Fundraising luncheons are part of the social cycle, providing much-needed funds for charities of every kind, but even the best-intentioned events can have a lull here or there.
Instead of lulls, there was laughter and yes, tears at Memorial Hermann’s In the Pink of Health luncheon at The Woodlands Marriott Waterway, where power couple and reality stars Giuliana and Bill Rancic held court with more than 1,200 women in attendance.
Pink and citrus hues filled the packed ballroom for the event that raised an estimated $500,000 for Montgomery County residents to receive mammograms and other health care initiatives.
“And tell them you don’t care what they look like—you just want them to be around for the next 50 years.”
Even though Giuliana and Bill are known for their namesake reality show, her job as a reporter with E! Television News and his winning role on The Apprentice, the couple is incredibly down-to-earth and sincere.
Clearly, they have told their story before of meeting (she thought he had a girlfriend after Goggle-ing him before an interview), how they fell in love, their wedding in Italy and the immediate desire to start a family.
“I will never forget that moment," Giuliana says. "I felt like I was falling through the universe and I was just sure I was going to die because of breast cancer.” It was during the invitro fertilization process and a routine mammogram that Giuliana discovered a lump.
The couple, who rely on a healthy dose of laughter, sprang into action, pursuing the best treatment for Giuliana, choosing to make decisions based on knowledge, not emotion. Bill spoke of the role husbands, boyfriends and other caretakers fill when a loved one is sick.
“You are a comedian, male nurse, housekeeper. You are a yes man or yes woman. You don’t ask, you just do it,” Bill says. “And tell them you don’t care what they look like—you just want them to be around for the next 50 years.”
Those heartfelt sentiments had the ballroom sniffling, and when Giuliana started to well up, Bill simply reached over, took her hand and gave it a squeeze.
Cue the tears.
Those heartfelt sentiments had the ballroom sniffling, and when Giuliana started to well up, Bill simply reached over, took her hand and gave it a squeeze. And in a heartbeat, the two were back to joking around, Giuliana referring to him as “Rancic” like two football chums.
After the event, the couple sat down for a book signing, but with the line stretching the full length of the ballroom and a plane to catch, Giuliana and Bill zipped down the que, signing books along the way.
Accustomed to being on the other side of the red carpet, you can tell Giuliana is still adapting to the role she feels God wants her to fill to the fullest.
“I did question my faith when I was going through IVF, but I know he loves me and gave me this platform to tell women how important early detection is. It’s 98 percent curable when caught early,” she says. “I really believe this is the most important thing Bill and I will do with our lives.”