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FOR RELEASE: 6/26/2012Contact: Jackie Keren, (203) 255-5300

Rose of Hope Luncheon is the largest ever for The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center; funds will help provide services to women in need

The 12th annual Rose of Hope Luncheon, The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center’s largest-ever fundraising event, drew more than 550 people to the Fairfield home of Patti and Tom Keegan on June 14. Record proceeds will help the Breast Care Center provide screening, diagnostic and other services to women in need, including those without sufficient health insurance coverage.

This year’s Luncheon was co-chaired by Fairfield residents Linda Blackwell and Daneen Grabe, both members of the Breast Care Center President’s Council and Advisory Board. The event sponsor was Connie DeMattia of the DeMattia Charitable Foundation. People’s United Wealth Management was the lead corporate and gift sponsor. First Niagara Bank sponsored the champagne reception.

Donna Twist, Julie Bowen, Daneen Grabe and Linda Blackwell
Left–right: Donna Twist, Julie Bowen, Daneen Grabe and Linda Blackwell

Award winning actress Julie Bowen of TV’s “Modern Family,” an advocate for women’s health, delivered a humorous slideshow-supported keynote speech that balanced the thoughtful and poignant remarks of grateful patient speaker Champagne Joy.

Click here for more photos

“At The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center, they treat me like family,” said Joy, whose brightly colored wigs and clothes have become her trademark during cancer treatment. “My care has been and continues to be exemplary.”

Joy was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. When her insurance plan limited her treatment options, she took the advice of a friend—past Rose of Hope Luncheon speaker Mira Sorvino—and sought help from The Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center.

Joy praised several of her caregivers by name, including Breast Care Center Executive Director and Vice President of Development Dr. Donna Twist. “Donna rallied all her resources for me. I felt like I was reuniting with a lost loved one,” Joy said.

Joy concluded her remarks by sharing two lessons she said she has learned from her cancer treatment.

“You can’t do it alone—you need everyone you can get,” she said. “You can’t live just to live—live for what you love.”

Another highlight of the Rose of Hope Luncheon included an appearance by Governor Dannel Malloy, who told the audience of Breast Care Center supporters, “The road cancer survivors are on now will be made a little easier by your efforts.”

In addition, the Center’s annual Rose of Hope Award was presented to the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation for its support of breast cancer screening programs for underserved women. After accepting the award, Boehringer Ingelheim Vice President Frank Pomer presented the Breast Care Center with a $25,000 donation.

“The Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center has made access to quality healthcare for uninsured and underserved women in this community a great success story,” said Pomer. “The Breast Care Center has provided thousands of women in this area with complete medical, screening and diagnostic services, services that many of them probably would not have received if the Centers were not there for them. As you know, early detection remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control. In fact, 95 percent of breast cancers are now curable when detected early. So making this opportunity available for these women is invaluable to them and their families.”

Pomer also thanked the volunteers “who make the Breast Care Center hum,” a thought echoed by Dr. Twist. “This year’s Rose of Hope Luncheon exceeded all our expectations,” she said. “The hard work of our event Co-Chairs, Linda Blackwell and Daneen Grabe, and the overwhelming generosity of our sponsors and guests will help ensure the continuation of important breast cancer services to dozens of women and their families.”

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 at

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Bridgeport Hospital is a member of Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive integrated health care delivery system in Connecticut. Yale New Haven Health System is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the populations it serves. Yale New Haven Health System's service area covers portions of eastern New York, the state of Connecticut and southwestern Rhode Island. Yale New Haven Health System is committed to making the best health care easier to use.