There could not have been a more heartwarming luncheon than Memorial Hermann's recent Razzle Dazzle Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser at the Westin Houston Memorial City where three remarkable women took the spotlight with their stories that brought tears, standing ovations and cheers from the sellout crowd of 550.
While breast cancer survivors were the true heroes of the "Rhapsody in Pink" luncheon, it was honoree Donna Vallone, herself a breast cancer survivor, who set the impressive warm and loving tone of the event. Add the enthusiastic spirits of the three chairs — Sandy Barrett, Jo Lynn Falgout and Grace Kim, each personal friends of Vallone — and there was no way this luncheon would be anything less than a roaring success. (Kim is a 10-year breast cancer survivor.)
A unique aspect to the luncheon was the fact that mammograms were available that day for ladies who were due for the annual exam.
Donna was joined by most of her immediate family at a large table where she and husband Tony Vallone greeted well-wishers.
The heart-wrenching aspect of the program came from Caroline Brown's testimonial, recounting her story of early breast cancer and its affect on her fertility.The happy ending was a bouncing baby girl, made possible through surrogacy.
Keynote speaker was the energetic, entrepreneurial powerhouse jewelry designer Kendra Scott. The Austin resident shared with the audience her seven steps for living a full life as well as the story of a very close friend recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer which had spread to her spine.
A unique aspect to the luncheon beyond tours of the Bobetta Lindig Breast Center was the fact that mammograms were available that day for ladies who were due for the annual exam. Proceeds from the luncheon are earmarked for breast center community outreach, state-of-the-art equipment and cancer education resources.
Memorial Hermann honchos turned out in force including Memorial Hermann Health System president and CEO Dan Wolterman, health system COO Chuck Stokes, Memorial Hermann Foundation CEO Ileana Trevino, health system chief legal officer Deborah Gordon and Children's Memorial Hermann CEO Susie Distefano.
Among those arriving early and staying late to shop the boutique of local purveyors including Kendra Scott, each of whom donated a percentage of sales to the center, were Dr. Yvonne Cormier, Joni Ballas, Bobetta Lindig, Lora Clemmons, Diane Lokey Farb, Debbie Pakzaban, Christine Falgout, Kimberly Falgout, Philamena Baird, Soraya McClelland and Alina Garcia.