South Charlotte

Celebrate the Ta Tas for breast cancer research

Local artist Claudia Soria will be one of 17 artists painting women for the Celebrate the Ta Tas event Sept. 10 to raise money for breast cancer research.
Local artist Claudia Soria will be one of 17 artists painting women for the Celebrate the Ta Tas event Sept. 10 to raise money for breast cancer research. COURTESY OF CLAUDIA SORIA

On Sept. 10, local female artists will paint images on the breasts and torsos of participating women for the 4th Annual Celebrate the Ta Tas breast cancer research fundraiser organized by the local chapter of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.

Part of Hadassah’s mission is to enhance the health of people worldwide by supporting medical research at the Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem, Israel. Celebrate the Ta Tas is an innovative way to help fulfill that mission.

Mammograms will be available courtesy of Novant Health, Charlotte Radiology, Mecklenburg Radiology and the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte.

The artwork created on Sept. 3, the first day of the event, and on Sept. 10 is photographed by Stephanie Tomey, and the professional photographs will be sold in a silent auction at the Little Reveal luncheon at Dressler’s on Oct. 8.

“St. John Photography makes the whole program happen,” said Talia Goldman, founder of Celebrate the Ta Tas. “They give us the lighting and the background, so the pictures are professional. They crop the pictures, and give every picture to us without charging us a penny. (Wayne St. John) is a most generous man, and thanks me for allowing him to be a part of the program.”

I feel like this helps women feel beautiful.

Claudia Soria, artist

Goldman got the idea for Celebrate the Ta Tas from a friend when they were chatting on a ski lift. Although Goldman wasn’t sure the idea would be embraced, she shared it with Heidi Rothberg, former executive board member of the Charlotte chapter of Hadassah, at Dean & DeLuca in Phillips Place. Goldman’s doubts vanished when three women who overheard the conversation asked to be the first women to have their “ta tas” painted.

Goldman and Hadas Kasher, former president of the Charlotte chapter of Hadassah, organized the first Celebrate the Ta Tas event in 2012. The event was such a success that the Charlotte chapter was able to donate $10,000 to the Hadassah Medical Center for breast cancer research. The second and third years were even better; they netted $40,000 and $115,000, respectively.

Goldman, Sandra Goldman, who is the current Charlotte Hadassah president, Penny Krieger, Sari Hochberg and Leigh Rose are co-chairing the 2015 event.

Seventeen local female painters have donated their time to Celebrate the Ta Tas. Claudia Soria is one of the painters who has been involved since the inception of this event. Soria starting painting with Celebrate the Ta Tas in order to support cancer research, but then she realized that she was also helping to lift women up through her art.

“I feel like this helps women feel beautiful,” she said.

Some women might be hesitant or self-conscious initially, Soria said. By they time she is done painting, she said, “They feel empowered and beautiful. They love it.”

Most of the women come to the painting event prepared with suggestions or images that are meaningful or beautiful to them.

“I wanted the hills of Jerusalem, the eye of g-d .. and the Israeli flag,” wrote Dana Kapustin, 42, executive board member of the Charlotte chapter of Hadassah, who was painted by Michelle Levi. “I have been involved with Hadassah and Camp Judaea since I was a child. This was an opportunity for me to express my passion for Zionism and Judaism.”

Sharon Lachow-Blumberg, 58, wanted her painting to reflect yoga and meditation.

“(Soria) had the ability to translate my ideas into the canvas, which was my breast,” said Lachow-Blumberg. “The image was beautiful, vibrant and luscious.”

Artists have about an hour to paint their masterpieces in private booths. Soria uses acrylic paint, which she said washes off in the shower. The artists have also used embellishments, such as glitter and feathers, to make the finished product more three dimensional.

“It’s a great experience,” Soria said.

Celebrate the Ta Tas now takes place in at least five different locations: Charlotte, San Francisco, Atlanta and several cities in Florida, Goldman said.

Marissa Brooks is a freelance writer: mbrookspt@earthlink.net.

Learn more:

Celebrate the Ta Tas takes place Sept. 10 at Shalom Park, 5007 Providence Road. Find details at http://www.supersaas.com/schedule/Hadassah_Charlotte/CelebrateTheTaTas2015?day=10&month=9&year=2015

For mammogram appointments, contact Sandra Goldman at director@hebrewcemetery.org or Lorrie Klemons at JCCNurse@charlottejcc.org. Women do not need to have health insurance to take part in the mammograms.

Make a reservation for the Little Reveal luncheon and silent auction on Oct. 8 at 12:30 p.m. at Dressler’s Restaurant by contacting Penny Kreiger at pbk96@msn.com.

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