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Hinesville goes pink for a night
Local fundraising efforts, events add to breast cancer fight
web 1023 farmers market
Danise and Blake Johnson sell produce at their stand during Thursdays farmers market in downtown Hinesville. The Johnsons also offered a raffle to help raise money for breast-cancer awareness. - photo by Jen Alexander McCall

Art Your Bra contest winners

• 1st Place: “Bra-Hopping for the Suzie Q’s” by Linda Ratcliffe

• 2nd Place: “Win, Lose, or Bra” by faculty and students at Savannah Tech

• 3rd Place: “The Boo-Zierre” by Pam Laynor

• People’s choice: “Champagne for Two” by Jeanette Replogle

• Honorable mention: “Mammo’s for Wildcat Mommies” by Gabrielle Ingram, an 8-year-old Bryan County resident

The weather was chilly but the spirit of giving was warm Thursday evening at the Hinesville Farmers Market as patrons helped vendors raise money for breast-cancer awareness. The Suzie Q’s pancake supper and Art Your Bra contest capped the night, bringing together survivors and supporters to continue the fight against the disease that affects hundreds of thousands of women and their families every year.

Market vendors Blake and Danise Johnson offered a raffle alongside their homegrown produce to help raise money, promising free vegetables and fruit to the raffle winner. At the request of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, the Johnsons — and their table — were decked out in pink.

“We try to pull together (for causes like breast cancer awareness), and it’s a good cause,” Blake Johnson said.

The famed pink fire truck, Carolyn, also made an appearance at the market, courtesy of the local Pink Heals chapter. The truck is named for Liberty County Commissioner Marion Stevens’ wife, who lost her battle with cancer. The Suzie Q’s offered the last of their stash of donated books during a “Books for Boobies” sale, and member David Floyd said the foot traffic at the market helped the group sell more books this year. Suzie Q co-founder Deidre Howell said Thursday’s sale brought in about $250.

At 5:45 p.m., a flash mob delighted market shoppers as they took over Bradwell Park and danced to the “Cupid Shuffle.” About 70 people — all sporting pink gloves — participated.

At Poole’s Deli, pancakes were devoured and artful bras were admired by patrons contributing to the cause.

Howell said the pancake supper brought out roughly 100 patrons and, after the food had been paid for, netted the group about $300.

Liberty County Chief Magistrate Melinda Anderson passed out flapjacks to her three granddaughters — Meadow, 2, Araya, 3, and Onasea, 4 — and reflected on the decorated undergarments.

“There are some really cute bras,” said Anderson, who served as a judge for this year’s contest. “There were so many wonderful entries. It was a hard job.”

Howell was pleased with the turnout for the contest. “This year’s Art Your Bra was much better attended than last year, primarily because it was coupled with other activities going on that evening. I think the ‘pink’ events helped the farmer’s market and vice versa,” she said.

Suzie Q’s co-founder Leah Poole said the undergarment-decorating competition has special meaning for her.

“I know for my grandma, who makes a bra every year, she does it to honor her daughter, Jamie Buller, who has had breast cancer twice and is now in remission. For myself, I made a bra personally in honor my aunt and also for my grandmother, my dad’s mother, who died of breast cancer before I was born,” Poole said.

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