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Lush Museum District garden event raises crucial funds to fight ovarian cancer

Museum District garden event raises $100,000 to fight ovarian cancer

Kittsie Klaes, Robin Klaes, Tany Klaes, Joanna Klaes
Kittsie Klaes, Robin Klaes, Tany Klaes, and Joanna Klaes. Photo by Jacob Power

What: The annual Judy’s Mission Possible

Where: McGovern Centennial Gardens

The scoop: More than 150 guests dressed in shades of teal enjoyed the stunning Centennial Gardens setting and the Cherie Flores Pavilion at Hermann Park to support the annual Judy’s Mission Possible event.

Typically a luncheon, the vibrant group decided to opt for an evening at the park. The family affair was led by honorary chairs Robin Klaes, Kittsie Klaes, Tany Jeter Klaes, and Joanna Coco Klaes. The family says they were thrilled with the success of the event, which raised close to $100,000.

Upbeat tunes played by LC Roots greeted guests as they mingled near the fountains and enjoyed the cuisine by Monarch Hospitality. Cindy Winton, president of Judy’s Mission, kicked off the evening by sharing how 10 years ago, the organization was inspired through one woman’s fight to beat ovarian cancer. The disease is notorious for being hard to detect, has few distinctive symptoms, and is often misdiagnosed.

Many in the room had been friends of Judith Liebenthal Robinson, Ph.D. (Judy), a NASA scientist who passed away from the disease.

Dr. Sandra Cesario, a PhD program director, and a tenured professor in the College of Nursing at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, shared the story of her young daughter, who was diagnosed at age of 23 and passed five-and-a-half years later. 

Cesario’s research programs center on improving the health of women, including studies related to ovarian cancer and other gynecologic cancers. (These took on an even stronger importance to her after her personal loss.)

Nationally recognized speaker Jason Rosenthal also shared his journey through loss and grief to the attentive crowd. Rosenthal was the subject of an essay penned by his wife, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, called “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” The poignant essay went viral and was read by millions worldwide before her death from ovarian cancer. 

The festive party continued along with the auction to raise funds for the ongoing critical needs for research, awareness, and early detection.

Who: Regina Rogers, Bailey Dalton-Binion, Michelle Phillips and David Peck, Carter Wimberly, Gwen and Bert Smith, Monica and Kevin King, Dr. Pam Soliman and Russell Content, Drs. Abigail and Oscar Zamorano, Jim Winton, Danny Klaes, Samantha and Brian Brantley, Mindy and Connor Riseden, Heather Staible, and Gloria Ryan.