FAIRFIELD, CT—Fairfield County students from second to ninth grade raised over $10,000 for patient care programs at the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center (NPBCC) through a series of mother-daughter teas held in March and April. Eight parties were organized by students and their moms who created decorations, prepared treats and served teas donated by the Bigelow Tea family. The money will be used to provide breast care services to women in need. A final celebration, held on June 1 at the Breast Care Center, honored the young hostesses.
The tea parties, which got middle school students involved in community service, were inspired by the high school student-led Catwalk for a Cure fashion shows, which raise money for the NPBCC.
Teen tea advisors included three volunteers from the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center: Lynne Taikowski, Amy Desel and Katherine Sullivan, who assembled a committee of middle school students to come up with a model for the teas. The students became excited about the project and making a difference in the lives of women in the community.
“The girls grew up through hosting the teas,” said Taikowski. “They became leaders. They grew before my eyes.”
The girls transformed their homes with themed decorations and activities and made snacks like cookies and crust less sandwiches. Each young woman formulated her own ideas for her tea. A few created art projects, such as decorating tea cups for patients in treatment. Others made speeches about why the events were important. Attendance was strong, with over 50 guests attending one tea.
Abby Righter, a second grade hostess, came up with the series’ name, Cups of Care. She and her mother, NPBCC Events Coordinator Robin Righter, welcomed Renee and Abby Greenlee of Westport to the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center, to tour the Center and present decorated tea cups to patients in treatment.
The committee plans on organizing another series of teas next year. “People are knocking themselves over to help,” says Taikowski. “It helps spread the word.”
Cups of Care Teen Teas
February 22: Jen Hinkle and daughter Katie and Kathy Saladin and daughter Katie.
March 2: Katherine Sullivan and daughter Amelia
Match 16: Robin and daughter Abby Righter of Fairfield.
March 14: Karen O'Neil and twin daughters Clea and Zoe of Trumbull
March 30: Rene' Greenlee and daughter Abby of Westport.
April 5: Amy Desel and daughter Sarah of Fairfield.
April 5: Laura Kottler and daughter Liza of Fairfield.
April 12: Diane Karazulas and daughter Kelly of Easton.
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.