WCBS-FM’s Patty Steele to host Susan G. Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party honoring Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Pfizer, and 15-year volunteer Jennie Silecchia

WCBS-FM’s Patty Steele to host Susan G. Komen North Jersey Pink Tie Party honoring Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Pfizer, and 15-year volunteer Jennie Silecchia

By: Kathi Edelson Wolder

Susan G. Komen North Jersey will be taking a “bold leap forward” at its 2018 Pink Tie Party, as it sets its sights on a BOLD GOAL to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by the year 2026. Funds raised at the signature event, to be held March 16th at The Grove in Cedar Grove, will help towards achieving this goal, which will be accomplished by improving access to quality and timely cancer care, and enhancing Komen’s national research focus on the most lethal types of breast cancers.

This year’s event, co-chaired by Michele Caselnova of Sparta and Tim and Connie Harbison of Hillsborough will pay tribute to 15-year veteran volunteer Jennie Silecchia of Chatham (Individual Honoree), Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Corporate Honoree) and Pfizer (Medical Honoree) for their exceptional commitment to the organization’s mission. Beloved radio personality Patty Steele, co-host of 101.1/WCBS-FM’s popular morning radio show Scott Shannon in the Morning (and a four-year breast cancer survivor), will serve as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies.

Corporate Honoree Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has been a Komen North Jersey partner since 2002, when they first came on board as a partner for the Affiliate’s Pink Tie Ball. They have continued to support the Pink Tie fundraisers, as well as been a major sponsor for the Affiliate’s annual Race for the Cure.

Horizon BCBSNJ also provided support for the Affiliate’s inaugural Women’s Wellness Expo, launched this past October in Newark, and has committed to continue that support in 2018.

“In some way, everyone has been impacted by breast cancer. We must continue to work tirelessly to detect, treat and ultimately prevent this awful disease,” says Kevin P. Conlin, Chairman, President and CEO, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. “Horizon has a long and positive history with Susan G. Komen North Jersey and we remain committed to the cause of battling cancer. A vital part of our promise and vision is to enrich the lives and health of the communities we serve and we take that mission very seriously.”

Horizon BCBSNJ continues to be at the forefront of addressing women’s health with initiatives that include:  reaching out to members who have not had a breast cancer screening to remind them to be screened; addressing their concerns by providing additional information; including breast cancer screening on the member website and in newsletters; sharing breast cancer screening guidelines with members and physicians and; providing a women’s health booklet to members. At various times throughout the year, the company makes a mobile mammography van available on site for employees of Horizon BCBSNJ, to make getting screened as easy and accessible as possible. In 2011 and 2012, Komen North Jersey, who provided part of the funding for the mobile mammography van for several years, partnered with Horizon BCBSNJ and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to present a “Get Screened” day at Horizon’s Newark facility during October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Horizon also has a Women’s Health Event planned for April 27, 2018, in Camden, NJ

Pfizer is this year’s Medical Honoree and has been a long-standing partner of Susan G. Komen with support on a national level for the Health Equity Roundtables, Young Investigators, and global analysis paper on the gaps in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) policy, among other initiatives. Pfizer has been a constant and committed partner of the local Komen North Jersey Affiliate since 2002, providing significant sponsorship support for their Race for the Cure and Pink Tie fundraisers, as well as critical grants to help the Affiliate further its advocacy initiatives on behalf of those living with cancer and other chronic diseases. They were the local sponsor for the I Am Komen® initiative at the 2017 Race for the Cure, which focused on education and awareness of, and access to breast cancer clinical trials, with an emphasis on information relating to metastatic breast cancer.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Komen New Jersey, and proud of our partnership with Susan G. Komen both locally and nationally,” says Matthew Shaulis, Regional President, North America, Pfizer Oncology. “Pfizer Oncology and Komen are aligned in our areas of focus in support of the breast cancer community, in particular as it relates to Komen’s BOLD GOAL to address metastatic disease and health equity.  Like Komen, we are committed to collaborating with others to effect change on behalf of those living with cancer.” Since 2010, Pfizer Oncology has worked with hundreds of collaborators on innovative clinical trial research that has included more than 5,000 patients with metastatic breast cancer. In addition, they have invested more than $40 million in unique breast cancer research grant partnerships, providing some of the greatest scientific minds across the globe with open access to our pipeline to achieve more and move faster for patients.  They also work directly with the breast cancer community to support those affected by MBC through initiatives focused on education and empowerment, supporting caregivers and loved ones, elevating public awareness, and rallying local and global communities.

Individual Honorees are chosen for their exceptional volunteerism and enduring commitment to the mission of the Komen North Jersey organization. For fifteen years, Jennie Silecchia has been a vital and devoted member of the “family,” volunteering several days a week as an office assistant, working on almost every signature fundraising event, in addition to day-to-day activities.

She has the distinction of being one of the most recognized volunteers in the Affiliate’s history; during her tenure, she has received the Ruth Siksnius Volunteer Angel of the Year Award, (which was Komen North Jersey’s most prestigious award), the Komen North Jersey Hope Award, and the Promise of One Award.

The honorees, of course, are the “stars” of the evening, but it wouldn’t be a party without the requisite fun-factor and fabulous opportunities for giving. Elegant cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be a prelude to an exquisitely-prepared dinner, intermingled with a lot of dancing (and prancing) to the sounds of Tribeca Rhythm and DJ Sizzling Sounds. But the real essence of the Pink Tie Party is about giving generously, and there will be lots of chances for guests to “be part of the cure.” There’s an abundance of coveted silent auction items (pre-event bidding is already “live” online at bidpal.net/ptp for those who would like to get a jump on those bids now!), and a thrilling live auction.

All in all, it promises to be a memorable, “feel good” kind of night, thanks in no small part to the generosity of this year’s Pink Tie Party sponsors: Dun & Bradstreet and TAPinto (Funding the Cures); Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; NJM Insurance Group; Pfizer; and RWJBarnabas Health (Partners in the Promise).