2015 Celebration Of Life Luncheon

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The 2015 Celebration of Life Luncheon was the 17th annual luncheon hosted by the Austin Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha.  This year Zeta Tau Alpha co-hosted the Celebration of Life Luncheon with The Seton Fund as its partner.

The 2015 luncheon was held on March 11, 2015 at 11:00 at the new luxurious JW Marriott Hotel in the heart of downtown Austin. Neiman Marcus unveiled its 2015 Spring/Summer line at an exclusive fashion show especially tailored for the Celebration of Life attendees.

The spectacular event had Kendra Scott and Carla McDonald as honorary Co-Chairs, and a special keynote guest, KVUE News Anchor Terri Gruca, at this fabulous fashion event to benefit the Seton Breast Care Center.

“All funds raised from the 2015 Celebration of Life Luncheon benefited the Seton Breast Care Center to provide for construction and equipment (80%), and the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation to support breast cancer awareness and education nationally (20%)”

About the Seton Breast Care Center

Offering comprehensive care for breast health services in one location, the new Seton Breast Care Center opened its doors at Seton Medical Center Austin in February 2014. The center combines the latest medical technology with personal attention and support throughout a patient’s cancer journey.

Among the imaging services offered is digital 3D mammography (tomosynthesis). This new technology provides a higher quality image, with greater detail than traditional digital mammography. The center also offers breast sonography, bone density scan, breast 3T MRI and stereotactic breast biopsies.  

For patients diagnosed with breast cancer, nurse navigation services offer support throughout the patient’s treatment. Special features of the Seton Breast Care Center include relaxing spa-like lounges and waiting rooms, private dressing rooms complete with warm and comfy robes, a specialty boutique with unique and practical gifts for patients, survivors and their loved ones, nutrition classes and one-on-one counseling, postoperative exercise classes, yoga classes and lymphedema therapy.

About the Seton Fund

The Seton Fund is a non-profit foundation that raises funds for the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul health ministry in Central Texas.

The Seton Fund supports the new Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, Seton Medical Center Austin, University Medical Center Brackenridge, Seton Shoal Creek, the Seton Community Health Centers, and the Seton Cove.  


About the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation

The ZTA Foundation was established in 1954 and promotes and funds the national philanthropy of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity: Breast cancer education and awareness. The ZTA Foundation partners with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events nationwide (this partnership will expire March 31, 2015), and the National Football League, where ZTA distributes Think Pink awareness ribbons and educational materials at National Football League games during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

Think Pink is a registered trademark of Zeta Tau Alpha.   

About the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity The ZTA Fraternity was founded on October 15, 1898 at the Virginia State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia.  It is the second largest of the 26 groups that are members of the National Panhellenic Conference.

ZETA has 231,000 initiated members, 163 active Collegiate Chapters, and 136 active Alumnae Chapters.  The Austin Alumnae Chapter is the oldest ZTA Alumnae Chapter in existence, having been founded and continuously in existence since October 23, 1912.  

Interview with Marcia Levi

Yenis Monterrey:  You and Susan Lubin are visionaries and Co-founders of the Seton Breast Care Center.  Susan is a breast cancer survivor, and according with Linda Lotz you like to say that Susan was the 'friend in need' and Marcia was the 'friend in deed.’ What’s the story behind the creation of the Seton Breast Care Center since facing breast cancer isn’t easy for women and not having the resources or lacking information could be terrifying for patients?

Marcia Levi: “As you know Susan Lubin and I are the Visionaries and Co-founders of the Seton Breast Care Center. We approached Seton Hospital about the concept of a comprehensive multidisciplinary Breast Care Center. When they made the decision to move forward with the project Susan and I came on board to chair the Steering Committee and the fundraising efforts. Along with our incredible committee we engaged the community to raise $7 million, more than our goal, for the furnishings and equipment for this state of the art center.

Since the Center's opening in February 2014 Susan and I have remained and will remain integrally involved in the center. Subsequently, we have been asked to sit on a hospital wide advisory committee.

Yenis Monterrey: How did you participate in the fabulous event of “2015 Celebration of Life?

Marcia Levi: "Although we did not chair this event, we were integrally involved in all aspects of the planning and execution of the luncheon. We are thrilled with the outcome and are looking forward to beginning the planning process for next year’s event."

Interview with Linda Lotz

Yenis Monterrey: What can you tell me about your contribution and participation with Seton Breast Care Center and your involvement with 2015 Celebration of Life Luncheon?

Linda Lotz: “Marcia Levy and Susan Lubin approached Seton 5 years ago about the need for the Center and their willingness to help fundraise for it. One year later, Seton brought me on board, called them up and said it was a go - and we launched a capital campaign, raising over $7M in 3 1/2 years to bring the center to life. As I said, it opened one year ago (Feb 2014) and in the past year: 3,521 services were performed in the Seton BCC and 2,524 unique patients were seen.

I was the Director of Development at Seton Medical Center Austin - where the Seton Breast Care Center is located. I was in charge of all Fundraising for the Breast Care Center, including the funds to build the Center, which opened one year ago in February. During the past three months I was promoted and moved to a new location - I am now the Executive Director of the Seton Hays Foundation in charge of all fundraising for Seton's South Market hospitals, but the Seton Breast Care Center holds a very, very special place in my heart and I couldn't bear to not stay involved in helping plan the Celebration of Life Luncheon, so I stayed on the committee  and  have been wearing both hats for a couple of months now. It was exhausting, but well worth the effort. The team that helped plan the COL Luncheon has such a love for the Center and the many lives it serves that it was a blessing to work with them!”

Yenis Monterrey: Can you share some key notes about the sponsors about the presenting sponsors, keynote speaker and the location JW Marriott? 

Linda Lotz: "Presenting Sponsor - The Mrs. -  Andra Liemandt shared about her mission to make women know and feel that 'I AM ENOUGH,' and showed a portion of the Mirror video that has gone viral. The Mirror was in the lobby where the Silent Auction was and was a favorite photo spot, with its inspirational messages."


"Presenting Sponsor - Neiman Marcus - of course you probably have lots of pictures of their amazing Art of Fashion double-runway show. They did a spectacular job! The Fashion Show kicked off the Luncheon in style, and a big part of that was through the hard work of Jennifer Carnes, Public Relations Manager for Neiman Marcus, Austin."

"Keynote Speaker:  Terri Gruca - she shared the emotional story of her sister's partner, her mom and her very close friend, Holley's, battles with breast cancer. Terri is the primary anchor of KVUE News in Austin. She has been a true supporter of breast cancer causes, and was the very first reporter to do a story on the Seton Breast Care Center, standing on the footprint of the Center reporting live before fundraising was even fully underway! She has continued to shine the light on the Center and the ways it serves our community, and we are very thankful for her support and blessed to have Terri as our keynote speaker."

"And the setting for it all was the brand new JW Marriott Austin, which could not have been better to work with. For many at the event, this was their first peek at this new hotel and venue. Everything from the place settings to the food to the service was top notch. It is my understanding, though you'd have to fact check this, that the JW Marriott Austin is the 2nd largest in the world (Dubai or someplace in the UAE is larger). I believe it! Austin is fortunate to have such a great, multi-use hotel venue added downtown and we were glad to be at the front of the line."

The Seton Fund and Austin Alumnae Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha co hosted indeed one of the most successful and impressive luncheon at the newly opened JW Marriott with an incredible and outstanding outcome that welcomed hundreds of the most influential and Philanthropic guests showcasing the most luxurious luncheon for the most meaningful cause “Celebration of Life!”


Photos by Kenneth Black



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