In The Pink

Big-time actors bring laughter and tears to a $500,000 Woodlands charity event

Big-time actors bring laughter and tears to Woodlands charity event

Marlee Matlin, from left, Melissa Preston, Carrie Hyman, Henry Winkler and Steve Sanders at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Marlee Matlin, from left, Melissa Preston, Carrie Hyman, Henry Winkler and Steve Sanders at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands. Photo by John Lynch
Kristy and John Sexton at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Kristy and John Sexton at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands. Photo by John Lynch
Keith and Megan Alexander at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Keith and Megan Alexander at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands. Photo by John Lynch
Jodi Powell, from left, Michelle Martere and Cindy Burgos at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Jodi Powell, from left, Michelle Martere and Cindy Burgos at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands. Photo by John Lynch
Elaine Turner and Marlaine White at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Elaine Turner and Marlaine White at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands. Photo by John Lynch
Dana Tyson at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Dana Tyson at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands. Photo by John Lynch
Marlee Matlin, from left, Melissa Preston, Carrie Hyman, Henry Winkler and Steve Sanders at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Kristy and John Sexton at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Keith and Megan Alexander at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Jodi Powell, from left, Michelle Martere and Cindy Burgos at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Elaine Turner and Marlaine White at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013
Dana Tyson at the In the Pink luncheon in The Woodlands October 2013

What started as a small fundraising event in a private home 13 years ago has become one of The Woodlands' largest and most popular charity events. The Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health luncheon once again drew a sold-out crowd Friday, raising more than $500,000 for the Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Breast and Bone Health Center Fund at the Memorial Hermann Foundation.

The luncheon balanced humor and emotion and featured actors Henry Winkler and Marlee Matlin, who shared their stories — with liberal doses of laughter throughout their talk — of triumph over difficulty. The unlikely duo is more family than friends and through her longtime interpreter, Jack Jason, Matlin and Winkler joked, playfully interrupted each other and told their stories.

“Her soul jumped into my heart,” Winkler said after seeing Matlin perform for the first time as a kid. “I knew she just had it.”

As a deaf actress, Matlin talked about the naysayers who didn’t believe she would ever accomplish mainstream roles.

“My deafness would not define me. My dream was to act, so that’s what I did,” Matlin said.

The duo focused on maintaining a positive attitude, regardless of the situation.

“Don’t put a period on the end of a negative thought,” Winkler said to the crowd which nodded in agreement.

Sunny 99.1 DJ Dana Tyson served at the mistress of ceremonies and Carrie Hyman and Melissa Preston chaired the event that included a champagne reception and silent auction featuring travel, shopping and sporting experiences.

Designer Elaine Turner donated $10,000 worth of shoes, bags and apparel from her fall 2013 collection for a raffle, with proceeds benefiting the Memorial Hermann Breast and Bone Center in The Woodlands. Her mother, Marlaine White, is currently battling breast cancer for the second time and breast cancer awareness is a cause near Turner’s heart.

The sell-out crowd of perfectly pink 1,256 guests included Shirley Lent, Marian Spence, Debbie Ratcliff, Keith and Megan Alexander, Michele Martere, Cindy Burgos, Jodi Powell, Lori Freese, Elaine Turner, Marlaine White and Kristy and John Sexton.