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'Butterfly Bandits' to Hold Charity Happy Hour at Cain's

The Butterfly Bandits will hold a fundraiser at Cain's Saloon on Thursday to support thyroid cancer research.

Two local women are hoping a happy hour this Thursday will help raise awareness of a cause that hits home for them.

Christine Sypien, of Scott Township, and Donna Terlecki, of Brookline, are hosting the Butterfly Bandits’ Happy Hour for a Cure at Cain’s Saloon in Dormont on Thursday to raise funds and awareness for thyroid cancer research.

Sypien, a three-year survivor of thyroid cancer, is in remission. Terlecki also is a survivor of a different type of thyroid cancer.

The two women had been campaigning separately in support of thyroid cancer research until last year, when they decided to form Butterfly Bandits together.

“This is the first event for Butterfly Bandits,” Sypien said. “We called it that because the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly. We wanted to think of something creative, and positive, too.”

Pittsburgh-based acoustic trio “LocaL” will perform during Thursday’s event. The Pirate Parrot will make an appearance, and Massage Envy will provide mini massages and facials. The event includes appetizers and desserts and an auction with some great giveaways.

A signed Sidney Crosby jersey, a mini hockey helmet signed by Kris Letang, and a football signed by Heath Miller are just a few of the items to win during a Chinese auction.

In a separate auction, guests could win tickets to Pirates games, Pittsburgh-area restaurants, tickets to the Carnegie Science Center, the Pittsburgh Opera, and local hair dressers, as well as wellness-themed and Mardi-Gras themed baskets.

All proceeds will be donated to the UPCI Multidisciplinary Thyroid Cancer Research Center.

Sypien said she suffered with thyroid problems for 14 years before doctors confirmed the lump in her neck had become cancerous in 2009. She got the news on her fiance’s birthday.

The experience changed her life. She said she married her fiancé just a few months later, changed her eating and exercise habits, and now works to share information with others about how to detect thyroid cancer, and the types of things that could cause it.

“We want to conquer this and help people with thyroid disease,” Sypien said. “That’s what bandits do, and that’s what we are.”

If you’re going:

  • What: Butterfly Bandits’ Happy Hour for a Cure.
  • Where: Cain’s Saloon.
  • When: March 21 from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Cost: A $15 donation to support thyroid cancer research. For tickets, email mrssyp@gmail.com.

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