Bust of Steamboat celebrates 15 years | SteamboatToday.com

Bust of Steamboat celebrates 15 years

Teresa Ristow

— In the course of just a couple of months in fall 2014, Tania Stoehr learned she had breast cancer, underwent a double mastectomy and started chemotherapy treatment.

"It happened really fast," Stoehr said.

Though the Steamboat Springs resident was able to get most of her care locally at Yampa Valley Medical Center, her radiation treatment the following spring had to take place at the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards, 80 miles away.

For five weeks, Stoehr would drive her children to school each morning, make the trip to Edwards for a brief treatment appointment and then drive back to Steamboat Springs to begin her own workday around noon.

While insurance helped with many of Stoehr's medical bills, it didn't cover her transportation costs.

Luckily for Stoehr, she was connected to funding from the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, a local group that raises money to help women pay for mammograms, co-pays, breast cancer treatment, wigs, travel costs and more.

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"It was a huge relief and a huge benefit to help with traveling and gas and food," Stoehr said.

The awareness project's biggest fundraiser, Bust of Steamboat, celebrates its 15th year in 2016, and committee members are ready to raise the bar for the annual party and art auction, taking place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Three Peaks Grill.

"You can show your support for the fight against breast cancer just by being there," said project founder Debbie Curd. "Don't miss it.”

After watching a friend lose a six-year battle against breast cancer, Curd in 2001 turned to local community members seeking their support for a new effort to raise money for women dealing with similar emotional and financial burdens related to breast cancer.

"It's a tough struggle for women," Curd said. "After she passed away, I wanted to do something."

In 2002, Curd and other committee members introduced the first Bust of Steamboat event, which included food, fun and a handful of artistically decorated bras put up for auction as a fundraiser.

"They were all just bras," Curd said of the first event.

In the 15 years since, the caliber of artwork has increased and the mediums of art now include pottery, paintings and life-size artistic busts.

“The event is so fun,” said event committee member Marlene Fischer, who lost her grandmother to breast cancer and got involved with event planning a few years ago. "It's so cool to see people that are willing to bid on the gorgeous art we get."

To date, the annual event has raised over $450,000. In the last year, The Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project contributed $24,000 for mammograms at YVMC and The Memorial Hospital in Craig and $7,000 for travel costs, medications, co-pays and wigs. The project also donated $15,000 to the Jan Bishop Cancer Care Center at YVMC, which is currently under construction.

This year's event is themed "A Night on the Pink Carpet," and attendees are encouraged to dress up. In addition to the art auction, activities include a "heads or tails" game to win a Steamboat Ski Area season pass, and tickets include heavy appetizers and the first beverage.

Tickets are $40 and available at All That, Déjà vu and thebustofsteamboat.org.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

If you go:

What: 15th annual Bust of Steamboat celebration

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21

Where: Three Peaks Grill, 2165 Pine Grove Road

Tickets: $40