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.