First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
Breast Cancer Survivors Honored at Annual Luncheon

Press Release Date:  Monday, May 04, 2009  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton
Jill Midkiff
Sarah Baird

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Today, First Lady Jane Beshear welcomed approximately 1,000 breast cancer survivors from across the Commonwealth to the 12th annual Celebration of Hope.

“It is very appropriate that on the Monday after the Kentucky Derby, we celebrate the winning of another “Derby” as women have won their own race of life by defeating breast cancer,” said Mrs. Beshear. “The Celebration of Hope is their winner’s circle and we want to congratulate each of them.”

This year’s guests heard words of inspiration from Nancy Cox, news anchor for WLEX-TV in Lexington. Cox is a native of Taylor County and a graduate of Western Kentucky University and was named Miss Kentucky in 1990. Cox started at WLEX in 1992. She is currently the station’s 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. news anchor. Among her community activities, she hosts WLEX 18’s “First Monday” reports, profiles of breast cancer survivors in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as the “Race for the Cure” and the “Pink Tie Gala,” both efforts to  raise breast cancer awareness.

Also, sharing her story of survivorship, Cathy Halloran, of Highland Heights, is a breast cancer survivor of over seven years. Halloran is the owner of the nonprofit organization CHICKS & CHUCKS. The organization is designed to be a resource for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients who require products and services, but may not have the financial means to acquire the needed services.

Along with the two speakers, musical entertainment was provided by Dr. Everett McCorvey from Lexington and Grammy nominee Kenny Bishop.

Holding true to the “pink” theme of breast cancer awareness, the tables on the convention floor and the entryway were decorated with pink and green cloths, pink floral arrangements and pink and green wooden jockeys. With the help of over 100 volunteers, lunch was provided to the survivors by Yum! Brands and included grilled chicken, potato salad, biscuit and slaw.

Various merchants were in booths in the convention center lobby. These merchants include Two Chicks & Co., Gilda’s Club of Louisville, Louisville Stoneware, Elmwood Inn and various authors. Vendors were asked to donate a portion of all proceeds to the Celebration of Hope.

The luncheon was held at downtown Frankfort on May 4, 2009 in the Frankfort Convention Center from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., concluding a weekend of Derby events.

In addition to the luncheon, the Governor’s Mansion is open to all attendees from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. for tours. Downtown Frankfort shuttled guests from the Frankfort Convention Center to the mansion and back. In honor of the cancer survivor celebration, the Thomas D. Clark Kentucky History Center offered free admission today to those wearing pink.

The Celebration of Hope was initiated by former First Lady Judi Patton and has since developed into a celebration of survivorship as well as an opportunity to educate Kentucky’s women on the issue of breast cancer awareness. Additionally, this gathering of survivors and advocates serves to promote awareness that breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of death among women—both nationally and in Kentucky.