"3 B’s for Boobs" melds fun with a purpose

It's hard to imagine a more winning combination for a fundraiser than the one devised by Beauty Through Cancer, a local nonprofit dedicated to serving cancer patients and their loved ones. The "3 B's for Boobs" event next week features local bands, draft beer and barbecue.

Beauty and empowerment: Local nonprofit Beauty Through Cancer presents "3 B's for Boobs," a fundraiser supporting women battling cancer in WNC. Photo by Kristi Hedburg Photography

"Do you know anyone who hasn't been affected by cancer?" asks Earleen Bennett, president/founder of Beauty Through Cancer, which opened its doors on McDowell Street in April 2009. "There are more and more young people [diagnosed with cancer] each year, and we want to let people know, especially young people, that we exist and that we want to help."

As a permanent-makeup artist (cosmetic tattooing focusing on eyebrow and areola pigmentation), Bennett worked with cancer patients in the final stages of their recovery. Many women opened up to Bennett during their sessions, telling stories about their recent medical experience and how it affected their lives. Inspired by these stories, Bennett decided to start a nonprofit that would empower women with consistent local support, while helping patients maintain high self-esteem throughout treatment.

Beauty Though Cancer is equipped with a tattoo room (all restorative tattooing is offered free of charge), a community space for support groups and educational presentations, plus a "give and take room" where patients can find free wigs and cosmetic supplies (community donations are welcome and always needed).

Three B's for Boobs is sponsored by the Asheville Affiliates, a local nonprofit that has helped coordinate and plan the event, which promises to be a "party with a purpose." Luella's Bar-B-Que, Okie Dokies Smokehouse, Chef Mo's Restaurant & Bar and Fiore's Ristorante (to name a few) will serve up an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet. Plus, there's all-you-can-drink brew provided by Highland Brewing Co. and Catawba Valley Brewing.

The festivities don't end with food and beer. The evening also includes an impressive lineup of local musicians and talents. Weather permitting, the event will be held in the field behind Highland Brewery, 12 Old Charlotte Hwy., on Thursday, May 27. If it rains, the festivities will move indoors.

Sultry Americana tunes will be performed by Underhill Rose (Eleanor Underhill and Molly Rose Reed); plus soulful blues music by The Honeycutters; country/rock with the Trainwreks; and solo performances by singer/songwriter Dave Desmelik, Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers and Robert Greer of Town Mountain. Members of Bootstraps Burlesque will circulate through the crowd selling raffle tickets and promoting the silent auction. Additional parking will be available at the River Ridge shopping center where the "Brews Cruise" bus will shuttle people to and from the brewery.

All proceeds from the event benefit Beauty Through Cancer's outreach programs. The organization has partnered with area salons, where women can have their wigs shaped and fitted for free. They are also working with Cancer Care of WNC to develop a program that teaches the "simple, basic science" behind the effects of cancer treatment on the body.

Three B's for Boobs will be held on Thursday, May 27, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Highland Brewery, 12 Old Charlotte Hwy. Cost: $25 in advance and $30 at the door includes food and beer. Info: 252-8558 or www.beautythroughcancer.org.

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About Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt
Aiyanna grew up on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. She was educated at The Cambridge School of Weston, Sarah Lawrence College, and Oxford University. Aiyanna lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she proudly works for Mountain Xpress, the city’s independent local newspaper.

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