When Marlene Berg founded Cancer Link in 1987, it was with a small group of 10 women who were devastated at the loss of a young friend.
“A group of us got together for a friend of ours who had died of breast cancer in her mid-40s. We had to do something,” she said.
“The first luncheon was attended by about 50 people and raised $6,000. At that time, most people thought that breast cancer only affected older females and we wanted to raise awareness that it could also strike younger women.”
The local group has since donated almost $3 million for breast cancer research at the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“We thought we would just focus on awareness, but Dr. Diana Lopez, who was the sister of one of our members, Sonia Burini, was doing research on tumors in mice and we gave the money to her to continue her work,” Berg said. “Then we started raising funds for Dr. Moffet who was taking a mobile unit into the inner city to do mammograms and was studying the incidence of breast cancer in that population.”
Everyone is invited to attend the 30th anniversary fundraising luncheon starting with a reception and auctions at 10 a.m. Oct. 5 at Jungle Island Treetop Ballroom. The luncheon and fashion show start at noon. Tickets start at $140.
Emcee will be Rudabeh Shahbazi of CBS4 and there will be a special performance by singer Judy Scott. Other highlights include a fashion show by Julian Chang and an extensive silent auction.
Last year, Cancer Link raised nearly $300,000 through the efforts of Berg, co-presidents Mary Rosenberg and Harriet Shapiro, a hard-working committee of 80 volunteers, generous sponsors and community partners.
The funds were donated to local doctors including Karoline Briegel, Richard Cote, Sophia George, Tan Ince, Marc Lippman, Diana Lopez, Joyce Slingerland and Danny Yakoub.
Cancer Link will continue its mission through other local events as well. In recognition of the 30th anniversary, 10 past presidents will lead this effort. They are Norma Jean Abraham, Barbara Berg, Susan Kaufman, Diane Madden, Iliette Oliveros, Virginia Praschnik, Mary Rosenberg, Ivette Martino-Sarol, Bonnie Sepe and Harriet Shapiro.
“We evolved from being a small group dedicated to spreading awareness to a major fundraising group providing significant funding to eight researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center,” Berg said. “Every penny raised above our costs goes directly to research projects. We have no paid staff but do have a large group of dedicated volunteers.”
New sponsors and volunteers are always welcome. For tickets and more about Cancer Link, visit http://sylvester.org/community/community-partners/cancer-link or call 305-243-9088.
Don Slesnick, attorney and former Coral Gables mayor, was elected chairman of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law. His new leadership position was the culmination of 40-plus years of dedicated service to the legal profession and to the ABA.
The section, comprised of more than 18,000 lawyers on all sides of the relationship between labor and management, includes attorneys who represent employers, unions, employee plaintiffs and government agencies. Judges, arbitrators and law students are involved as well.
“I am both honored and humbled to be offered this opportunity to provide leadership to an incredibly important organization, one whose members play critically important roles in keeping American workplaces open and contributing to the nation’s gross national product,” Slesnick said.
He said the section focuses on “presenting top-notch continuing legal education through live presentations and webinars throughout the year, promoting diversity in the profession and publishing a complete library of labor law books.” The annual conference attracts about 1,300 attendees for three full days of training and education, and will be held in November in Washington, D.C.
Slesnick said the section also sponsors pro bono projects and community outreach such as its efforts after Hurricane Katrina to help the New Orleans public libraries restock their lost collections of children’s books.
Learn history of the Biltmore
Discover fascinating facts about the historic Biltmore Hotel at the next gathering of the Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade, 2:30 p.m. Sept. 10, at the Community Room of the Central Christian Church, 222 Menores Ave., Coral Gables.
The speaker is Ellen Uguccioni who works with the city of Sunny Isles Beach as a consultant and director of Historic Preservation Services. She wrote “The Biltmore Hotel: An Enduring Legacy” with co-author Samuel D. LaRoue.
Learn about the Miami Pioneers and Natives of Dade and more upcoming events at www.mpnod.org/events/.
Improve your public speaking
Everyone is invited to hear leadership and public-speaking expert Anne Freedman, president of Speakout, at the next breakfast meeting of the Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Sept. 12 at Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd. Freedman will present the topic “Up Your Public Speaking Game to Attract New Opportunities and Members.”
This Rotary Club is comprised of professionals and business executives who live and/or work in the Kendall/Pinecrest area. The group is looking for members to fill some open classifications. Breakfast meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday morning of every month.
If you have news for this column, send it to Christina Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.