|More than 560 people attended the June 13 Rose of Hope Luncheon in Fairfield to support Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. Exact proceeds, which are still being tabulated, are expected to set a new record for the 13-year-old event.
Katie Holmes at the Rose of Hope Luncheon
“The Center’s staff gives hope to all who need it during a difficult time in their lives,” said stage and screen actress Katie Holmes, the keynote speaker, whose mother is an ovarian cancer survivor.
Introduced by Dr. Donna Twist, Breast Care Center Executive Director, as a woman of “strength, power and courage,” Holmes, who appeared in the TV series “Dawson’s Creek” and in movies such as “Batman Begins,” applauded the Breast Care Center supporters on hand.
“I’m inspired by your lending a hand to make someone’s breast cancer journey a little easier,” Holmes said. “You make a difference by giving (breast cancer patients) one of the greatest gifts in life—hope.”
Dr. Twist presented the Center’s annual Rose of Hope Award at the luncheon to People’s United Wealth Management for its 14 years of support for the Center. The award was accepted by John Barnes, President and Chief Executive Officer of People’s United Bank.
The audience also heard from Breast Care Center patient Catherine Simpson, a three-year cancer survivor and single mother whose health insurance was insufficient to pay her bills.
“By the grace of God and your care and support, I am now stronger than ever,” Simpson told the Center’s staff and supporters. “I am someone whose life you saved. I am here talking to you because of your help.”
One of the area’s largest and most publicized fundraisers, the Rose of Hope Luncheon serves as an important source of funds for the Breast Care Center’s programs for women in need, including the Medically Underserved Initiative, which provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women.
More than 700 women receive screening and diagnostic services through the Initiative each year, making it the largest program of its kind in the area. The luncheon also raises money for the Breast Care Center’s outreach and education programs.
The co-chairs of this year’s luncheon were Linda Blackwell and Daneen Grabe, both of Fairfield. Both are active members of the Breast Care Center’s President’s Council and Advisory Board.
For the ninth consecutive year, the Rose of Hope Luncheon was held at the home of Patti and Tom Keegan in the Greenfield Hill section of Fairfield. The luncheon was sponsored by Connie DeMattia and the DeMattia Charitable Foundation. The lead corporate sponsor was People’s United Wealth Management, which has supported the luncheon for five years. Land Rover Milford was the lead supporter of the celebrity champagne reception preceding the luncheon.
Part of Bridgeport Hospital and the Yale New Haven Health System, the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center has served more than 20,000 women and their families since it was established in 1999. One of only 200 sites accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, the Center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital and Fairfield locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and radiation therapy and genetic risk assessment as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials.
The Breast Care Center office at 111 Beach Road in Fairfield also provides comprehensive women’s wellness services, including nutrition counseling, massage and Reiki therapy, wig and prosthesis fitting, counseling, yoga, Pilates, naturopathic medicine, and other patient support activities. The Center has a satellite office on Park Avenue in Trumbull.
The Center is a member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers. For more information call 203-255-5300 or visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/cancer/breast.