UTICA – Local artist Keren Vita presented a check for over $ 8,100 to the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Breast Care Center to support women who may need financial assistance for their treatment or care .
To raise funds, Vita brought together 40 local artists to create an event called “Brushstrokes for Breast Cancer”. Using mannequin busts, the artists created works of art, which were donated for an art gala and live auction held earlier this month at the Uptown Theater in Utica.
“We are so grateful to have the support of the community and to be a part of such an incredible event,” said Nancy Butcher, MBA, Executive Director of Cancer Services at MVHS. “Breast cancer affects so many women right here in central New York City and these funds will make a difference in the lives of our financially struggling breast cancer patients at MVHS. “
For Vita, this event for the first time was a way to help women in the community, while honoring the memory of her father, Nuova, who passed away in May.
“I started this project with an idea and the hope of raising $ 5,000, but I didn’t really know what to expect,” Vita said. “I am very grateful to each artist who donated their work and to the people who attended the gala and purchased the works. This event shows how we have a strong and thriving arts community here in Utica. “
Vita plans to build on the success of this year’s event by hosting another fundraiser next year, but will make changes to keep things fresh. “They say there is one thing you should do every day that scares you,” she said. “It was my first time trying something like this and I can’t wait to see what next year’s event looks like. As scary as this event was at times, I really felt my father’s hand guiding me through this process.