Brides Against Breast Cancer celebrated the grand opening of its new boutique Wednesday night in Lakewood Ranch.

When you walk into Brides Against Breast Cancer’s new 3,500-square-foot boutique in Lakewood Ranch, you see many of the things you might at other bridal shops: racks of fluffy white gowns, a smiling staff, a cutely decorated space. A white Badgley Mischka stunner greets you when you walk in the door; candy-colored Vera Wang bridesmaids hang on racks in the showroom. And at a grand opening event/ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday night, pink-frosted Lollicakes were on display and pink champagne was flowing.

But the thing that’s different about the Brides Against Breast Cancer boutique is that each of the dresses—3,100 total, in all shapes and sizes, many of them couture—has been donated, either by former brides or bridal manufacturers, which means that shoppers save 25 percent to 75 percent on each dress (most are priced from $100-$800). And most important is that all proceeds from each dress contribute to programs for cancer patients and their families.

“We see this as a great opportunity to connect with a demographic that’s not normally reached, especially since Sarasota is such a premiere bridal destination,” says Amy Paulishak, vice president of business development. “And Brides Against Breast Cancer gives people in the local community the chance to clean out their closets, be green and donate to a great philanthropic cause.”

Brides Against Breast Cancer is a national nonprofit, with its headquarters offices also located in the Lakewood Ranch space. Its parent organization is the Center for Building Hope, and start-up finds were provided by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice.

In addition the bridal boutique, Brides Against Breast Cancer also puts on a Nationwide Tour of Gowns events in cities across the country, ranging from Portland, Oregon, to Washington, D.C. The next Sarasota event will be August 31-Sept. 1.

Brides Against Breast Cancer is currently accepting donations and volunteers. For more information, visit or call (877) 721-HOPE.

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