5th Annual Women & Wine Event Raises Funds for Research

April 28, 2010

On April 19th, 220 women gathered at Morton’s Steakhouse in Washington, DC, for the 5th Annual Women & Wine event. The annual fundraiser, organized by Lombardi’s Office of Development and the National Cancer Prevention Fund, brings together DC area business women and friends to raise money for breast cancer research activities at Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Barbara McDuffy, executive board member of the Women & Wine event and director of Baker Tilly (formerly Beers & Cutler) got involved with the event five years ago at the request of her friend and Men’s Event director, Paul Schweitzer. “The event is fantastic because it brings together women from the business community and women who are housewives that care about Lombardi. This is an opportunity to educate them about what is available at Lombardi.”

Claudine Isaacs, MD, associate professor in the departments of Medicine and Oncology and co-director of the Breast Cancer Program at Lombardi provided an update on the latest breakthroughs in breast cancer research and treatment. She was joined by other breast cancer experts from Lombardi, including Shawna Willey, MD, director of the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center.

The evening included a silent auction where lavish vacation packages and a range of Tiffany & Co. jewelry were available. All auction items were donated by local companies or individuals. The most highly sought after items included a one-week timeshare in Cabo San Lucas and an Apple iPad donated by Ron Police, vice president of Apple Government.

After dinner, the evening’s Emcee, Greta Kreuz of WJLA-TV, presented the Lombardi Spirit of Life Award which is given to a woman that “exemplifies hope to all who meet her.” This year’s recipient, Elizabeth M. Shepard, is First Vice President of Investments at Merrill Lynch and a breast cancer survivor who received care at Lombardi.

Shepard was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 shortly after her sister passed away from breast cancer at the age of 46. Shepard immediately sought treatment from Isaacs and she made it her mission to fight breast cancer.

“When faced with a breast cancer diagnosis of a friend or family member, most women want to do something. We want to fix it, but we cannot. I could not save my sister’s life, but maybe I could save someone else’s,” says Shepard.

To date, Shepard has raised more than $300,000 for breast cancer research through various fundraising activities. She also serves on the Corporate Executive Committee for Lombardi’s Annual Gala.

Author: Nkem T. Wellington