Houston Snapshots

A Chance Encounter Creates a “Forever” Luncheon-American Cancer Society’s Inaugural “Tickled Pink” Luncheon Delivers Much Needed Support for Breast Cancer Services

Event Date:  September 10, 2021
Location:  River Oaks Country Club
Event:  Luncheon
No. of Attendees:  350
Money Raised:  $180,000
Beneficiary:  American Cancer Society
Honorary Chair:  Leisa Holland Nelson
Chairpersons:  Karen DeGeurin Remington, Patti Murphy, Barbara Van Postman
Honorees:  Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein, Adele Hartland, Cora Sue Mach, Kristina Somerville, Elizabeth Stein
Sponsor:  H-E-B
Photography:  Daniel Ortiz

A Chance Encounter Creates a “Forever” Luncheon-American Cancer Society’s Inaugural “Tickled Pink” Luncheon Delivers Much Needed Support for Breast Cancer Services

Jenny Todd, Senior Director of Development for American Cancer Society, met Leisa Holland Nelson, businesswoman and Vice President of ASTOUNDZ, by accident, as Jenny was looking for a chairperson for ACS’ Real Men Wear Pink campaign. Leisa suggested several ideas for the campaign and a beautiful working relationship evolved. Two years in the making, these two created an idea to start a luncheon that was breast cancer-focused in the market. Delayed twice due to COVID, this inaugural “Tickled Pink” event launched to a crowd of 350 guests (many decked from head to toe in shades of pink), and raised $180,000 to support breast cancer research, education, and additional services.

This inspirational gathering was sponsored by H-E-B and helmed by Honorary Chair Leisa Holland-Nelson (breast cancer survivor), and co-chairs Patti Murphy, Karen DeGeurin Remington, and Barbara Van Postman and highlighted the incredible accomplishments of five powerful, impactful women who contribute to the fight against breast cancer. The honorees were:  Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein, Adele Hartland (breast cancer survivor), Cora Sue Mach (breast cancer survivor), Kristina Somerville and Elizabeth Stein (breast cancer survivor). Media personality Lyndsay Levingston (also a breast cancer survivor) was the lively and engaging emcee and set the stage for a beautiful and poignant afternoon.

New York Times best-selling author and cancer survivor Elin Hilderbrand shared her story of surviving cancer with strength and grace. In her novel, “The Matchmaker,” one of her characters is diagnosed with cancer out of the blue. While writing this novel, Elin spent a year trying to imagine what that would be like, and then it happened to her. In May 2014, Elin’s healthy lifestyle and no family history of cancer could save her from every woman’s worst nightmare of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Elin spoke about overcoming life’s challenges and is a symbol of strength and success. She remarked, “I would take the cancer again –and why? Because it is only in facing that which threatens your very being that you learn what it means to be alive.” During the relaying of her breast cancer journey, the silence in the room overwhelmed Elin to thereby go deeper into her story than ever before.

This successful and “Forever” luncheon continues into next year. Their new date is set for Friday, September 9, 2022. Congratulations to everyone’s efforts in an event well worth the endeavor.

Socially present (not previously mentioned): Cora Sue & Harry Mach, Jr., Bob Bowman, Hannah & Cal McNair, Joanna & Brad Marks, Audrey & David Gow, Joanna & Brad Marks, Mary Ann McKeithan, Ellie Francisco, Lesha Elsenbrook, Roz Pactor, Leila Perrin, Sandra Porter, Joan Pillow, Casey Curry, and Jacquie Baly Craig.

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