Actress Katie Holmes headlines breast care center benefit

Fairfield-benefitholmesStage and screen actress Katie Holmes will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Rose of Hope Luncheon, a benefit for the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center. It will be held at the home of Patti and Tom Keegan in Greenfield Hill on June 13.

Holmes has appeared in several films, ranging from the action blockbuster Batman Begins to critically-acclaimed art house pictures such as The Ice Storm and Pieces of April, in which she plans a young woman planning a last Thanksgiving dinner for her mother, who is dying from breast cancer. The breast care center, the first free-standing, community-based breast care center in Connecticut, has been helping women in the community fight breast cancer for more than a decade.

In 1997, Homes was cast as Joey Potter on the WB TV series, Dawson’s Creek, opposite James Van Der Beek and Michelle Williams. The show quickly became the highest-rated series on the WB network throughout its six-season run.

Holmes’ film career began in 1996 when she landed the role of Libbets Casey, opposite Tobey Maguire and Sigourney Weaver, in Ang Lee’s award-winning drama The Ice Storm. Since then, she has worked with some of Hollywood’s most prominent actors and directors. Her credits include Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys, Jason Reitman’s Thank You for Smoking and Forest Whitaker’s First Daughter. Holmes also executive produced, in addition to starring in, writer/director Galt Niederhoffer’s The Romantics, an ensemble romantic drama with Anna Paquin, Josh Duhamel, Malin Akerman, Candice Bergen and Elijah Wood.

In 2009, Holmes co-founded the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to help underprivileged youth realize their dream of becoming professional dancers and works to support, improve and increase access to dance education in the United States.  Her co-founders include director Adam Shankman, producer Nigel Lythgoe and Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba. Holmes’ work with the foundation was recognized at Variety’s 2010 Power of Women event, where she was honored alongside a select group of Hollywood’s most philanthropically impactful women.

Holmes is a supporter of children’s charities and international relief organizations, including the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. She was included in Love Our Children USA’s 2009 Mothers Who Make a Difference List, alongside First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.

One of the area’s largest and most publicized fund-raisers, the Rose of Hope Luncheon takes place each year in June, with more than 500 Fairfield County women and men attending. The luncheon serves as an important source of funds for the breast care center’s programs for women in need, including its  Medically Underserved Initiative, which provides financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured women. More than 700 women receive screening and diagnostic services through the Initiative each year, making it the largest program in the area.

The luncheon also raises money for the breast care center’s outreach and education programs.

“So many women are still unaware of their risk for breast cancer,” said Dr. Donna Twist, executive director of the Norma F. Pfriem Breast Care Center.  “We feel its part of our mission to get the message out to women — early detection can save your life. Breast cancer is treatable and often curable when found early.”

“We’re so excited to have Katie at this year’s luncheon, helping to us to get the message out about breast cancer screening and early detection,” Twist added. “She’s a talented woman with a successful career and busy family life who makes time to help others.”

Daneen Grabe and Linda Blackwell, both of Fairfield, will co-chair the luncheon. Both are active members of the breast care center’s President’s Council and Advisory Board. Cindy Citrone of the President’s Council will serve as special program chair.

The luncheon is sponsored by Connie DeMattia and the DeMattia Charitable Foundation.  The lead corporate sponsor is People’s United Wealth Management, which has supported the luncheon for five years and been the lead corporate sponsor of a NPBCC event for more than 13 years. Land Rover Milford is the lead supporter of the Celebrity Champagne Reception preceding the luncheon.

People’s United Wealth Management will also receive the 2013 Rose of Hope Award, which recognizes the charitable work of an individual or organization.

“People’s United Wealth Management is honored by the recognition from the Rose of Hope Luncheon,” said Jack Barnes, president and chief executive officer of People’s United. “The event is an important source of funds for counseling, educational and wellness programs provided by the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center, and we are pleased to play a role in promoting initiatives such as these that support the health and well-being of our communities.”

For ticket information, call 203-255-5300.

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