Review by Anne Akers; Founder/Editor in Chief, GLOW Beauty Health Wellness Magazine
It was a beautiful Fall day in Manhattan, as black limousines and private cars pulled up to the iconic St. Regis Hotel just off Fifth Avenue. White gloved doormen politely opened car doors, greeting celebrities, Park Avenue matrons, and well groomed young ladies gathered to celebrate the much anticipated American Cancer Society’s Mother of the Year Luncheon.
The luncheon was created in 1995 to shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of mothers, their community service, careers, philanthropic activity and of course, motherhood. Since its inception,this much anticipated luncheon has raised $5 million. Previous Mother of the Year honorees included former First Lady of New York, Libby Pataki, Katie Couric, Paula Zahn, Vera Wang, Kathie Lee Gifford, Susan Blomberg, Anne and Charlotte Ford, Carolina Herrera, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York, Ann Curry, Tory Burch, Grace Hightower De Niro, Deborah Norville, and Rosanna, Marion and Elaina Scotto. Last years was an auspicious occasion as the life of Suzanne Wright, mother and Founder of Autism speaks was honored, along with her children and husband, NBC Chairman Bob Wright.
There was a special air of excitement around this years luncheon honoring the effervescent and much loved Hoda Kotb, co-host of NBC’s Today Show’s fourth hour, a new mom and a breast cancer survivor and Dr. Susan K. Boolbol, Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai-Beth Israel.
Gathered to cheer on Hoda were many of the NBC team members including Al Roker, Megan Kelly, Sheinelle Jones, and Dylan Dreyer while Dr. Boobols’ two daughters were front and center for their Mom. As a former Mother of the Year, Hoda was introduced by Kathie Lee Gifford, whose emotional tribute had much of the audience reaching for their tissues, as she said, “Hoda is my Egyptian sun goddess. The only thing that is bigger than her smile is her heart. I have fallen absolutely, madly in love with this life force called Hoda….who has just made me a better person”. Dr. Boolbol in her equally touching acceptance said, “Before I was a Mom, I thought about how much I would teach and inspire my chldren. The reality is that I am overwhelmed by how much I learn and am inspired by them every day. Children are the greatest gift one can have.”
This year, nearly 1.7 million Americans will hear the words, “You have cancer.” It is likely that everyone who reads this article has helped a loved one, friend, or colleague after a cancer diagnosis, or even heard these words themselves. Thanks to organizations like the American Cancer Society, mortality rates from the disease have fallen 25% since 1991. That’s more than 2.1 million lives saved from cancer that otherwise would have been lost.
The American Cancer Society continues the fight against cancer in communities nationwide and is the largest private, not-for-profit funder of cancer research in the United States. For more information on how you can join the fight for a world without cancer, www.cancer.org