Television personalities Giuliana and Bill Rancic will deliver the keynote address at the June 13th Rose of Hope Luncheon, a benefit for the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. Giuliana, a breast cancer survivor, is the co-anchor of television’s E! News. Her husband, Bill, a motivational speaker and Chicago real estate developer, was hired by The Trump Organization at the conclusion of the first season of The Apprentice. The Breast Care Center, the first free-standing, community-based breast care center in Connecticut, has been helping women in the community fight breast cancer for over a decade.
Giuliana is an entertainment journalist, fashion and beauty expert and television personality. In addition to anchoring E! News, she hosts the interview series Beyond Candid with Giuliana and co-starts on E!’s popular Fashion Police. Bill hosts the nationally syndicated America Now and is currently in production on a new show for the Food Network. He appears regularly on talk shows such as Today, The View, and Rachael Ray to discuss business and entrepreneurship. Bill speaks to corporate leaders throughout the world on surviving ethical challenges in business.
The Rancics are watched by millions on their reality show Giuliana & Bill, now beginning its seventh season. As executive producers, they attribute the show’s success to their transparent approach to educating viewers about life’s struggles and challenges, including marriage, infertility, parenting and Giuliana’s breast cancer journey.
In 2011, Giuliana underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery in the wake of a breast cancer diagnosis. The cancer was detected during a mammogram ordered by her doctor as part of her infertility treatment. The Rancics decided on a double mastectomy after weighing the pros and cons of treatment options and their impact on their efforts to conceive. Since then Giuliana has become an ardent supporter of breast cancer awareness. Recently, she told UPI, “For me, the decision to go public was a very difficult one, but I couldn't ignore the incredible platform I have. There is nothing like the feeling when a woman comes up to me on the street and says, ‘Because of you I got my first mammogram,’ or 'because of you, I got that strange lump checked out and it ended up being early stage breast cancer.’”
The Rancics are as well known for their generous philanthropy as they are for their television appearances. Giuliana created Fab-U-Wish, a program to grant fashion, beauty and celebrity-themed wishes to women battling breast cancer. She is also involved with Bright Pink, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Operation Smile, Dress For Success, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in Chicago and the Children’s Miracle Networks. Currently, Giuliana has partnered with the Save Lids to Save Lives campaign from General Mills to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Bill travels regularly on goodwill mission to build homes in Haiti.
One of the area’s largest and most publicized fundraisers, the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center’s Rose of Hope Luncheon takes place each year in June, with over 500 Fairfield County women and men attending. The luncheon serves as an important source of funds for the Breast Care Center’s programs for women in need, including their Medically Underserved Initiative, which provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women. Over 1,000 women receive screening and diagnostic services through the Initiative each year, making it the largest program in the area.
The luncheon also raises money for the Breast Care Center’s outreach and education programs. “So many women are still unaware of their risk for breast cancer,” says Dr. Donna Twist, executive director of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. “We feel its part of our mission to get the message out to women: early detection can save your life. Breast cancer is treatable and often curable when found early.”
“We’re so excited to have the Rancics at this year’s luncheon. Giuliana has made it her mission to educate women about breast cancer risk,” says Twist. “She’s a talented woman with a successful career and busy family life who makes time to help others,” says Twist.
Daneen Grabe and Linda Blackwell, both of Fairfield, will co-chair the Rose of Hope Luncheon. Both are active members of the Breast Care Center’s President’s Council and Advisory Board. Cindy Citrone of the President’s Council will serve as Special Program Chair.
For the tenth consecutive year, the Rose of Hope Luncheon will be held at the home of Patti and Tom Keegan in Greenfield Hill. The luncheon is sponsored by Connie DeMattia and the DeMattia Charitable Foundation. The lead corporate sponsor is People’s United Wealth Management, which has supported the luncheon for six years and been the lead corporate sponsor of a NPBCC event for over fourteen years. Land Rover Milford is the lead sponsor of the Celebrity Champagne Reception preceding the luncheon.
Paul Miller of Milford who runs Miller Nissan of Fairfield, will receive the 2014 Rose of Hope Award, which recognizes the charitable work of an individual or organization. Karen O’Neil, also of Milford, will be this year’s patient speaker.
For ticket information, call 203-255-5300.
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 (NAPBC), 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 the Center on the web at www.bridgeporthospital.org/cancer/breast.