More than 500 people helped raise awareness and money to fight breast cancer Saturday night, Feb. 25, at the Big Reveal for Breast Strokes, Hadassah Bares All for A.R.T. (Awareness, Research and Treatment).
The event honored Debbi Chartash, Melody Maziar and Rina Wolfe, the women behind the Angels 4 Angels team, which has raised over $1.5 million to fund breast cancer research.
“Our fans cheering us on the sides gave us the push and strength that we needed,” Chartash said.
“The best part of Angels 4 Angels is about the wonderful people and the lifelong friendships we made,” Maziar said.
Throughout the Big Reveal, guests participated in a silent auction to raise money for genetic research while they browsed a gallery of 25 paintings rendered in the fall on breast cancer survivors and sipped Breast Strokes’ signature pink drink.
A live auction included an authenticated Falcons jersey signed by quarterback Matt Ryan, an African safari, and a private suite at Philips Arena for a concert by Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey.
In a separate wing of the Stave Room, people played tushies and tatas. Players purchased Mardi Gras beads for $20, $40 or $50 and tried to win a 48-inch TV.
Auctioneer Patty Brown, alongside volunteers Emily Haft and Marc Sonenshine, led the game by asking participants to place their hands on their tushies or tatas. A coin was then flipped, with a body part for each side. People who had their hands on the wrong body part each had to remove a strand of beads until only one player was left wearing beads.
Marcie Natan, the immediate past national president of Hadassah, spoke briefly about the need to continue fighting breast cancer, a disease she has survived twice.
“People always tell me, ‘You’re so brave to put yourself out there.’ I am not so brave,” she said. “I understand how important it is for each and every one of us to empower ourselves and others. This is a disease we can fight, and it is a disease we can survive.”
When Natan learned about Breast Strokes and the Big Reveal, she knew she wanted to participate. Her painting is of two penguins and is in memory of her younger sister, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 and had a recurrence at 50. The painting was done a year after Natan’s sister died.
“It was so meaningful and innovative to be with a group of women who were willing to be painted,” she said. “They each had a story to tell, and they each left with a feeling of pride in celebrating life.”
The ceremony closed with attendees each removing a shoe and holding it up to show solidarity for the fight against all cancers.
“This is the second year the Big Reveal has sold out and has brought individuals together, not just from the Hadassah community, but other communities as well,” Big Reveal chair Janice Greenfield said. “We are in amazement in what we have created. Tonight is about raising money for a good cause and having a good time.”