By LISA M. HOFFMANN
IRON MOUNTAIN - It's a tradition for area women to celebrate Girls' Night Out just like it is for men to go to deer hunting camp.
Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photo
Auctioneer Col. Dan Samson, left, watches as Mark Sundquist takes over the microphone and models the highest selling bra at the Bras for a Cause auction at Sol Blu Lounge Thursday night. The bra, titled Singing Sisters, sold for $210, and was purchased by Heidi Rizzo for Therapeutic Massage.
Hundreds of area women celebrated the seventh annual event in downtown Iron Mountain on Thursday night.
One of the highlights of the evening was the annual Bras for a Cause auction at Sol Blu Lounge.
This event has become a popular tradition that seeks to raise public awareness of breast cancer while providing some "fun fundraising," officials said. The Iron Mountain bar was packed for the auction.
Local "bra artisans" decorate and donate bras, and they are auctioned off to the delight of the crowd.
Debbie Milligan, event organizer for the Bras for A Cause, said the top bra sold $210.
Bra number 84, titled "The Singing Sisters," was designed by JoAnn Poncino and was made in honor of Margaret Thibert.
"This was the People's Choice one, that's why it was the winning bra," Milligan said.
Bra number 92, titled "Chocolate Frosting" was donated by Michael's Fine Jewelry and sold for $200. The bra consisted of five genuine Peridot gemstones, 22 Swarovski crystals, a freshwater pearl necklace and 1.25 karat total weight of champagne diamond melee.
Bra number 64, donated by MJ Electric and titled, "Power Towards A Cure Big or Small Save Them All," sold for $200.
Milligan said 100 bras were donated and Col. Dan Samson auctioned all of them off in 90 minutes.
"We sold a lot of T-shirts and with the cover charge and bidding on the bras, more than $5,000 was raised," Milligan said.
Milligan added this year's event couldn't have been made possible without the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Community Federal Credit Union volunteers and the Kingsford Roller Derby Girls.
Many of the women attending the Girls' Night Out event in downtown Iron Mountain also mingled with girlfriends, shopped for Christmas items, dined on snacks and refreshments, checked out holiday decorations, listened to Christmas music, and pampered themselves with body massages and tattoos.
Val Dugree of Quinnesec said it's a tradition to attend the festive event with her daughters every year.
"It's fun and we enjoy ourselves," she said.
Julie Mainville of Iron Mountain added it's fun to go out and get Christmas ideas, purchase items she didn't plan on purchasing and see people she doesn't get to see very often.
Dugree added they like to find good deals and look for Christmas items.
Rochelle Lindbeck of Iron Mountain has attended the event every year since its inception and says she enjoys supporting the downtown businesses.
"I like to get together with friends, and it's important to support our local businesses," Lindbeck said.
Judy Seilaff of Iron Mountain said the camaraderie with the community at the annual event is important.
"It's fun to be out in the community and see displays," she said. "Everybody is so happy this time of year."
Seilaff added she enjoys looking around at the downtown stores to get ideas for Christmas presents and decorating.
Anna Bafile of Iron Mountain added she likes to hang out with her girlfriends and look at the all pretty decorations.
Seilaff added the best part is the holiday decorations.
Also included in the Girls' Night Out was the Bras for a Cause auction, art demonstrations, a pajama party, luau party, live music, games, prize drawings and store sales.
All proceeds from the Bras for a Cause auction will be directed through the Dickinson Memorial Hospital Foundation and donated to the Dickinson Radiation Oncology Department's technology upgrade.
Some of the bra themes included patriotic, hunting, floral, candy, Mardi bra, Packers, pearls and flamingo.
Participating businesses included BK Enterprises, Blackstone Pizza, Bond Decorating, Cuisine Art, Flowerland, Focus on Function Physical Therapy, Greenway Books, GrowMaxx, Kingsley North, Linnea & Kristine, Michael's Fine Jewelry, Nail's by Jen, Perina's Mata Brown, Perennial Gardens, Poor Boy Roys, Rocconi's ACE Hardware, Salon 323, Savage Mane, Shirt Tails, Signature Style, Sol Blu, Spiro's Downtown Restaurant, Sue's Beauty Boutique, Sweet Repeats, Tan 360, Tracey Jane's, Twisted Sisters, U.P. Dance Academy, Voice Works and Wishing Well Gifts.
Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is email@example.com.