On October 6, approximately 950 people attended the Thirteenth Annual Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation (NOMF) Luncheon at The Westin Galleria. This was a very successful luncheon, with the largest attendance in the Foundation’s history, enabling the Foundation to impact the community with energy and enthusiasm and raise awareness about breast cancer.
At the luncheon, the Foundation donated a record setting $125,000 to three research projects. Dr. Anthony Lucci, Jr. with MD Anderson, Dr. Grattoni with the Houston Methodist Research Institute and Dr. Xiaosong Wang with Baylor College of Medicine accepted the generous check on behalf of their organizations. This brings the grand total of monies donated by the Foundation to over $1.4 Million!
The Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation was created in memory of Nancy Owens, a much loved and well respected icon in the Houston real estate industry. Owens lost her courageous 20-year battle with breast cancer in September 2001. One of Owens’ final wishes, if she had survived her battle with cancer, was to dedicate a large part of her life to the fight against breast cancer and the continued advancement of its research towards finding a cure. It is that very dream that lives on today.
The luncheon opened with a fun video of the NOMF committee on the pink carpet with their celebrity dates. Ilona Carson with KTRK- TV, ABC 13 hosted the event as the MC, and announced the foundation’s success and it’s continued commitment to raising additional funds throughout the year through the Foundation’s Annual “Swing for the Cure” Golf Tournament. The 2015 Golf tournament will be held on May 4, at Sweetwater Country Club!
The foundation is extremely fortunate to have community-wide support and during the luncheon, several accolades were given. The foundation is particularly grateful to Mike Huff with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Anderson Properties for his generosity at the Diamond level sponsorship (a $15,000 contribution) and Jennifer Hernandez with Legacy Mutual Mortgage who generously donated at the Platinum level (a $10,000 contribution). The foundation also recognized and is very appreciative of the Houston Chronicle, the Media Sponsor; TK Images Real Estate Photography, the photography sponsor; and to the Houston Association of REALTORS®, the Professional Sponsor, for their continued support over the years.
The guest speakers for the luncheon were Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Bill and Giuliana are one of America’s most beloved couples with a combined 5 million followers on Twitter and Instagram a very loyal following as a result of the many television shows they are a part of and their philanthropic work.
They are watched by millions each week on E! on their hit reality show, Giuliana & Bill, which recently debuted its seventh season- the highest rated season to date. As executive producers, Giuliana and Bill attribute the show’s success to their transparent approach used to educate viewers about life’s struggles and challenges, including marriage, breast cancer, infertility and parenting.
The couple is incredibly philanthropic, involved in such charities as Operation Smile, Mercy Home for boys and girls in Chicago, The National Institutes of Health renal cell cancer division, Bright Pink, among many others. In March 2013, Giuliana launched an initiative she created called Fab-U-Wish, granting fabulous-themed wishes to women undergoing treatment for breast or ovarian cancer (fabuwish.org.) Bill travels regularly on goodwill missions to build homes in Haiti.
Another highlight at this year’s luncheon was the presentation of the “Nancy Owens Spirit of Courage Award,” which reflects the courage of an extraordinary individual in the community who has fought the battle against cancer and won. This year’s award was presented to Sheri Malone. Malone, very much humbled by this honor, thanked her family and friends who guided her through the journey and brought the crowd to their feet. Sheri received a beautiful Waterford crystal Angel.
Attendees had several opportunities to support the foundation by purchasing raffle tickets, bidding on silent auction items. A very special thank you was given to those who generously donated items and their services: Bags & More, Bella Spatique Nail Spa, Buffalo Specialties, Caesar Vielmas with blu27, Carrabba’s, Central Market, Christi Aufdenspring, Ciro’s, Claudia Hernandez with HAR TV, Cutco, Debra Duncan, Define Body and Mind, Digi-Color, Donna Neely, Events, Eye Elegance, French Cuff Boutique, Glass Attractions, Grace Graubart, Grace’s, Houston Association of REALTORS®, Houston Chronicle Media Group, Ilona Carson MC, Initials, Joe Orsak with Improve My Credit USA, Katie Aguilar, Kelly TownCar Services, Ken Jacobson with Hometrust Mortgage, Kendra Scott, Laura Siegel, Liberty Kitchen, Loop and Tie, Marisa’s Jewelry, Masraff’s, Mia’s, Michael Rubenstein Partner at Schlanger Silver Barg & Paine, LLP, Mike Laws with Southwest Precision Printers, Moody Gardens Golf Course, Nit Noi Thai Restaurant, Nothing Bundt Cakes, NotOnSite, Paisley House, Robert’s China, Samantha Piper, SOK – Salon on Kirby, Starbucks, Tara Sondock, Taste of Texas, Terri Guerra, The Eye Gallery, The Houston Dynamo’s, The Houstonian, The Perfect Touch, The Wine Man, TK Images Real Estate Photography, Travis Guerra, Veritas Title and Westin Hotels
The foundation’s planning committee is made up of community members whose lives have all been touched by Nancy Owens, including some of her closest friends, whose tireless efforts, dedication and love of Nancy has been the driving force behind the success of the foundation. The committee members are: Amy Bernstein, Cheri Fama, Debera Fontenot, Gail Evans, Gloria Moorman, Jennifer Hernandez, Katherine Stewart, Katie Aguilar, Leash Yu, Lynn Mather, Mary Piper, Mariella Massa, Mike McFarland, Peggie Kohnert, Phil Rader, Raghda Henthorne, Robin Mueck, Terri Guerra, and Vicki Fullerton.
The Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation exemplifies how professionals in all aspects can band together for a common cause and make a difference and commit to finding a cure! For more information or to make a donation, please call 713-932-1032 or visit www.NancyOwens.org. The Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation.
Thank you to all those in the community who supported the Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation in 2014 through your attendance at our golf tournament, luncheon or through donations. We truly appreciate your continues support and look forward to our 2015 events with you. Please be sure to look for event photos and updates on upcoming events at www.nancyowens.org.