The SoutheastHEALTH Foundation will host its Fourth Annual Journey Gala on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at the Drury Plaza Conference Center in Cape Girardeau. Guests will enjoy an elegant “Soirée en Paris” theme, along with a gourmet dinner, charity auctions, celebrity guest speaker journalist and women’s health and wellness advocate Joan Lunden and dancing to live music by Vote 4 Pedro. The cocktail attire, black tie optional event begins at 6 p.m.
The gala benefits the SoutheastHEALTH Cancer Care Fund, which makes the cancer journey less stressful for those in need of urgent assistance during the course of their treatment. SoutheastHEALTH Foundation President Patti Ranzini said funds raised from the gala provide free mammograms, nutritional supplements, medications, transportation service and so much more that would not be available without community support of the gala.
“We have been so humbled by the overwhelming support the community has shown for the Journey Gala over the last few years,” Ranzini noted. “We are grateful to everyone who attends this very worthy event, knowing that they are helping support those living with cancer right here at home.” Last year’s gala raised $250,000. Since the event began in 2017, over $600,000 has been raised. “We hope this year’s gala will be the most successful ever,” Ranzini said. “It’s going to be an amazing evening of entertainment and a wonderful celebration of life.”
Jennifer Icaza-Gast and Anita Drury are once again serving as co-chairs for the gala. “Most of us know the heartbreak and feeling of desperation that comes with a cancer diagnosis,” Icaza-Gast said. “Everyone involved with the Journey Gala is dedicated to doing whatever we can to help patients and families during what is a very difficult and challenging time.”
Gala Welcomes Joan Lunden
An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, and women's health & wellness advocate, Joan Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 30 years. For nearly two decades, Lunden greeted viewers each morning on Good Morning America bringing insight to the day’s top stories. As the longest running female host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 5 presidents, 5 Olympics, and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families, and their health.
Today, Lunden continues to be one of America’s most recognized and trusted personalities. Lunden is a sought-after speaker and event host throughout the country, the host of the CBS series Your Health, and recently, served as a special correspondent on the TODAY Show.
As a part of the sandwich generation, Lunden’s demographic is far-reaching. She is a mother of seven including two sets of teenager twins. Like many Boomers in America she has juggled being a working mom while caring for an aging parent, and brings this experience to her role as the spokesperson for the nation’s leading senior referral service, A Place for Mom, a company helping caregivers and families find the right care and resources for their loved one.
In June of 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, which required chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. An eternal optimist, Lunden wanted to turn her diagnosis into an opportunity to help others. She blogged throughout her cancer treatment and wrote a memoir Had I Known, which documents her battle, and reflects on her life and career. Lunden advocates for patients on Capitol Hill, and actively communicates with the cancer community through her social media and on her website.
One of the most visible women in America, Lunden has graced the covers of more than 60 magazines and book covers. Lunden’s new book, Why Did I Come into This Room; A Candid Conversation About Aging will hit stands in March of 2020.
Tickets Available Now
Gala tickets are $175 each and may be purchased by calling the SoutheastHEALTH Foundation at 573-519-4920 or online at SEhealth.org/Gala. Corporate sponsorships are also available. Event sponsors will have the opportunity to attend a VIP meet and greet with Joan Lunden. For more information about becoming an event sponsor, call the SoutheastHEALTH Foundation.