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Runners show support for good cause

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OGDENSBURG — For Jordan L. LaMay, Ogdensburg, taking bras off is much easier than putting them on. But on Saturday, he and his friend William J. Recker, Canton, proudly wore bras for a cause.

About 40 men and women wore bras on top of their shirts during the Ogdensburg Area Zonta Club’s Free the Girls 5K run/walk at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Colleen M. Anderson, vice president of the club, along with Melanie E. Flack, a club member, organized the event to raise awareness of sex trafficking overseas and to donate bras to victims of sex trafficking.

Ms. Anderson said she attended a Zonta conference in Albany earlier in the year where they discussed Freethegirls.org, a fundraising website that helps victims of sex trafficking in third-world countries.

She said bras are donated from all over the world to victims who then sell the bras.

“It’s an income for them,” she said. “Bras are a big deal in some of these third-world countries.”

Ms. Anderson said that while their Zonta club usually holds events that have local benefits, the club wanted to do something that would make more of an international impact.

“Every woman has that bra in their draw that doesn’t fit or they never wear,” she said.

Participants started at the Dobisky Visitors Center and ran across the Maple City Trail bridge onto Lake Street before turning around and heading back.

The race cost $15 per person with discounts for people who donated a bra and greater discounts for people who wore their bras outside their shirts during the race.

Mr. LaMay said he made a trip to Walmart with his girlfriend the night before the race so he could purchase a bra to wear over his superman shirt.

“I’ve taken a lot of bras off,” he said. “If I’m going to have a bra on, I’m going to have fun with it.”

Mr. LaMay was not the only male with a bra on for the race.

Buster the dachshund wore a bra for the race, too. His dachshund buddy Kaleigh and their owners, Tina M. and her daughter Natasha L. Flanagan, also wore bras to show support for the cause.

“They have a lot of outfits, not just bras,” said Ms. Natasha Flanagan about the dogs.

Ms. Anderson said they plan to make the Free the Girls 5K an annual event.

“We have a lot of 5Ks in the area, but this is a little different because of the theme,” Ms. Flack said. “It’s men and women coming together and making a difference.”



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