Local artists raise more than $8,100 to aid MVHS Breast Care Center

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UTICA — Local artist, Keren Vita, presented a check for more than $8,100 to the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) Breast Care Center to support women who may need financial assistance for their treatments or care.

To raise the money, Vita gathered 40 local artists to create an event called “Brush Strokes 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 and these funds will make a difference in the lives of our breast cancer patients at MVHS who are struggling financially.”

For Vita, this first-time event was a way to help women in the community, while honoring the memory of her father, Nuova, who passed away in May.

“I began 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 so grateful to every single artist who donated their work and to the people who attended the gala and purchased the works. This event shows what a strong and thriving art community we have here in Utica.”

Vita plans to build on the success of this year’s event by holding another fund raiser next year, but will make changes to keep things fresh. “They say that you should do one thing every day that scares you,” she said. “This was the first time I’ve ever attempted something like this and I’m excited to see what next year’s event will look like. As scary as this event was at times, I truly felt my father’s hand guiding my way throughout this entire process.”

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