In the Pink of Health Luncheon

The Marriott on The Waterway was inundated with fabulous attire in various hues of pink and teal at the 19th Annual In The Pink of Health Luncheon. The highly anticipated luncheon always features women adorned in gorgeous vibrant garments to help raise awareness and funds for ovarian and breast cancer programs that will stay right here in greater Montgomery County. Since its inception, In the Pink of Health has raided and distributed more than $5.5 million to support breast and ovarian health.

Caroline Raiford, Andrea Raiford, Andrea Alexander, Melissa Preston

Presented by Richie’s Specialty Pharmacy, and Co-Chaired by Debra Cooper and Dee Gelsomini, In the Pink of Health raises essential funds to fight cancer and assist survivors. “We have come so far in research and cure rates for breast and ovarian cancer, but there are still women who lose their battle every day. The money we raise goes towards closing that gap and saving our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters and friends,” said In the Pink of Health co-chair Dee Gelisomini. Allocation of the funds from the event support the Interfaith Community Clinic to provide mammograms for underserved women, and the Canopy cancer survivorship center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands among others.

The guest speaker for the event was ordained minister and motivational speaker Dr. Rick Rigsby. Following a successful career as a television news reporter Dr. Rigsby became a college professor— including 14 years at Texas A&M University—where he also served as character coach and chaplain for the Aggies football team.

Kathy Igercich, Amanda Poole

Dr. Rigsby shared his experience with the heartbreaking loss of his wife, Trina, to breast cancer in 1996. Dr. Rigsby’s inspirational remarks focused on the lasting impact his wife made and continues to make through her life of hope, and the dramatically different outcomes available to individuals diagnosed with cancer today due to the amazing contributions of organizations such as In The Pink of Health. His heartfelt story and comedic delivery had the audience laughing one minute and tearing up the next, but all were touched by Dr. Rigsby’s message of hope.

“For years, our In the Pink of Health committee has focused on inspiring and encouraging attendees so that when they leave, they can take what they heard and integrate it into their own lives and The Woodlands community,” said Josh Urban, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.

Natashia Douglas, Michele Whitworth, Leslie Reilly, Lindsay Donaldson, Heidi Goodwin, Kristyna Smith, Marylee Freund, Sondra Pekar, Brooke Milam

Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health was founded in 2001 to fund cancer-related programs and services for patients and their families in the greater Montgomery County area. To learn more visit inthepinkofhealth.org or call 713.897.PINK (7465), or email inthepink@memorialhermann.org.

Read more about the In The Pink of Health featured in the latest issue of The Book The Woodlands

Blair Moon, Julie Ambler, Kellie Armstrong, Amanda French, Louise Smith, Kim Murphy

Paige Hull, Hannah Hull, Kelly Hull, Eric Pham, Marian Spence

Missy Herndon, Linda Nelson, Sarah Rhea

Mandi and Pete Roach

Lynne Charbonneau, Nancy W. Charbonneau, Leta King, Nancy Charbonneau, Dee Butts

Lynn Carr, Presha Carr, Katie Holditch

Linda Smith, Kashay Mendes, Lezlie Cuellar

Karen Riggins, Amy Brooks

Karen Carroll, Alison Henderson

Kylie Boyd, Carolyn Donovan, Holly Mayer, Lucy Gomez, Lynne Pickett, Missy Herndon, Anita Phillips, Jackie Charzma

Sherry Holman, Phalen Alfaro, Kairy-Tate Barkley, Janice Swan

In the Pink

In The Pink of Health was created as an event that focuses on women’s health issues as part of the Memorial Hermann Foundation whose mission is to raise funds through philanthropic initiatives and planned giving campaigns in order to meet the ever-growing healthcare needs in the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System particularly here in Montgomery County. Ann Wolford, who coordinated the original event and still serves on the event planning committee shares, “In The Pink’s original goal was to raise awareness about women’s health issues because women are often the primary healthcare decision-makers for their families. The goal was to bring awareness and education focused on health issues women often faced including hormone treatments and breast cancer while raising funds to support local programs.” However, by the fourth year, the Memorial Hermann Foundation staff and In The Pink committee members realigned the event’s mission to focus solely on the prevention, diagnostic testing and treatment of breast and ovarian cancers with funds raised to support those efforts.


Today, In The Pink luncheon has grown into one of the largest and most generous fundraising events in our community by providing $450,000 last year to nonprofits serving Montgomery County residents. Local nonprofits continue to provide services and programming such as free mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds, breast cancer educational programs, cancer survivorship programs such as art therapy and yoga and services like wig fittings and prosthetics for patients in treatment. Past nonprofit recipients have included: Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center, Interfaith Community Clinic, Memorial Hermann Breast Cancer Center, The Rose, Ovarcome and the Judith L. Robinson Foundation. “One of the most generous aspects of In The Pink Luncheon is that the money raised stays here in our community to help our neighbors in the midst of a health crisis or in our case provide access to care for the uninsured women with educational information and free screenings for early detection,” shared Missy Herndon, President & CEO of Interfaith Community Clinic.

 

Each year, a committee of community leaders and volunteers set out to create an inspiring and fun event that showcases the spirit of generosity unique to The Woodlands area. Event highlights include an enormous silent and live auction, boutique, local speakers that share their stories of survival and keynote speakers providing inspiration and hope to attendees contributing to the ongoing fight against breast and ovarian cancers. Past speakers include Olympic Gold Medalist, Scott Hamilton, Good Morning America’s Amy Robach and TV Host, Samantha Harris. This year’s committee co-chairs, Debra Cooper and Dee Gelsomini have led an amazing group of women in coordinating the 19th anniversary luncheon. Gelsomini states, “I attended the luncheon for several years, but when my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, I wanted to do more. I witnessed the challenges patients and their families face and I am committed to doing what I can to help them through those tough times.”


Furthermore, Linda Nelson, Business Development & Regional Marketing Director shares her reflection on the impact of this amazing event, “Memorial Hermann’s In the Pink of Health Luncheon celebrates its 19th year raising funds and has distributed over $5.5 million in the fight against breast and ovarian cancers. I’ve been a part of the committee since its inception and I’ve seen this educational and inspirational event grow year over year. We’ve helped see that cancer is not only detected earlier and that the community is educated, but also helped support cancer survivors through the free Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center.” The 19th anniversary luncheon will not disappoint this year with guest speaker, Rick Rigsby, author of Afraid to Hope and also a former Texas A&M professor and chaplain for the Aggie Football team. In the Pink of Health was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott on Friday, October 18, 2019.

Interfaith Celebration of Excellence Gala Honors 20 Years of Heroes

The Woodlands Celebration of Excellence Gala, themed “Twenty Years of Heroes,” was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center on Saturday, October 5th.

The 20th annual event, chaired by DeAnn Guidry, was dedicated to honoring the 2019 Hometown Heroes while also celebrating the nearly 130 heroes that have been nominated over the past twenty years. The highly anticipated annual event raises money for crisis assistance in South Montgomery County.

Upon arrival, more than 600 guests entered a beautifully decorated ballroom filled with intricate lighting and ornate floral arrangements. Pianist, George Ruehle, entertained the guests while they enjoyed the silent auction and cocktail reception.
Alex Sutton, Chairman of Interfaith’s Board of Directors, and Missy Herndon, President and CEO of Interfaith of The Woodlands welcomed guests and celebrated the Honorary Event Chair, Waste Connections, Inc. Interfaith’s service and mission were made evident by each individual who continued to take the podium.

Hometown Hero Attendees at 2019 Gala

Since 1999, when the original class of 25 Hometown Heroes were honored in celebration of The Woodlands’ 25th Anniversary, Interfaith has recognized outstanding individuals and organizations in the community by presenting them with the title of Hometown Hero. Touching videos played on the screens, reflecting the generosity of the 2019 Hometown Heroes. Each Hero was awarded a medallion, a Congressional Commendation presented by United States Congressman Kevin Brady, and a Senate Proclamation from Texas State Senator Brandon Creighton. The Hometown Heroes for 2019 are: Jerissa Belsha, MD, Mary-Lou E. Fitch, Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., Alex Sutton, Josh Urban, Market Street The Woodlands, and Leadership Montgomery County.

The event offered a fantastic live auction and fund-a-need opportunities that featured numerous luxurious experiences including a VIP trip to Disney, naming rights to the longest pedestrian bridge in The Woodlands Town Center, SEWELL for all Seasons, and various other unique items. Thomas Markle Jewelers provided a Tudor watch that one lucky winner was able to claim in the raffle.
Interfaith typically serves over 1,500 clients in crisis monthly, with those numbers expected to increase as the Holiday Season approaches. Gala guests were among the first to view a video testimony from a client who fell on hard times and utilized the many programs and services at Interfaith to help her and her children get back on their feet. The impact of this storytelling was felt throughout the room as attendees were asked to lend their support.

“We are so grateful to live in a community that shows up to celebrate and support each other,” says Herndon. “For 46 years Interfaith has walked alongside our neighbors in crisis. No matter the magnitude, we step in to help families rebuild. Being able to offer hope in the midst of devastation is only possible through the generous donations we are blessed to receive. We are forever grateful to our donors.”

Interfaith of The Woodlands is a nonprofit social service agency providing programs and services to meet the needs of The Woodlands and the surrounding area. Interfaith provides basic needs assistance and special programs to families experiencing a financial crisis, and supportive service through care and wellness programs to senior adults 62 and over, in addition to many community programs dedicated to improving the lives of individuals in need. For more information on Interfaith’s programs and services or to become a volunteer, please visit woodlandsinterfaith.org or call 281-367-1230.

 

 

Hope Soars at Spirit of the Woods Gala

Nearly 500 guests gathered at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott for the Spirit of the Woods gala benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands recently. Guests were treated to highflying acts and daredevil drops all in support of the outreach and care Texas Children’s provides to underserved families in the community.

Michelle Riley-Brown addressing the nearly 500 gala guests to share the remarkable milestones from Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands since opening in 2017

Michelle Riley-Brown, president of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, provided updates on the hospital’s successes since opening in 2017, including the remarkable milestones of completing 351,000 patient visits, more than 86,100 emergency center visits, and 18,787 surgeries. She also commended the astounding generosity of The Woodlands community, which – through this gala – helped raise more than $800,000 to care for the area’s most vulnerable children.

The stunning event honored Missy and Wayne Herndon who are an integral part of the community and continue to make a lasting impact on Texas Children’s. The gala was made possible by Stacey and Steve Bourque, as well as the dedicated gala committee.

Eric and Denise Lipar

Inspiring artwork by Will Herndon auctioned live during the event

Janet Wong and Brooke Schmidt

Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands leadership team: Ketrese White, Dr. Paul Sirbaugh, Ivett Shah, Michelle Riley-Brown and Dr. Jeffrey Shilt

teve and Stacey Bourque; Wayne, Missy, Magnus, Will, and Steele Herndon

Highflying act by Antigravity

Guests take in the festivities at the Spirit of the Woods gala benefiting vulnerable patients cared for by Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands

Content Provided: Chinh Phan

Yes to Youth Gala

Elaborate costumes and intricate décor blew guests away as they entered the Ignite Their Light Yes to Youth Gala, a themed event benefitting Yes to Youth. The ballroom was striking with ornate lighting and elegant floral centerpieces. The lights served as a reminder for the cause-inspiring and helping children who have experienced difficult hardships. The Yes to Youth Gala, presented by Tricia and Jack Futcher, was chaired by Katrina Savage and Michelle Maggert, and honored Tom Pisula as well as Waste Connections.

The evening benefited Yes to Youth Montgomery County Youth Services, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth and their families overcome challenges. Yes to Youth offers crisis counseling, shelter programs, and prevention services aimed to keep youth in school and prepare them to be productive citizens.

Haley Garcia and Travis Ellard

The evening was full of powerful, emotional moments. A special dance performance to “This is Us’ by Boni’s Dance and Performing Arts Studio kicked off the night. Katrina Savage and Michelle Maggert, the Gala Chairs, shared various testimonies explaining the profound impact that this organization has had on so many. A powerful music performance by Theresa Black, Hannah Johnson, and Special Guests left the audience moved and inspired to give back. The live auction and raffle concluded the evening. The attendees left the Yes to Youth Gala with a kindled spark to truly Ignite Their Light and make a difference in the lives of others.

Patti, Dr. Lucian Rivela, Dr. Ann, and Jerry Snyder

Linda Freede, Worthing Jackman, Keith Gordan, and Michelle Little

Live Auction

Bret and Angela Strong

Denim and Diamonds Gala

There was much to celebrate at this year’s Inspiration Ranch Denim & Diamonds Gala! The 11th annual event which was sponsored by Anadarko and held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott honored Richard and Anna Pender. The Pender’s 40 plus acre White Bridge Farm just north of Tomball became the beautiful, expansive new home to Inspiration Ranch this year. The other honoree of the evening was Arena Energy who has been a long-time champion of Inspiration Ranch and has made significant contributions including providing an indoor riding “arena” that protects the special needs riders, volunteers, staff and animals from the elements. The highlight of the evening though was the powerful testimony by Amanda Shirley, the mother of one of the Inspiration Ranch clients describing the impact and benefits for her daughter Dayton.

John & Natalie Ford, Minnie Telaroli, Mark Beach

The silent and live auctions throughout the evening were filled with fantastic packages including an eight-day oceanfront, all-inclusive, luxury trip to Jamaica donated by Fox Travel, a private chef dinner donated by Amerigo’s and a legendary golf experience at the Insperity Invitational among others. The gallery wall, items in the general store and the always popular wine pull and giving boxes went quickly as well as guests clamored to contribute to the heartwarming cause. Inspiration Ranch is committed to never turning away a family for their equine-assisted therapeutic riding and mental health programs due to an inability to pay. The generous contributions from the Denim & Diamonds gala help them provide access to the therapeutic benefits for the 50 additional families still on the waiting list to join Inspiration Ranch.

Silent Auction

Inspiration Ranch is a 501 (c) (3) premier accredited center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. Inspiration Ranch provides hope and opportunities for individuals with physical, emotional and social disabilities. To learn more, visit inspirationranch.org.

Amanda Shirley, Dayton Shirley, Kent Shirley

Keith & Taryn Gordon

Travis & Audra Palmer, Anthony Firmarture, Tracey Reyes, Elijah White

 

Michael & Susan Postus, Nathan & Kelly Dietrich, MG Tindall

Tim & Valerie Byers, Matthew & Stephanie Peloquin

Wine, Women, and Shoes

Stilettos, chardonnay sipping, and breast cancer survivors strutting in style were all the rage at the annual Wine, Women, and Shoes event. Supporters, survivors, and spectators all embraced the message of hope at the fashion show presented by EXIT Lone Star Realty on September 12th at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

Wine, Women, and Shoes both inspired and empowered attendees. The event was hosted by The Breast Cancer Charities of America and focused on helping women impacted by breast cancer both locally and nationally.

JJ Hollie, Justin Hogan, Paco Rivera, Keaton McDaniel, Kirk Johnson

The décor popped with pink. From the large pink balloon entry archway to the pink bows beautifully wrapped around each guest’s seat, the mission of eliminating breast cancer was clear. The auction and raffle items were every woman’s dream! Louboutin shoes, purses, and a closet makeover were near impossible not to bid on. To conclude the night, survivors modeled the latest fashions on the runway while spectators were able to enjoy fabulous wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Auction items

Thanks to Mercedes-Benz of The Woodlands, Beauty Lounge, Trulucks, and various other sponsors this event left everyone tickled pink!

Cresta Castillo, Colette Cole, Stephanie Powell, Jennifer McBurney

Nikki Wann, Erin White, Hannah Riley

Attendees enjoying the photo booth

Carla McDaniel and Erica Johnson (Founder of IGoPink and Breast Cancer Charities of America)

Adriana Wells, Stephanie Carpenter, Stefanie Hale, Angela Clegg

Five Who Share

Interfaith of The Woodlands recently hosted their Five Who Share Awards breakfast.  The event spared no detail and offered their attendees a memorable occasion. Major underwriters for the breakfast included Anadarko, Huntsman, Howard Hughes, Sewell, and Strike. Many other generous businesses, individuals, and volunteers helped make the event truly spectacular.

Five Who Share table decor

Five incredible recipients were honored at Interfaith’s Five Who Share Breakfast at The Woodlands Country Club Palmer Couse on Friday, August 23rd. Award recipients are recognized for their personal volunteer investment within our community, whose tireless work affect positive and compassionate change, inspiring others to contribute to those in need. Ky Bishop, Shirelle Chimenti, Paula F. Odom, Ian J. Ramirez, and Anne Swetish were recognized for their philanthropic dedication to The Woodlands Community.

Alex Sutton

Décor in shades of gold glistened as the morning sun slowly rose. Coffee, parfaits, omelets, and pastries delighted attendees. An impactful silent auction and raffle concluded the breakfast. Guests left with a better understanding of the community principals The Woodlands was founded upon.

Silent Auction Items

Proceeds benefited the many programs and services that Interfaith of the Woodlands offers to neighbors in need. Interfaith is thankful for individuals like the Five Who Share recipients who devote their time and effort back to the community and help make the dream of a more loving and caring community a reality.

Paver bricks are available for purchase that will be placed in a walkway at Interfaith of The Woodlands

Guests mingling and enjoying the coffee bar

Chairman’s Ball

On Saturday, August 17th, more than 600 guests were treated to a night “Under the Big Top” for The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce’s 41st annual Chairman’s Ball at The Waterway Marriot in The Woodlands.

Attendees were encouraged to dress thematically and they did not disappoint. Ringmasters, strongmen, and circus animals mingled among fortune tellers, caricature artists, and stilt walkers. Carnival games, extravagant décor, and photo booth with live monkeys made the night truly spectacular.

Former chairmen are recognized during The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce annual Chairman’s Ball on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at The Waterway Marriott in The Woodlands. From left to right: Julie Martineau, Mike Karlins, Linda Head, Jack Stibbs, Ann Snyder, Bret Strong, Frank Holmes, Bruce Tough, Colson Tough and David Vogt.

This event brings together many local businesses, local officials, and organizations. The tabletop décor is provided by various organizations, businesses, and nonprofits. There are close to 45 decorators each year who compete for several awards.

The 2019 winners are as follows: Newcomer: Meals on Wheels Montgomery County; DIY: Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital; Done For You: Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center; Use of Logo: Cherry Blow Dry Bar; Use of Theme: Market Street; Overall: Camp Bow Wow; People’s Choice: Market Street.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce’s night “Under the Big Top” was a night filled with creativity and community.

Guests receive a reading from a fortune teller at The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce annual Chairman’s Ball on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at The Waterway Marriott in The Woodlands.

J.J. Hollie, president and CEO, presents outgoing chairman Stuart Lapp with the chairman’s gavel during The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce annual Chairman’s Ball on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at The Waterway Marriott in The Woodlands.

J.J. Hollie, president and CEO, welcomes chairman-elect Jeff Garrett to the stage at The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce annual Chairman’s Ball on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at The Waterway Marriott in The Woodlands.

The Nightingale Society

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

Nightingale Society Scholarship Recipient Liliana Covaliu, originally from Romania, has a multitude of excuses not to continue advancing her nursing education, she is the mother of five, cares for her elderly parents and English is her fourth language. However, following in the footsteps of Nightingale, she is not one for excuses. Covaliu was thrilled to learn of the Nightingale Society and be one of the first scholarship recipients. Covaliu plans to apply again upon completion of her BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) for another scholarship for her MSN (Master of Science in Nursing).

Liliana Covaliu and Diane Freeman

The Nightingale Society was created to help encourage continuous improvement and ease the financial burden additional training may cause for the nurses at CHI St. Luke’s Health. Diane Freeman, Chief Nursing Officer stated, “nursing requires constantly improving and specialization in training. Advanced training translates to improved diagnostics and better patient care.”

Inspired by Florence Nightingale, the Nightingale Society at CHI St. Luke’s seeks to aid nurses in their advancement in the valiant profession of nursing. Nurses provide compassion, comfort, and care; they are an essential component to the success of any hospital. The scholarship funds generated by the Nightingale Society are the result of generous contributions from donors including Brad and Kylene Beers, the Haag Family Foundation, physicians from the Caduceus Society including Dr. Peter Shedden, Dr. Vincent Aquino, and Dr. Syed Raza, Douglas “Woody” Lyons, Jr. and Michael and Vicki Richmond.

Dr. Vincent and Yvette Anquino

The first scholarships awarded by the Nightingale Society were distributed in the spring of 2019, with four nurses (Liliana Covaliu, Keira Ruben, Teresa McKenzie, Elaina Perry) each receiving $3300/year for 2 years. The funding can be used for technical training and advanced certification programs, advanced nursing degrees, employees who want to pursue nursing, clinical research and to retain top talent in nursing. Jim Parisi, President and CEO of CHI St. Luke’s Health announced the winners and remarked, “it is important for me and our organization to take time out to recognize our nurses and how much they do for our organization. Nursing holds a special place to me in my leadership role here, as I am a registered nurse as well. I may not be at the bedside with you every day, but I understand the challenges you face to meet your patients’ needs.”

For more information on the Nightingale Society, please contact Carolyn Hays at chays@stlukeshealth.org or 832.355.5855.

Scholarship Recipients with Diane Freeman

Dr. Peter Shedden, Jim Parisi, Diane Freeman, Dr. Vincent Aquino, Brad Beers

 

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