorary event chairwoman Susan Casella, a registered nurse who is the breast health education and support service coordinator at the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, was honored for her years of working with Greater Atlanta Hadassah’s Check It Out! program, which has educated more than 35,000 young women in breast self-examinations.

Final figures are still being calculated, but the money raised by Breast Strokes has surpassed expectations. You still can make donations at www.hadassah.org/atlanta/breaststrokes. Or visit atlanta-hadassah.fineartamerica.com to support breast cancer research through the purchase of commemorative art items.