Golfing in bodacious bras in Layton fights breast cancer

Friday , June 20, 2014 - 10:26 AM

LAYTON — Doug Larsen turned more than a few heads at the local Deseret Industries thrift store with his latest purchase.

“I just went to D.I. and picked up 30 more bras,” he said matter-of-factly.

Thirty more bras?

And not just any bras, either. The biggest ones he could find. D cups. Double-D cups. Triple-D cups.

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“The ladies asked me to pick up the bigger bra sizes,” he explained. “So they could fit more decorations on them.”

On Wednesday evening, near the South Gate of Hill Air Force Base, half a dozen laughing, chatting women gathered inside the cozy Do Drop Inn Bar & Grill in Layton for a sort of “craft night at the bar.” They surrounded a pool table piled high with all manner of arts and crafts supplies — feathers, sequins, colored puff balls, foam stickers, glitter — and, of course, lots and lots of brassieres.

It looked for all the world like a Michaels Arts & Crafts store collided with a Victoria’s Secret franchise.

Working feverishly with glue guns and scissors, these Monets of the Maidenform — Picassos of the Playtex? — quickly converted thrift-store bras into works of foundation-wear art. Less than two hours later, a couple dozen finished bras were laid out on the other pool table in the room — bras decorated in patriotic motifs, sports motifs, princess motifs, dinosaur motifs.



But what if someone comes into the bar to wet their whistle and decides they’d like to play a little pool? Not to worry.

“We’ve got a third table in the back there,” bar manager Toni Holben said.

This bra-decorating craziness is all for a very good — and very appropriate — cause. It’s the Do Drop Inn’s Third Annual Golf Tournament, benefiting the fight against breast cancer. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 2 at the nearby Sun Hills Golf Course, in Layton.

Because really, nothing says “golf tournament” quite like a slightly used bra with glow-in-the-dark lizards, spiders and snakes hot-glued all over it. Or covered in play money. Or emblazoned with “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” Those are just a few of the estimated 100 decorated bras the women will create this month.

A couple of years ago, folks at the Do Drop Inn, where Larsen is a regular, approached him about organizing a tournament for their little bar. Larsen agreed to do it, but said he wanted it to have a charity aspect.

“This place doesn’t have any golfers, so they asked me to run it,” said Larsen, who has been involved with golf tournaments for years. “Plus, I’m a fan of the ta-tas, so I said, ‘Let’s do it for breast cancer.’ ”

Morgan Marietti, a community events specialist with the American Cancer Society’s Great West Division, loves the “creative twist” this event brings to fundraising.

“It’s fun,” she said. “And although it’s a golf tournament, I love the way they use the bras to include people who aren’t golfers. It brings everyone together.”

Last year, the Do Drop Inn tourney raised $900 for breast cancer research; the year before it brought in $1,100. Holben says she’s hoping for $2,000 this time around.

Marietti admits it’s not a huge event, “but for a small bar, they do really well.”

So, what exactly do these decorated bras have to do with the golf tournament? Organizer Doug Larsen explains: “We’ll be hanging these bras behind the bar here, and for a $20 donation, folks can buy a bra and designate which golfer has to wear it during the tournament.”

One of the bra crafters, Gina Flynn, of Clearfield, says the male golfers are good sports about wearing the decorative undergarments over their shirts during the tourney.

“It’s funny, you’d think they’d be shy about wearing these bras, but they’re not,” she said.

Do Drop Inn bartender Steve LeBlanc says he ended up having to wear a couple of bras golfing in last year’s tournament — although he admits “golfing” is a relative term for him.

“The last time I golfed? Last year at the tournament,” he said. “But it’s a good time, and it’s for a good cause. … It’s all about saving second base.”

Flynn moved to Utah two months ago, from Massachusetts. Her daughter is stationed at Hill, and Flynn had been coming here to visit for the last nine years. The last couple of years, she’s coordinated her visits with this beloved bra-building event.

Flynn has even gotten her 7-year-old granddaughter involved.

“We made a Life Savers bra, with Life Savers (candies) all over it,” she said. “Of course, my grandaughter ate half of them.”

As much fun as the event is, Flynn understands the serious cause behind it.

“My mom passed away, at 44, from cancer,” she said. “So this fundraiser is a big deal for me.”

Marilyn Stickler, whom the other women dub the most creative crafter of the bunch, uses a pair of pink tiaras to make a “princess bra” for the tournament.

“I had a friend who passed away from breast cancer,” the Ogden woman says.

Bar manager Holben said all of the women involved have been touched by cancer in one way or another.

“I just got told my younger brother, who’s 39 years old, has lung cancer,” she said. “This hits me. It affects me in more ways than just raising money.”

Dana Garner, owner of Hy & Mike’s Pawn Shop, in Layton, is a staunch supporter of the annual tournament.

“One of my very best friends is a breast cancer survivor, and she’s active in raising funds, so we always participate in some type of fundraiser every year,” she said.

Garner says they golfed in last year’s tournament, and donated a number of items for the raffle.

“I’m a big Denver Broncos fan, and there was a Broncos bra there last year,” Garner said. “I paid 20 bucks for it, but somebody else wanted it and said, ‘I’ll pay $40,’ so I said, ‘I’ll pay $60’ — we had a great little bidding war there for a good cause.”

Larsen says they had 44 golfers at the first tournament two years ago, and “close to 60” last year. This time around, Larsen says they’re shooting for 100 golfers.

Cost for the 18-hole tournament is $65 per person, or $260 for a four-person team. A number of contests for cash and prizes will be offered, and a raffle will include dozens of prizes, including two five-day trips to Cancun for four people.

Hole sponsorships are also available, and volunteers are needed on the day of the tournament.

Tournament winners will be determined by a blind draw of four-member teams following the tournament. Basically, that means anyone could win the “supreme date night” packages being offered to the first-place winners.

“Two years ago, two days before the event I took a woman to the driving range to teach her how to hold the club,” Larsen said. “She ended up on the team that took second place.”

For more information, call Larsen at 801-686-1787.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SEMarkSaal.

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