Why a Breast Cancer Fund-Raiser Targeted Men (and Women)

This year, South Florida's Glam-a-Thon added a masculine component to its annual Lipstick Lounge event.

By Beth Kormanik October 17, 2013, 7:15 AM EDT

Guests could pay $5 to pose with male models in a "50 Shades of Pink" photo vignette.

Photo: Humberto Vidal

For the past four years, Glam-a-Thon's Lipstick Lounge fund-raiser in Fort Lauderdale has been an ultra feminine event, mixing fashion, cocktails, and decadent desserts, along with a heavy dose of the color pink. This year, the guest list was extended for the first time to an unlikely group: guys.

“Everybody has been touched by breast cancer, and a lot of times a man doesn't know what he can do,” said Tammy Gail, president and founder of Glam-a-Thon, a nonprofit that raises money for breast cancer treatment and other women's health services. “There were a lot of guys that wanted to come, but we were boxing them out. So we decided to create an area for guys: the Big Boy's Toy Chest. I hate this term, but it's like a man cave. We filled it with stuff that men would like.”

The area offered single-malt Scotches and craft beers, spa treatments such as beard trimming and nail buffing, a separate silent auction, a putting green, and autograph signings from Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. The men received their own swag bags with items including male beauty products and golf balls, and they had their own dessert: a Bacon and Salted Caramel Mousse cake.

“We wanted be careful that it wasn't too girly,” Gail said, “but we didn't miss the mark of who we are as Glam-a-Thon. ”

The October 4 event at Passion Nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino also saw an attendance boost: of the 350 guests, about 100 were men, Gail said.

It still delivered plenty of options for its primary audience: women. The event, styled as a collection of boutiques, had an array of desserts, a beauty bar, a fashion show that featured Swarovski-embellished stilettos, and a photo vignette called “50 Shades of Pink” that invited guests to pose with two body-painted men along with kinky props such as pink fuzzy handcuffs.

“We're all about sparkly and glitzy,” Gail said, “and it turned out to be everything we thought it would be.”

The event raised $35,000.

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