Creative Cups: Out Of Pain Comes Hope

From left: Creative Cups honorary host/WNBC-TV journalist Pat Battle; Creative Cups media liaison Lyn Dobrin, Creative Cups director Hillary Rutter; Creative Cups co-dounder Dale Flashner; Creative Cups photographer Jim Lennon; Creative Cups master of ceremonies Matthew Swerdlow
(Photo by Brian Ballweg)

This year was the fifth time that Creative Cups featured bras that have been ornately decorated and auctioned off to raise money to support the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Group. As roughly 400 artists, family and friends milled around Adelphi’s Ruth S. Harley University Center checking out the items on sale they munched on cupcakes and strawberries donated by Torta Fina. According to Creative Cups co-founder Dale Flashner and Creative Cups director Hillary Rutter, this year’s Creative Cups featured 137 bras, of which 110 were sold and wound up raising roughly $60,000 this year. And while past Creative Cups events hinged on the bras being part of a silent auction, part of this year’s festivities involved having 12 bras be part of a live auction that raised $6,300 helmed by Regal Events LLC founder Matthew Serdlow, who was the master of ceremonies.
Among the participants was a group of eight friends from Huntington who crafted a bra called Steampunk, which netted $600 during the live auction and was inspired by the breast cancer fight one of their crew waged and won.

Steampunk creative team from left: Kimber Phillip; Paula Corazza; Roseann Rizzo; Kara Pagliaro; Diane DeNicola; Tina Murphy; Betty Ann Rizzo; Veronica Bossong

“A lot of us went to [Walt Whitman] high school together and we started a cooking club after 9/11, where we get together once a month and rotate where we do it. We wanted to start getting together for the good times instead of just whenever something bad happened,” Rosanne Rizzo explained. “One of our friends had breast cancer and had her breasts removed. We wanted to support her and [we were] thinking about how the gears work together; they all turn and move. I also like the idea of the soft fabric and the hard metal—everyone has those different parts of their personality.”

Garden City plastic surgeon Dr. Barry Douglas, whose Candela-Bra was being auctioned off, was participating in his third Creative Cups event. Longtime supporter Douglas managed to use items from around his house that included a seldom-used sconce and an array of antique leaded crystal from a chandelier to make his latest creation.
“This is just a cool and beautiful event and I get to use my creative whatever-it-is,” he said. “My first year, I tried to use a pun on each of them, so the first year was Alge-Bra. I had all these formulas on it that had to do with the relative incidence of breast cancer and the numeric formulas that have to do with breast cancer. Last one was Cele-Bration, celebrating the life of these women and this year it’s the Candela-Bra.”

NBC-TV journalist and breast cancer survivor Pat Battle

NBC-TV journalist and breast cancer survivor Pat Battle once again returned to serve as the evening’s honorary host. The newscaster was effusive, hugging and chatting up numerous attendees. When asked the importance of Creative Cups, she fervently embraced what it does and represents.
“It’s such a sense of community. Every person in that hall has been touched by breast cancer. And we’re all here under the same roof for the same cause—which is to support each other. Everybody was inspired by someone or something to create these bras,” Battle said. “Would it have been wonderful to raise thousands and thousands of dollars for the hot line? Yes. But what it did raise was an awareness and a sense of community that you find in this really elite club that nobody wants to belong to, which is a breast cancer survivor or somebody that’s lost someone. I’ve lost and I’ve survived, so I’m both sides of that equation and I can relate to every single person in that room in one capacity or another. I think when we all get in that room together, I feel like we’re all in it for the same reason and it gives us hope. And to look around and see that people are inspired by a horrible disease to make these beautiful creations in hopes of advancing treatment, help and support, which is really what this was.”

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Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of Massapequa Observer and Hicksville News, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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