23rd annual In the Pink of Health luncheon enjoys record crowd, special guests for Memorial Hermann The Woodlands

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 09/18/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX – Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital presented the 23rd annual In the Pink of Health luncheon at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott, with a record-breaking 900-plus attendees enjoying live and silent auctions, photo opportunities, special guests, inspirational stories, and a delicious lunch.

The special guest speaker for the event, which was emceed by longtime radio personality Dana Tyson, was bestselling novelist and cancer survivor Elin Hilderbrand. Funds raised from the luncheon help Memorial Hermann promote the early detection of breast and uterine cancer, provide free mammograms to the underserved, invest in state-of-the-art technology, and provide services to those on their cancer journey through the Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center located on the Woodlands campus.

Since its inception in 2001, the annual luncheon has raised and distributed more than $8.1 million directly into Montgomery County. Last year alone, $39,999 went to wigs and prostheses, $55,000 went to The Rose for breast cancer screening and treatment, $66,000 went to the Interfaith Community Clinic to provide 3D mammograms for underserved women, and $200,000 went to Canopy.

Linda Nelson, director or marketing for Memorial Hermann, spoke to Woodlands Online in an exclusive interview. “We had an incredible live auction last night that raised about $70,000. We have 100 items in today’s silent auction, we have a boutique, we have five top-of-the-line purses that we’re raffling off. We’re enjoying all kinds of excitement, but most importantly it’s raising money for our community. We’re excited at the energy in the room,” she said.

When asked about Canopy, Nelson said, “Canopy represents the softer side of cancer; there’s no radiation or chemotherapy, but we do have about 90 programs a month, from a social worker for counseling to pilates, art therapy, cooking classes, family counselors, something for everyone. The one item I can’t stress enough, is if you or a family member are going through a cancer journey, come in. Look around. All our volunteers have been touched by cancer. We don’t collect any money; we give free wigs and prostheses, we have Johnny Was scarves, and it doesn’t matter where you’re treated.”

A special art piece painting up for auction was created by artist Rowena Hayes. “I created the design of this painting and then carried it to our art show that’s held at Canopy, where the participants who take art therapy classes – for which I’m a teacher – have the opportunity to put paint on the canvas. And here it is. It’s our hope that it raises lots of money for a very worthwhile cause. About 60 people of all ages took part in this,” she told Woodlands Online in an exclusive interview.

Melanie Bush, Montgomery County Treasurer, also spoke to Woodlands Online. “In the Pink is an incredible event. As my husband is a cancer patient, even though we’re not touched by breast or uterine cancer, anything that supports cancer research in general or patient support is a cause that I always throw my support behind. What Memorial Hermann and Canopy do is an incredible gift.”

Woodlands also spoke with Dr. Ann Snyder, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, who was excited to be at the event. “This day has a very special meaning to me due to a family member and others who have had challenges.”

Julie Ambler, Head of School for The Woodlands Christian Academy, told Woodlands Online in an exclusive interview her thoughts on the event. “In the Pink is one of my favorite events every year. Not only is it a beautiful luncheon, but it's also a place to support other friends and people who are struggling with cancer and to celebrate those that have overcome cancer. It’s an important event for our community.”

Woodlands Online was also able to speak directly with Justin Kendrick. Senior Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.

“At the end of the day, we’re incredibly excited to continue to further the mission of In the Pink of Health, and that mission is to reduce the incidence rates of breast and ovarian cancer by raising awareness along with helping people through their cancer journey as best as we can. What an incredible community we live in that continues to show up and give. With all of the economic uncertainties that many people live with, cancer doesn’t discriminate, and so for people to show up here and give, it helps our neighbors and communities in ways that are wonderful. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and it’s an awesome way to see this community come together. We’re incredibly proud of the committee that produces this,” he said..

Kendrick is particularly proud of the Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center. “Canopy is one of only a handful in the United States, and was actually birthed by a vision of In the Pink committee members about a decade ago. It’s a respite for anyone who’s going through the journey, and it’s free to all no matter where you’re getting treatment. It’s a place where all can come together and support each other, whether it’s through wig-fittings or head-shaving parties or cross-stitching or yoga or support groups. No matter what you’re going through, Canopy has something for you, and we’re excited to see it grow.”

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