Rose of Hope Luncheon marks 15th anniversary of Norma Pfriem Breast Center

The 14th annual Rose of Hope Luncheon, a benefit for the Norma Pfriem Breast Center (NPBC), takes place on Thursday, June 11 in Fairfield. This year the Rose of Hope Luncheon celebrates the breast center’s 15th anniversary of helping women fight breast cancer. All proceeds benefit the center’s programs and services for women in need. This helps enable all women served by the center to receive the most comprehensive screening and treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.

Joan Lunden

The breast center is honored to have Joan Lunden, one of television’s most recognizable and trusted personalities, as this year’s Rose of Hope Luncheon keynote speaker. Lunden, a breast cancer survivor, is helping women through by openly discussing her journey. As a survivor and advocate, celebrity personality, author and philanthropist, she is a role model for all women fighting breast cancer.

This year’s Rose of Hope Award honoree, WPLR radio personality Mike Lapitino, is a longtime NPBC supporter and founder of the Mike Lapitino Golf Classic (now the Mike Lapitino-WPLR Golf Classic), a benefit for the NPBC. Over the last 14 years, the golf classic has raised more than $200,000 for the NPBC’s programs for underserved women.

For the fifth year, Daneen Grabe and Linda Blackwell, both of Fairfield, join Donna Twist, the center’s executive director, in co-chairing the luncheon. Grabe, the owner of the Little Pub in Ridgefield and Wilton, is a member of the breast center President’s Council and Advisory Board. Her passion to care for others stems from her 25 years as a massage therapist and work with cancer patients, including women at the breast center. For her contributions to the Norma Pfriem Breast Center, she received the Rose of Hope Award in 2010. In the community, she focuses her generosity on health causes.

“The Rose of Hope event encompasses all the things that make the Norma Pfriem Breast Center such a wonderful resource,” says Grabe. “The event showcases the caring attitude of the organization, the inspiring spirit of survivors and the enduring hope for others afflicted with breast cancer. The Breast Center has grown so much in the last year, with new women’s wellness services. It’s an honor to co-chair the 2015 Rose of Hope Luncheon, and I’m excited to work with my friend Linda to make the center’s major event another tremendous success.”

Linda Blackwell is the president of the Norma Pfriem Breast Center President’s Council and chair of the Advisory Board. She has planned many of the center’s events. Blackwell, a senior vice president of sales at William Raveis Real Estate, is also active in the Near & Far Aid Association.

“During the years I have been involved, I have seen the great care given to every woman who comes to the center,” says Blackwell. “Having watched my mother and friends battle through the treatments, I know that for every woman the center helps, there are children, husbands, friends and families who also benefit because of the special care that they also receive. The center’s integrated approach to care helps women address many of their healthcare needs in one place. I am so proud to be a small part of this.”

Cindy Citrone will serve as special program chair for the third year. The event is sponsored by John and Connie DeMattia and the DeMattia Family Foundation. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is the Lead Corporate Event Sponsor. Tom and Patti Keegan will host the event again this year at their home in Greenfield Hill.

The luncheon is open to the community. For ticket information, call 203-255-5546.

The Norma Pfriem Breast Center is dedicated to medical excellence and compassionate care. It is an innovator in breast care in Connecticut and a model throughout the state, with programs that have become the standard for breast cancer treatment. The Norma Pfriem Breast Center was the first freestanding community breast center in Connecticut to offer one-stop coordination of care, patient navigation and rapid diagnosis, without regard for a woman’s ability to pay. The center remains dedicated to providing leading edge care for all those battling the disease. Connecticut has one of the highest rates of breast cancer incidence in the country. The Norma Pfriem Breast Center works to reduce the impact of the disease on our community. Since 1999, the breast center has served over 30,000 women. Each year the NPBC provides nearly 1,000 uninsured and underinsured women with financial assistance for patient care services and educates more than 3,500 women and girls about breast cancer risk.

The Norma Pfriem Breast Center is one of only 200 sites accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers and is a member of the prestigious National Consortium of Breast Care Centers.

The center provides a wide range of diagnostic care and treatment at its Bridgeport Hospital and Fairfield locations, including medical oncology, surgical and chemotherapy services, plastic surgery, mammography and 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 also provides comprehensive women’s wellness services, including nutrition counseling, massage and Reiki therapy, wig and prosthesis fitting, counseling, yoga, Pilates, naturopathic medicine, and other patient support activities.

The center has a satellite office at the Park Avenue Medical Center in Trumbull.

For more information call 203-255-5300 or visit the Center on the web at

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