Plaza Ford gives support to breast cancer awareness

Heads will turn Saturday along Route 1 when Plaza Ford proudly displays more than 1,000 donated bras in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"People have found it a really interesting way to raise money," Katie Walls, whose family owns Plaza Ford, joked.

The Bras for a Cause fundraiser kicked off Sept. 29, Walls, 23, said and as of Wednesday evening had collected more than 1,000 bras. That's not including recent numbers from the various drop-off locations in the area, either. A donation from Victoria's Secret helped put her over the 1,000 mark.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the dealership at 1701 Belair Road will throw a counting party where a final number will be revealed before the bras are pinned to a rope hanging between light poles.

For every bra donated, $1 will go to Upper Chesapeake's Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center, which is slated to open in fall 2013.

Saturday's shindig will have food catered by Texas Roadhouse, which opened recently in Fallston, and live music by Greg Bates.

The idea came from a car dealership in Frederick that started something similar several years ago and Walls wanted to get involved somehow.

She has gotten a great reception from the public on the unique fundraiser.

"Some older people have been shy about hanging them and the fact we're just collecting bras in general," she laughed, "but I've heard a lot of stories from people."

During the Halloween parade at the Festival at Bel Air Saturday, Walls said she met a young boy, about 6 or 7 years old, whose grandmother recently died of breast cancer.

"Now he's fascinated with breast cancer awareness and wears pink everything," she said. "He'll probably be a doctor or researcher in the field one day. I was proud of the parents for taking the time to talk to him about it."

Walls, as is with the case with almost everyone, has been personally affected by cancer.

Her Spanish teacher in elementary school died of breast cancer, as well as some family friends.

"My grandmother had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and she died in 2002 around Christmas," Walls continued. "I personally felt how it affected people and the fact they have to drive all the way to Baltimore to get treatment."

This was one of the main reasons why donations are staying local and going to the new cancer center in Bel Air.

"The goal was 1,000 [donations]," Walls said. "I think we're passed that. I'll be excited if we pass that."

With an overwhelming response this year, Walls said she would definitely do it again next year.

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