The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Illinois Chapter hosted a Teal Lights Celebration & Fundraiser on Friday, September 21, 2012 at The Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower as part of their fundraising efforts for ovarian cancer. I had attended the NOCC “Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer” this past May at Diversey Harbor. The experience of participating in the walk compelled me to attend the Teal Lights celebration. I feel honored to participate in any event that the NOCC conducts because their mission is to raise awareness and promote education about ovarian cancer. The Coalition is also committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer. Being a woman diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer, this mission is very important to me.
Stacey Baca, one of the news anchors for ABC Channel 7, was the emcee and host for the evening. The event also featured Miss Illinois USA, Ashley Hooks and USA Ambassador Miss Alyssa Paulsen. Miss Illinois USA spoke to the guests regarding her public service platform, which focuses on research, education and awareness of ovarian cancer. Ashley is personally affected by this disease as a result of her dear mother being diagnosed with ovarian cancer just a month before the Miss Illinois USA Pageant last November. Ashley openly discussed her family’s experience associated with battling this disease. After hearing Ashley speak, it was clear that ovarian cancer is not “just a woman’s disease.”
Teal Lights was an amazing and elegant event well attended by those whose lives have been touched by the reality of ovarian cancer, “the silent killer” of so many beautiful women. The room was decorated with teal lights and accents of teal; many of the attendees wore the color of teal and “TEALTini’s” were served along with a variety of delicious hors d’oeuvres. The view from the 66th floor of Willis Tower is indescribable. As I gazed out the windows, I saw the various buildings displaying teal lights in support of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. A collage of various photographs of the buildings throughout Chicago toting the teal lights was displayed throughout the venue for a more personal view along with a beautiful slide presentation. There was also a table with an array of many outstanding items that had been donated for the Silent Auction; it clearly demonstrated the generosity of both individuals and companies alike and their commitment to support the NOCC’s mission. Sponsors were recognized for their contribution to the event in the programs that were distributed to all attendees.
Awards were also given on this very special night. Wendella Sightseeing Boats, Inc. was honored with a Community Partner Teal Ambassador Award for their continued support and efforts to help spread awareness during National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I, too, was asked to speak for being recognized as the NOCC-IL Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer Top Individual Fundraiser . My team, Lengyel’s Ladies, named after my physician, Dr. Ernst Lengyel, was also recognized as Top Fundraising Team for their efforts in raising $12,646. I was emotionally touched to have received two awards. In addition, all the survivors were honored in a group photo; it felt like it was a group of long-time friends gathered together to celebrate their friendship even though many of us had just met for the first time.
It was exhilarating to see the outpouring of love and camaraderie demonstrated by everyone towards each other. We were all connected in some way by ovarian cancer; those who lost family members or loved ones; those of us in treatment; survivors; friends; volunteers and the NOCC Staff. This event was not only delightful and fun to attend; it was an opportunity to support each other. It was very inspiring to see the love, compassion and encouragement bestowed upon one another during the evening. The number of people that participated in this event speaks to the strength and courage of everyone touched, even indirectly, by ovarian cancer.
Jennifer Sloan, Karen Young, the 2012 Teal Lights Committee and volunteers did a fantastic job in organizing and conducting the Teal Lights Celebration & Fundraiser. Their continued effort to bring awareness to ovarian cancer is so important and was greatly appreciated by everyone who attended.
Allison Sharpe-Robertson generously shared her experience at the NOCC Teal Lights Celebration & Fundraiser with Chicago Splash Magazine readers. Allison was honored at the fundraiser as this year's Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer Top Individual Fundraiser and her team, Lengyel's Ladies, as Top Fundraising Team. She also finishes treatment this month for ovarian cancer and was a dedicated volunteer for this year's event, helping to secure several Silent Auction items.
Photos: Sarah Jones Design
More information: NOCC - Illinois Chapter (312) 226-9410 or firstname.lastname@example.org