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Celebrity Philanthropy News
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Black Tie International: Celebrity Philanthropy News-
Kathie Lee Gifford


Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford  and 2009 Mother of the Year,

Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford  and 2009 Mother of the Year,
Dr. Alexandra Heerdt
  Photo by: Shana Wittenwyler




American Cancer Society Recognizes

“Mothers Who Are Lifesavers” as Model Mothers At 14th Annual Luncheon



      On the medical front, Dr. Alexandra Heerdt, revered leading breast cancer surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering with an insatiable passion to save lives, and on the media front, Ann Curry of NBC, acclaimed television journalist and advocate for education and public awareness on vital health issues, were honored as the American Cancer Society’s Mothers of the Year 2009 at the 14th Annual Mother Of The Year Luncheon.  Dr. Heerdt and Ann Curry were honored for their steadfast commitment to their families, for being role models and inspirations to their children and the communities they serve, and foremost, for their immeasurable contribution in moving the fight against cancer forward.

             “Dr. Heerdt is our guardian angel,” stated Roni Cowan, who was among the luncheon’s Benefit Co-Chairs, which included Cynthia Lufkin, Cricket Burns, Marisa Marchetto, Kathie Lee Gifford, Eva Mohr, Jacqueline Togut and Caroline Cronson. Diana Feldman, chairman of Special Events at the American Cancer Society, was thrilled that Ann Curry was at the Plaza, “not bungee jumping or exploring the deep sea or conquering Mt Kilimanjaro, but being recognized for an important part of her life.”

      The luncheon took place on Tuesday, February 24, 2009,
 in the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza.  The funds raised from will benefit the American Cancer Society's lifesaving programs in research, education, advocacy and, services for patients and their families. The guest list includes: Barbara Taylor Bradford, Hilary Califano, Wendy Carduner, Dr. Barrie Cassileth, Maria Cuomo Cole, Barbara Corcoran, Maltilda Cuomo, Charlotte Ford, Rachel Hovnanian, Eleanora Kennedy, Hoda Kotb, Evelyn Lauder, Matt Lauer,  Margo Neederlander, Dr. Larry Norton, Al Roker, Liz Scott (Alex’s Lemonade Stand), Laura Slatkin, Diana Taylor, and Meredith Vieira.


Kathie Lee Gifford was  the Mistress of Ceremonies for this event.  Brian Ross and Emma Heerdt (Alexandra Heerdt’s pre-teen daughter)  presented the awards respectively. Emma Heerdt’s heartwarming remarks for her mother will….. well all I can say is bring your tissues! Cynthia Lufkin, Mother of the Year 2008 presented the honorees with bouquets. Dr. Heerdt was Mrs. Lufkin’s breast cancer surgeon. The program  included special recognition of all the cancer survivors attending the luncheon, by getting the entire ballroom to “BLOW THE WHISTLE ON CANCER”!


For more information about the event, kindly contact Luis Valero, Director of Distinguished Events (212-237-3888 or or Terrianne Zeifman (212-237-3892 or ).


The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. The American Cancer Society Eastern Division has 46 community-based offices, involving thousands of volunteers throughout NY and NJ.  For more information about cancer, the public can call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit



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