Dozens of women attended the 7th anniversary of Hadassah Charlotte’s “Celebrate the TaTas,” on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the McDowell Arts Center in Matthews.
This will be the first of four annual events designed to raise money for the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Breast Cancer Research in Jerusalem, Israel. This year’s events will raise about $50,000; cumulatively, the group has raised nearly $500,000 in the seven years of existence. Other events this fall will be Novant’s Mammovan and “The Big Reveal” at Queen Park Social club in October. For the large upcoming soccer tournament, women will fly in from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia to join teams such as “Cleats and Cleavage” and “Akuna MaTatas,” emblazoned with such shirt numbers like “34DD.”
On this day, women come to have their “TaTas” painted, eat, schmooze, be pampered, made-up and buy jewelry. While the event is intended to raise money and awareness, and celebrate and empower women in a creative and fun atmosphere, it’s also a day of “sisterhood,” according to Charlotte founder Talia Goldman. “All these women become your sisters.”
“My mother has had breast, lung, melanoma, colon, and breast (cancer) again,” she said. “I realized that this is in my DNA. I just needed to do something. I wanted to do something that was educational, creative and empowering.”
Citing the organic and communal nature of the group, the events, the sponsors, the artists, and the volunteers, Goldman attributes its success to how much it touches people, most especially, women.“Everyone knows someone (with breast cancer), is in support of someone, is (doing this in) memory of someone, or knows (and supports) Hadassah,” she said.
“Celebrate the Tatas” was started by Goldman, but has spread to New Orleans, San Francisco, Atlanta and several cities in Florida. The events are intended to bring together survivors, supporters and friends and family members affected by breast cancer. This year’s local sponsors include Novant Health, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Dillard’s (employees donated their time).
Although Goldman has relinquished many of the overall responsibilities to other women, she sees the growth, passion, and mission for this as infinite. “Someone asked me the other day, ‘When are you going to stop doing this?’” she said. “(I answered) When are they going to find a cure?”