Rose of Hope Luncheon raises new event record

Norma Pfriem Breast Center announced that its June 14 Rose of Hope Luncheon featuring singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge raised a total of $580,000, a new record for the 16-year-old event. This year’s results top the previous record of $549,000 set last year.

Nearly 600 guests attended the luncheon, which was held at the Greenfield Hill residence of Lollo and Josh Samuelson. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management was the lead corporate sponsor. The DeMattia Charitable Foundation was the event sponsor.    

“We are proud to have partnered with the Norma Pfriem Breast Center for this powerful event,” said Katie Flaherty, director, Stamford Regional Executive, Merrill Lynch, a Bank of America corporation.

“Bank of America is honored to have participated in the Rose of Hope Luncheon,” added Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut Market president, Bank of America. “It was touching to witness the impact the Norma Pfriem Breast Center has had on so many in our community.”

The co-chairs of this year’s luncheon were Linda Blackwell, of Fairfield, Chair, Norma Pfriem Breast Center Advisory Board and President of the President’s Council; Kelly Scinto also of Fairfield, Norma Pfriem Breast Center Manager, Special Events and Outreach; and Dr. Donna Twist, Norma Pfriem Breast Center Executive Director, and Vice President, Bridgeport Hospital Foundation.

Special Program Chairs Cindy Citrone of Southport, Kim Meier of Westport and Heidi Taylor of Fairfield helped bolster the proceeds with a Giving Hope appeal, as well as an anonymous donor from Fairfield, who matched the appeal up to $25,000.

Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, underwent successful treatment and is a leading advocate of breast cancer prevention and early detection. She praised the Norma Pfriem Breast Center for the comprehensive physical and emotional support it provides to its patients, and brought the audience to its feet with a live performance of “I Run for Life.”

Real estate executive Robert D. Scinto of Fairfield received this year’s Rose of Hope Award at the luncheon for outstanding support of the breast center.

The audience also heard from breast center patient Grace Simpson of Bridgeport.

“My medical oncologist, Dr. Neal Fischbach, told me something that would stay with me through my treatment, Simpson said. “He said, ‘we will help you get through this. We will give you the best treatment, the best medications and best support along the way.’ From that day on, he changed my whole mindset. These words gave me a positive attitude.”

Part of Bridgeport Hospital and the Yale New Haven Health, Norma Pfriem Breast Center has served more than 30,000 women and their families since it was established in 1999. One of only 500 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, Fairfield and Trumbull locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography, radiation therapy, and genetic risk assessment as well as opportunities to participate in clinical trials. The breast center office at 111 Beach Road in Fairfield and the newly opened site at 5520 Park Avenue, Trumbull also provide numerous integrative and supportive services, including nutrition counseling, massage and Reiki therapy, wig and prosthesis fitting, counseling, yoga, Pilates, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, music therapy and many other free patient support resources. The Center is a member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers. For more information, call 203-255-5300 or visit www.bridgeporthospital.org/cancer/breast.

Bridgeport Hospital, part of Yale New Haven Health System, is a 383-bed acute care hospital (plus 42 beds licensed to Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital) serving parts of Fairfield and New Haven counties. The hospital admits more than 18,000 patients and receives more than 240,000 outpatient visits annually. The Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital is the only burn center in the state and one of only 62 verified burn centers in the United States.

Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge

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