The ball room was very pretty - lots of pink and white paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, with sparkly, sheer, pink tablecloths. I never see anyone hang anything from the Ritz ceiling, so this was a nice inspired change. I liked it.
Of course the big draw was guest speaker, Olivia Newton-John, herself a breast cancer survivor. She spoke just a little and then opened the floor to questions. Marjorie North asked the first question and requested a few bars of a song from Ms. Newton-John (Ms. N-J). She said she would do it if someone donated $10,000 to Moffitt. Everyone just kind of laughed and the questions moved forward. Towards the end of her speaking time, Tom Koski raised his hand and said he would donate $10,000 for a few bars of a song. Ms. N-J graciously complied. Not only singing some of I Honestly Love You to Tom, but also giving him a proper hug. It was a lovely and very generous moment - on both their parts.
One of the times the audience audibly gasped was when Ms. N-J said she was not encouraging her daughter to have genetic testing for breast cancer and then a gasp again when she said she did not think her cancer was hereditary, but caused by stress.
After Ms. N-J spoke, a panel of doctors from Moffitt - Dr. Sellers, Dr. Judson, Dr. Flowers, and Dr. Khakpour - also answered questions.
Kathe Nasby, captain at the Ritz, did a terrific job of getting so many people served in a timely manner and the food was quite good, too. The dessert was very interesting. The pink part tasted a bit like strawberry mousse.
Others attending who are not pictured below are: Margaret Wise, Ariane Dart, Melba Jimenez, Gayle Guynup, Kitty Cranor, Carla Smith, Penny Hill, Pauline Joerger, Adela Rose, Marilee Roberts, Gwenne Heiser, Barbara Ackerman, Elisabeth Waters, Lisa Rubinstein, Claudia Porter, Karen Grierson, Mimi Hernandez, Elizabeth Nace, Elle McComb, Christine Sandrib, Anne Spurge, Kathryn Carr, and on and on.
Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy and Sen. Connie and Priscilla Mack
Heather Dunhill and Aimee Cogan
Marjorie North and Veronica Brady
Terri Klauber and Murf Klauber
Betsy Garner Wyatt and Dottie Garner
Lee Barsky and Bea Elden
Sandra Lindqvist and Jacqueline Morton
Judy Veale, Susan Kenyon, and Peggy Wood
Wendy Mann Resnick, Jennie Famiglio, and Shirley Lascelle
Sheena Robinson, Susan Brennan, and Elise Buck
Pam Swain, Jennifer Saslaw, and Deb Knowles
Sally Schule, Susan Jones, and Katie Moulton
The co-chairs at the podium, Eileen Curd and Charlene Wolff - I kept trying to find where they were seated and never could, so I took this one from my seat when they were speaking.
Guest speaker Olivia Newton-John and Tom Koski floating on air after his serenade
The entree - a pretty chicken breast with tomatoes