the torch Summer 2016, Issue 2 - Page 13

Celebrating Women Rita Wilson to speak at 17th annual luncheon B r e a s t c a n c e r s u r v i v o r a nd multi-talented actress, producer, writer and singer, Rita Wilson, will be the featured speaker at the 17th annual Baylor Health Care System Foundation Celebrating Women luncheon on Thursday, October 20, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. The announcement was first shared with an excited group of Celebrating Women committee members at the Kick-Off Reception, held at Neiman Marcus Downtown in Dallas, Texas. Rita has appeared in numerous films and television shows including “Sleepless in Seattle,” “It’s Complicated, “Girls” and “The Good Wife.” On Broadway she starred in “Chicago” and last year appeared opposite Larry David in “Fish in the Dark.” Rita was the driving force behind producing the record-breaking box office hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” as well as its sequel, and also secured the rights and produced the film of the hit Broadway show “Mamma Mia!” after seeing it in London. In 2012, Rita released her first album “AM/FM,” an intimate collection of covers of her favorite songs from the ’60s and ’70s. Her second album, entitled “Rita Wilson,” was released in March of this year, and also marked her debut as a songwriter. Rita collaborated with a number of accomplished songwriters to produce a deeply personal album etched with stunning honesty.  In March 2015, Rita was diagnosed with breast cancer, and since then has shared her inspiring story with the world. Rita’s cancer was not found in the first round of tests. At the luncheon, she is expected to speak about her experience with the disease and the importance of early detection and seeking a second opinion, like she did.  “You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found, which does happen. Early diagnosis is key,” said Rita.  Since the first Celebrating Women luncheon in 2000, more than $26 million has been raised to help Baylor Scott & White Health – North Texas, fight breast cancer. These donations have supported advanced diagnostic equipment, innovative clinical research, and most importantly, safe, quality, compassionate care for Baylor’s patients and families. Tom Thumb will serve as presenting sponsor for the 12th consecutive year, and this year’s luncheon will be chaired by A ileen Pratt with Gloria Eulich Martindale serving as underwriting chairman. Diane and Joel Allison will serve as this year’s honorary chairmen. Each year, approximately 1,200 passionate men and women attend the Celebrating Women luncheon in a show of support for Baylor’s efforts to fight the disease. “Thanks to the generous support we’ve received over the past 16 years, we are not just cheering on breast cancer patients from the sidelines. We are actively fighting alongside them,” said Rowland K. Robinson, president of Baylor Health Care System Foundation. “Every donation in support of Celebrating Women has had a positive ripple effect on breast cancer treatment and care for our patients and their families. It’s truly inspiring to see our community come together year after year with such tremendous enthusiasm for this cause – one that touches us all.” For information about underwriting opportunities and tickets to Celebrating Women, call 214.820.4500 or email CelebratingWomen@BaylorHealth.edu. Sponsorship and under-writing opportunities are available; individual tickets start at $250 and table prices start at $2,500. 13