Star-Studded Fundraiser Announced

What does an award-winning country singer/songwriter, two James Beard award-winning chefs and a national news personality all have in common? Each shares a passionate commitment to wipe out cancer. Singer Martina McBride, Executive Chef Susan Spicer, Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse and NBC’s Today Show co-host Hoda Kotb are among the many personalities lending their creative talents for a great cause. Each has designed a spectacular piece of art using a ‘bra’ as their canvas.

 Bodacious Bras For A Cause is a fundraising initiative within one of the most exciting women’s weekends of the year, FestiGals. Bodacious Bras is designed to support the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans. CAGNO is a non-profit United Way community impact partner whose mission includes education, outreach, research and patient support. “We are so honored that the FestiGals organization has created such a wonderful event to support our work in the New Orleans community,” explains Tammy Swindle, Executive Director of CAGNO. “We are excited to have this opportunity to work with such a dynamic group of women.”

FestiGals founder Diane Lyons walks the walk when it comes to giving back to her community. “While our event centers around fun, there is a much deeper purpose,” explains Lyons. “We’ve organized an amazing women’s weekend in New Orleans where attendees can relax and network and created a platform that draws attention to the many serious issues facing women battling cancer. This year, FestiGals has selected CAGNO as our beneficiary for the fundraising component of our event. We are grateful to Stein Mart Department Store for coming on-board as a sponsor.” Stein Mart is donating all of the bras that will be re-designed into unique works of art to be auctioned off. “We are very excited to help support FestiGals 2012 and the Bodacious Bras For A Cause event,” says Glori Katz, Stein Mart’s Senior Vice President Marketing and Advertising. “It is such a unique opportunity to be able showcase the decorated bras in our New Orleans area stores and we are delighted to be involved.”

FestiGals 2012 is a unique get-away weekend designed by women for women. From June 22-24, FestiGals offers a combination of inspirational seminars, empowerment workshops and networking opportunities centered in one of the world’s most exciting travel destinations, New Orleans. In addition to McBride, Spicer, Lagasse and Kotb, other celebrities participating in Bodacious Bras For A Cause include:

Gayle Benson – Philanthropist and wife of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson
Margarita Bergen -New Orleans social columnist
Gerri Valene & Rockin’ Dopsie – Local mover and shaker Valene collaborates with Louisiana’s Zydeco King
Karen Cauvin Eustis – A figurative sculptor based in New Orleans
Darlene Guillot – Award-winning graphic artist
Robert Guthrie New Orleans artist
Simon Hardeveld – Folk artist known for his whimsical signs
James Michalopoulos – Celebrated New Orleans artist with an international brand; is best known for his distinct architectural renderings
Kay Morrison Organizational guru, entrepreneur and owner of The Occasional Wife
New Orleans Museum of Art
Chris Owens – New Orleans iconic entertainer, club owner and entrepreneur
Lena Prima – Vocalist and daughter of the legendary Louis Prima
Matt Rinard – Southern artist and gallery owner with national following
Kate Rushton – 17-year-old artist from Gulfport, Mississippi
Karen Swensen – New Orleans television news anchor
James Vella – Internationally renowned glass artist
Stephán Wangler – New Orleans artist who creates magic from recycled Mardi Gras beads 

Each bra creation may be viewed online at the FestiGals website. Bidding opens Friday May 25th and continues through the FestiGals Weekend, June 22 through 24. To submit your bid or to purchase FestiGals tickets, go to You can also friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The entire Bodacious Bra Collection will be on display at Hotel Monteleone during FestiGals Weekend. Support CAGNO and their mission by bidding generously. See you in New Orleans this June!

About FestiGals  The brainchild of entrepreneur and New Orleans tourism professional Diane Lyons, FestiGals’ maiden-voyage in 2011 attracted over 150 women from across the U.S. including Washington D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee and the entire Gulf South Region. The 2nd Annual FestiGals Weekend is perfectly positioned on the summer festival calendar of offerings in New Orleans. Endorsed by the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, FestiGals provides something for women of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Voted “Best Girls Getaway” in 2011 by AAA Southern Traveler, FestiGals provides the ultimate New Orleans women’s experience. Committed to both raising awareness and resources for issues that impact today’s women, FestiGals is a non-profit entity whose net proceeds support targeted community projects that benefit women. Other FestiGals sponsors include Hotel Monteleone,, City of New Orleans,, Whitney Bank, EJGH Healthy Lifestyles, Lulu B., YellaWood Pressure Treated Pine, Cupcake Vodka, Stein Mart, and Cumulus Media Inc.

 About Stein Mart  Stein Mart stores offer fashion merchandise, service and presentation of a better department or specialty store, at prices competitive with off-price retail chains. Currently with locations from California to Massachusetts, Stein Mart’s focused assortment of merchandise features current season, moderate to better fashion apparel for women and men, as well as accessories, shoes and home fashions. A sampling of the FestiGals Bodacious Bra Collection will be on display at New Orleans area Stein Mart stores. For more information on Stein Mart or to find the nearest location to you, please visit