11 Apr
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Everything Came up Roses at this year’s historic, record-breaking luncheon

By: Dorothy Gibbons

Much like the leaves emerging and turning the world green again, our 7th annual luncheon seemed to mark the start of spring.

Aptly named “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” this event truly made history for The Rose and left me in total gratitude. New people, strangers soon to become friends, familiar faces and those people I hadn’t seen since last year’s luncheon, friends who are always there to cheer us on, filled the ballroom at River Oaks Country Club to capacity. Liz Rigney and her committee are certainly miracle workers, seeing to every detail and the hundreds of behind the scene things and people who made the day perfect.

It was the first time for The Rose to have an event at this incredibly beautiful venue. Even the weather cooperated, giving us a bright sunny day and lifting our spirits. Our mobile coach, Rosie, parked near the entrance, gleamed in the sunlight.

Color was everywhere. The only thing more gorgeous than our guests, sporting pastel dresses or pink ties, was the roses. Every table, every surface was covered with roses in every hue of pink. In fact, 1,100 roses were donated to the event—to celebrate ten years of being a survivor of breast cancer. Thank you, Allison Allison!

The comments of the day were intriguing and gratifying. After watching the video of two of our uninsured women, many said: “I thought I knew about The Rose, but I had no idea you did so much for women.” Others said: “Cried through both of the testimonials – as a survivor I know what your support has meant.” Some said: “I had never heard of The Rose before and I want to know more about what you do.” Many asked how they could help. The comment that really made me smile was: “It is so good to see The Rose have its own event at River Oaks Country Club!”

And it was…more than ‘good’…it was over-the-top amazing! Throughout the event, I kept thinking how far we had come to be at the Country Club and gave thanks for all those who made the day such a success, all those who chose to join us and for all those who had supported us at past luncheons.

From the podium, Dr. Jeffrey D. Friedman took us through an incredible presentation depicting 25 years of evolution in reconstruction. The advances were nothing less than astounding. I was taken down memory lane thinking how much mammography has changed; treatment has improved. In the end, though, he said the same thing we’ve heralded for 33 years: Early detection makes all the difference.

Many people in that ballroom knew what it means to be diagnosed with breast cancer, to go through treatment, to face their own mortality. Many others have been the daughter or the friend or the husband who was there to support a loved one. They especially know how difficult that time would have been if they had not had insurance.

There are so many memories of the day that I will always treasure.

The most beautiful one was hearing our honorees, Flo McGee and Kay Hedges, talk about why they were there to support The Rose. Flo was so gracious when she said, “We aren’t the honorees today. The real honorees are all the women this luncheon will allow The Rose to serve.” I literally fought back tears. She is so right.

This luncheon raised more money than any other fundraiser in our history! More women will be served than we could before. So many women will be alive in the years to come because they now have more people wanting to help.

Truly for those women and for those who love them, everything is coming up roses.

Event photos, click here.

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