Susan G. Komen Central & South Jersey Holds First IMPACT Luncheon

The Central and South Jersey (CSNJ) Affiliate of Susan G. Komen held its first annual IMPACT Luncheon on March 24, 2017 at the Hamilton Manor. This empowering event, sponsored by TD Bank, was dedicated to making an impact on the community and to those who have been instrumental in the fight against breast cancer.

The afternoon featured an empowering and educational program focused on breast cancer education and survivorship. Guests had the opportunity to network and socialize, and enjoyed a variety of activities, including door prizes, great food, silent auction, photo booth and a “pink prize” raffle.

From left: Event featured speakers, Monmouth County Freeholder Serena DiMaso, Linda Verba from TD Bank and Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Komen CSNJ Board Members Celia Moncholi and Dr. Gary Tuma.

Attendees heard the important stories of three empowering guest speakers: Serena DiMaso, Linda Verba, and Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer.

Freeholder Serena DiMaso was sworn in to her third elected term on the Board of Chosen Freeholders on Jan. 5, 2017. She served as deputy director in 2016, 2015, and 2013. Prior to becoming a freeholder, DiMaso served on the Holmdel Township committee for ten years, served as mayor from 2006 to 2010, and served as deputy mayor in 2011.

Linda Verba is the head of service strategy at TD Bank. In this role, Verba leads programs focusing on creating customer experience and employee recognition. Her expertise and dedication have guided a unique corporate culture of innovation and service excellence.

Dr. Deborah Toppmeyer is the chief medical officer and director of both the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center and the LIFE Center at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Along with being an expert in breast cancer, breast cancer genetics and the design and implementation of clinical trials, she is also a professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Each speaker gave great insight and had their own inspiring stories to share. Toppmeyer said that “only 10 percent of cancer is hereditary,” meaning that anyone can get cancer and should be screened. Verba expressed that “ignorance is risk,” and that “the word cancer is not a death sentence.” The luncheon speakers also honored Courtney Blessing, a young mother who recently lost her fight to breast cancer. The crowd offered a moment of silence for Blessing and for all those who have passed from the disease.

The first annual IMPACT Luncheon raised more than $50,000 for the Komen CSNJ Community Grants Program and Susan G. Komen Global Research Initiatives.