Bras for the Cause: Firefighters suit up in special gear for a different fight

Published on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 21:39 - Written by VICTOR TEXCUCANO

In addition to the recent rain in the area, an unusual fundraiser took Tyler by storm on Tuesday night.

The fourth annual Bras for the Cause event, put together by the Women’s Council of Realtors, was held at Cowboy’s on Paluxy Drive.

About 20 area volunteer and city firefighters made their way down the runway, showing off gaudy bras designed and donated by local businesses as part of an auction that benefitted the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Realtors council and local fire departments.

Each extravagant bra had a theme that corresponded with a coordinating goodie basket worth up to $250. Guests bid on the bras and its corresponding basket.

Among the many ill-used support garments, there was a Harley-Davidson bra, a Las Vegas showgirl bra, a Texas-themed bra with blue bonnets and a yellow rose, a “Duck Dynasty” bra complete with hanging spent shotgun shells and many other flashy bras sported by showy local firefighters who riled up the mostly female crowd in attendance.

The fast-talking Rodney Barbee called the night’s auction.

Event co-chairwoman Cindy Covalt, who also serves as Realtors council president-elect, said they expect to raise between $30,000 and $40,000 from the event.

While many Women’s Council of Realtors chapters do this same type of fundraiser, Ms. Covalt said the Tyler chapter hosts one of the biggest Bras for the Cause events, despite the Tyler chapter’s relatively small size.

She said last year’s event brought more than 300 spectators, and while she was unsure of this year’s number at the time of the event, she said she expected an increase.

Christina Stoddard, event co-chairwoman, expressed joy toward the community for the event’s continued success.

“Every year, it gets bigger and better,” she said. “Tyler, Texas, has blown us out of the water this year, (between bras and baskets donated by local businesses) and donations from the local community. It has just increased and skyrocketed beyond my wildest dreams. I never thought the community would come together like this.”