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Soroptomists ride high for breast cancer

Charity: Bras for a Cause raises funds for Circle of Hope, Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center

Posted: October 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Soroptimist President Sandi Naba, center standing, with the board of directors and members at the 2011 Bras for a Cause Denim and Diamond Hoe-Down, on Sunday at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

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Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley celebrated its eighth annual Bras for a Cause event with a fun and racy Denim and Diamonds Hoe-Down in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The Western-style revelry was held Sunday at the Oaks Grille in the Tournament Players Club in Valencia, where more than 200 women gathered to ogle more than 30 fanciful and whimsical bras and gift sets on display.

The items were later auctioned off in silent and live auctions.

Event chairwoman and club Vice President Brenda Videgain said the attendance and revenue exceeded last year’s event.
The funds raised will benefit Circle of Hope Inc., an SCV organization that offers emotional and financial support to women with breast cancer, and the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Cancer Imaging Center at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

New this year was emcee Ed Masterson, who  provided the music.

Another new feature of the event were live bra models, Tara Rice, Valerie Riccardi and Kim Cozzens.

“Ed was exciting as emcee; he was entertaining and kept everything going,” said club member Gail Rocco. “The addition of the models made the event delightful. This is our first year for both, I feel it really made a difference to our cause.”

To round out the afternoon of fancy bras, gift baskets, cocktails, line dancing and country music, the Oaks staff provided a barbecue of grilled burgers and chicken with salads and a dessert bar.

 “This year’s event — with the Country Western theme, live models and emcee — helped create a fun atmosphere,” Videgain said. “The energy in the room was great, and I loved the line dancing, which was completely spontaneous.”

In a surprise presentation in the Newhall Room, Ray J. Tippet, executive director of Circle of Hope Inc., presented Gail Rocco with a red, white and blue “Cruising America, all Ports of Call” bustier, which was donated last year by Circle of Hope Inc. and included a sexy pair of thigh-high red boots and a captain’s hat.

“I was taken back by the kind gesture from Ray for surprising me with my all-time favorite bra from last year,” Rocco said.

“The story behind the bra is that Ray and I were in heavy competition last year over this beautiful bra. Finally, when the bra reached $250, I decided I guess I wasn’t supposed to have it. Ray Tippet is a kind man, and my emotions got the best of me. I will always treasure this special bra,” Rocco continued.

Global support
Soroptimist International is a worldwide organization for women in management and professions, working to advance human rights and the status of women.

The organization currently has more than 90,000 members in more than 3,000 clubs in 124 countries.

The name Soroptimist means “best for women.” Soroptimists work to promote social justice and equity and the empowerment of women worldwide through economic independence and greater participation in decision making at all levels.

The Santa Clarita Valley is home to two of the 27 clubs in the region, Soroptimist International of SCV and Soroptimist International of Greater SCV.

This year, Soroptimist International of SCV President Sandi Naba adopted Leading With Heart and Soul for her platform.
Helping Naba on her board is Videgain; President-elect Lori Hollister; Treasurer Kelly Inga; Treasurer-elect Janet Kachorsky; Recording Secretary Sue Boscamp; Corresponding Secretary Wendy Smith; Director Estelle Carney; and Director/Parliamentarian Kay Cruger.

Among the club’s programs: Soroptimist Empowering Women, which mends the lives of women and girls touched by violence; and the Women’s Opportunity award, which helps women gain additional skills, training and education.
Bras for a Cause

The cornerstone of the event is the decorated bras that are accompanied by items, such as jewelry, trips, wine, purses, boots, belts and gift certificates.

Videgain bought the “Chronic Taco” and super fancy “In Vogue” bra sets with lots of extra goodies attached.
Dee Dee Jacobson won the spectacular “Angels Among Us” bra set donated decorated by Tracy Ferguson, which  came with a green leather purse and necklace that perfectly matched her dress.

Additionally, supporting vendors offered merchandise that included hand-crafted jewelry, one-of-a-kind clothing and bags.
“I have been a member of Soroptimist of Santa Clarita Valley for 16 years, and I am a two-time breast cancer survivor,” Rocco said. “I did get the Fear Factor bra and goodies to go with it; this has always been my favorite event because we are promoting Breast Cancer Awareness.”

Soroptimists encourage all women to get a mammogram during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To schedule an appointment at the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, call (661) 253-8822.

For more information about joining Soroptimist International of SCV, visit or contact Brenda Videgain (661) 713-3113,, or Gail Rocco (661) 964-7969,


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