Members of the Charlotte Chapter of Hadassah are raising money for breast cancer research at the Hadassah Medical Organization, but they’re doing it in a unique way.
Women will have their chests and torsos painted with original art by female artists for Celebrate the Ta Tas on Sept. 4 and 15. Women also will receive mammograms from Charlotte Radiology and Mecklenburg Radiology by appointment, and have the opportunity to ask questions to an on-site physician from Carmel OB/GYN. Women do not have to have health insurance to take part in the event.
Talia Goldman, the program’s co-chair, said she came up with the idea about three years ago with the intention to empower, inspire, motivate and educate women. Her motivation to start the event hits close to home.
“My mother is a six-time cancer survivor. Breast cancer has affected my family the most,” she said. “I don’t want my daughter to have to go through this. If I can contribute money for research and care, I’ve left this world in a better place.”
Women who volunteer to be painted will engage in a one-on-one session with a female artist. The women come in with ideas for the painter, and the painters create a picture across the front of the women’s bodies. The “paint and sparkle” session is a unique, personal experience for each individual, Goldman said.
“If we can create beautiful pictures on their ‘ta tas,’ they can feel pretty,” Goldman said.
“This allows them to do something different,” Goldman added. “They really transform their bodies, but still remain anonymous.”
Goldman said, through the transformation, women become a part of a sisterhood of women who also have been painted.
“When women come out from behind the curtain, all the other women who have been painted clap for them,” she added. “We can celebrate that way and feel beautiful.”
Sandra Goldman, the event co-chair and a breast cancer survivor herself, was painted the past two years. She said it was an empowering and emotional experience.
“There is a sparkle in the room and a connection between women to come together for one good cause,” Sandra Goldman said. She created a personal design for her artwork last year that included a tree of life, which is significant in her Jewish faith.
Painting days are by appointment only on Sept. 4, a Thursday, at the Levine Jewish Community Center, 5007 Providence Road, and on Sept. 15, a Monday, at the McDowell Arts Center, 123 McDowell Street in Matthews.
Each woman is photographed from the neck to the torso, and the image will be displayed at a formal event, the Big Reveal, on Oct. 30, a Thursday, at the Ritz-Carlton.
Dr. Steven Limentani of the Levine Cancer Institute and Dr. Craig Evens from Novant Health will be recognized at the reveal with BUST awards for their work with breast cancer.
“It’s amazing how two hospital systems have come together for the good of women in Charlotte,” Talia Goldman said.
The already-sold-out event will feature cuisine from six of Charlotte’s talented chefs. Chefs from Fahrenheit, BLT, BuKu, Mama Ricotta’s, Ri Ra, True Pizza and Serephina Desserts will create the cuisine, which will all be donated.
The painting event also has inspired other events to raise awareness for breast cancer research. The North Carolina Soccer Association will host eight adult women teams from across the state for the first Celebrate the Ta Tas Soccer Tournament for Champions on Oct. 27 and 28 at south Charlotte’s Elon Park.
Women can register for a painting session at www.hadassah.org/site/c.duIVJbNRKmL8G/b.9053407/k.D47A/Celebrate_the_Ta_Tas__a_breast_cancer_fundraiser.htm. Sessions cost $36 and are about an hour long. Appointments are filling quickly.
Can’t attend, but still want to donate? Go to http://www.gofundme.com/46kzdo.