Jennifer Webb, the wife of Infiniti of Kansas City owner Richard Webb, saw the courageous battle her mother fought to beat breast cancer. Her mom was in her 50s when the disease struck.
It’s only been in the last year that Webb has realized that breast cancer also strikes her peer group – young moms.
Webb, who works with her husband at their Infiniti dealership at 6960 W. Frontage Road in Merriam, gained more knowledge of breast cancer last year when Infiniti of Kansas City was a sponsor of the annual Art Bra KC fundraising event held at the TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport.
“It was really unlike any other charity event I had been to,” Webb said. “It gave a different face to the survivors.”
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She heard one story of a mom giving birth to her second child and was then diagnosed with breast cancer.
“That hits home,” Webb said. “That is our age group.”
Once again, Infiniti of Kansas City will help out at the Fifth Annual Art Bra KC, scheduled for the evening of May 1 at the TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport. Some of the employees at Infiniti of Kansas City will volunteer their time at the fundraising event.
“We understand that not everybody is in a financial situation to contribute, but there is always something that we can do,” Webb said.
In addition, Infiniti of Kansas City will use a few of its large QX80 SUVs to shuttle people from auxiliary parking areas to the event and take VIPs to and from the event.
“We are very honored to have Infiniti provide the shuttle service this year because their cars are luxurious,” said Sharon Butler Payne, founder of Art Bra KC. “We feel our event lends itself more toward a luxury type of event. We have amazing artwork from artists all over the Kansas City area as well as the art bras that are worn by our models on the runway.
“The whole luxury car line of Infiniti we feel like just flows into the image of Art Bra as being a luxurious event to attend.”
The event is a tribute to the fighting spirit of breast cancer survivors. The money raised provides funding for Kansas City area organizations that provide life-empowering services to uninsured and underinsured individuals who have been touched by cancer.
Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes and former Kansas City, Kan., Mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Carol Marinovich are co-honorary chairs for the 2015 event.
Infiniti of Kansas City got involved in Art Bra KC last year through the customer service the dealership prides itself on.
One of its customers, Adrienne Helvey, was at Infiniti talking to a sales manager about a car.
“He was wonderful to work with,” said Helvey, who co-chaired Art Bra KC last year. “I started talking about the event and he said, ‘Our owners are young and they would like to get involved in the community.’
“Jennifer was great. I spoke with her. I know it is near and dear to their heart. It was nice to be able to connect with them and talk.”
Jennifer and Richard Webb moved to Kansas City from Dallas in 2011 and opened the doors to their Infiniti dealership on Aug. 1, 2011. They had a strong desire to immerse themselves in the community beyond selling cars.
“That is one of the things that attracted me to Richard because he has always been so civic minded,” Webb said. “We came into this as like-minded people, knowing that we want to give back to the community that supports us.”
They really didn’t know what to expect at the Art Bra KC event last year.
“It is hard to explain how amazing the event is until you attend,” Helvey said.
The bras are designed by family and friends of survivors, and the top 25 bras are modeled and auctioned off during a live fashion show. The other pieces of art and items will be intermingled for the silent and live auctions. Fashion show models are breast cancer survivors and patients.
“During the actual event, they celebrate survivors,” Webb said. “They walk the runway and model the bra, and everyone cheers. It is really inspiring and exciting. Before each person walked the runway last year, they had a short video of the person’s history.
“I was really quite taken aback by how many people locally are so young in our age group and they get breast cancer. For me that was definitely a new experience, so many young survivors.”
Visit artbrakc.com to learn more about Art Bra KC, buy a ticket to the event or become a donor or sponsor.
“We have raised over $500,000 in the first four years, all of which stays here in Kansas City and goes specifically to uninsured and underinsured cancer patients,” Butler Payne said.
If you have a story you would like to see in Making a Difference, email David Boyce at Drive@ksctar.com