Section: Monmouth Medical Center News

"Today" Show Co-Host Hoda Kotb as Guest Speaker for Sold-Out 20th Annual Power of Pink Luncheon


The Women’s Council for the Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center recently held the 20th Annual Power of Pink Luncheon at the private estate of Ann and Tom Unterberg in Rumson. The annual event benefits the Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center.

Hoda Kotb, co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s “TODAY” and correspondent for “Dateline NBC,” served as celebrity guest speaker for this year’s sold-out event. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Kotb has been a part of several initiatives to raise awareness about the disease – after being diagnosed in March 2007, she shared her story on “TODAY” in October 2007.

During her keynote, Kotb shared perspective as a breast cancer survivor. “Life has margins – a beginning and end – and we should stop wasting time,” said Kotb. “The way you spend your days is the way you spend your life. If you want to change your life, start by changing your Monday, then your Tuesday, and before you know it, you’ve changed your week, your month and your year - and changed your life.”

Kotb applauded Power of Pink organizers for how they are spending their days and lives and acknowledged the importance of their work. After the event, Kotb shared her Power of Pink experience with “TODAY” viewers by showing photos of the audience and selfies with participants she took with her cell phone.

Kotb began hosting the 10 a.m. hour of “TODAY” when it debuted in September 2007 and currently hosts alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. The New York Times’ bestselling author has also been a “Dateline NBC” correspondent since April 1998. Since Gifford and Kotb teamed up, the fourth hour of “TODAY” has been hailed as “appointment television” by Entertainment Weekly, and “TODAY’s happy hour” by USA Today. In 2010, the “TODAY” show received the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Program.

Kotb has received numerous awards including the most recent 2015 Gracie Award for Individual Achievement, the 2008 Alfred I. duPont – Columbia University award and the prestigious Peabody in 2006 for her “Dateline NBC” report “The Education of Ms. Groves.” The four-time Emmy nominee also won the 2004 Headliner Award, 2008 and 2003 Gracie Award, and 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award.

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Power of Pink Luncheon recognized founding board members of The Women’s Council, including Bonnie Levin, Judi Dawkins, Judy Eisenberg, Barbara Gitlin, Ellen Jakobson, Mary Ann Martin, Gloria Nilson, Joan Rechnitz, Paulette Roberts, Ethel Schultz, Ann Unterberg and Susie Whyman.

“We are grateful for the tenacity and dedication of The Women’s Council, who have raised more than $3 million over the years through events such as this, donations and hard work,” said Tara Kelly, vice president of development, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation.

The Women’s Council was founded in 1995 when cancer survivor Bonnie Levin and concerned women in the Two River area identified the need to inform women about the importance of early detection of cancer and the progress being made in cancer research. As the organization’s flagship event, the Power of Pink Luncheon brings together men and women to raise funds and enhance the quality of care delivered to cancer patients at the Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center. Since The Women’s Council’s inception, nearly $3 million has been raised.

Pictured from left with Power of Pink guest speaker Hoda Kotb, center, are: Bill Arnold, chief operating officer at Monmouth Medical Center; Tara Kelly, vice president of development for Monmouth Medical Center Foundation; Claire Knopf, Women’s Council Chair and co-chair of the 2015 Power of Pink luncheon and Frank J. Vozos, M.D., FACS, president and chief executive officer of Monmouth Medical Center.

About Monmouth Medical Center
Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with The Unterberg Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey’s largest academic medical centers and has been a teaching affiliate of Philadelphia’s Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation’s largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery.

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