Royal Oak Woman’s Club lawn overwhelmed with undergarments

By: Heidi Roman | Royal Oak Review | Published October 20, 2011

ROYAL OAK — The ladies of the Royal Oak Woman’s Club are airing out their laundry.

More than 100 bras of every color, fabric and size have been strung from a clothesline outside the group’s clubhouse at 404 S. Pleasant St. There are even more of them on display inside the clubhouse.

The women in the organization are hoping the inaugural Breast Cancer Awareness Month Bra Installation is an attention-grabbing reminder for ladies to take care of themselves by performing self breast examinations.

“I wanted to do something for breast cancer awareness,” said Alena Clark, a Royal Oak resident and member of the club. “I like this because it’s kind of shocking and makes people think about it. It’s something out of the ordinary.”

The bras were donated for the display by club members, friends of members and community members.

“When I was outside hanging them up, everyone was honking and waving and was really excited,” Clark said.

The Royal Oak Woman’s Club, made up of 130 women ranging in age from their 20s to their 90s, has several breast cancer survivors among them, but recently lost a member to breast cancer. The club has been around for more than a century, but this is the first year it has organized the display for breast cancer awareness.

“This program came from the heart,” said Jeanne Sarnacki, club president. “We’d like to spur women on to take control of their health as best they can and remember to do their monthly breast exams, and also to have a conversation with their doctor about mammograms. It’s a tongue-in-cheek way to deal with something very important, and talk about something that can be sad and painful.”

The bras hanging outside are taking a beating from the elements, but the more protected bras inside have been artistically decorated by members and local students. One of them was designed with a chicken breast theme, complete with beaks and feathers.

“When we saw some of these amazing bras, we said we can’t put these outside,” Sarnacki said.

They don’t just look pretty. The Woman’s Club is using the bras as a fundraiser for The Pink Fund. There will be voting jars placed near each bra so visitors can choose their favorite by placing money inside during October events.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 25, the club will host its annual Meet and Greet in the clubhouse to invite the community and potential new members to learn more about the organization.

From 4:30-9 p.m. Oct. 28, the organization will hold its annual fall spaghetti dinner. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors age 62 and older, and $4 for kids ages 3-12. For reservations or more information, call (248) 549-3701.

The club chooses a different charity each year to support, and also hosts a bi-annual home and garden tour. The club also gives scholarship money to Royal Oak students.

“We basically spend a lot of time doing good things for Royal Oak,” Sarnacki said. “Last year we fundraised for the Challenge Day program and raised a couple thousand dollars.”

The Royal Oak Woman’s Club is located at 404 S. Pleasant St., at Fourth Street, in Royal Oak.

For more information, visit www.rowc.org.