Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Definite Ace

Cancer kills. It causes pain. And sadly it can be genetic. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose a parent to cancer and live with the fear that you could face the same fate. You can let that fear paralyze you or you can take it, look it in the face, and say you will battle it. Good things come about when fear is battled and beaten. The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is one of those things. 

Marjorie Pastel lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 1998. Since watching her mom battle this awful disease she has been committed to raising money for research and awareness. Research might some day bring about a cure and awareness means more people will find the disease and treat it before it is fatal. 

Q&A with Marjorie Pastel - Founder, Wall Street Tennis Challenge

What is the Wall Street Tennis Challenge?

This year’s Wall Street Tennis Challenge will be held on Saturday, September 21st. During the day, some of Wall Street’s finest tennis players will compete at the Field Club of Greenwich in a round robin tournament. The two top teams will play in the Wall Street Tennis Challenge during the evening at the Greenwich Country Club. The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an exhibition match and the Wall Street Tennis Challenge doubles final. Guests are invited to enjoy cocktails while cheering on the two top teams as they battle it out. The match is followed by a fun and festive party including dinner, silent and live auctions, and dancing.

What is the cause? 

All of the proceeds raised from the event will benefit the National Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program (NOCEDP) at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading institutions in identifying and implementing the most advanced screening methods for ovarian cancer prevention and early detection. The NOCEDP was established in 1999 by its director, Dr. David Fishman, an internationally recognized gynecologic oncologist. Since there are no common symptoms and no proven tests, most women continue to be diagnosed when the disease has reached advanced stages and survival rates are poor. Early detection would be one of the greatest breakthroughs in women’s healthcare since it increases the survival rate to over 90%. The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support Mount Sinai’s efforts while spreading awareness about the early detection and screening procedures currently available to women.

Why is it so important to you, the founder of this event? How has cancer affected your life?

My mom, Bette Drymer Shapiro, was my very best friend. She was a talented artist and the most loving and gentle person I have ever known. I feel grateful every day for the relationship that we had. For six years I watched my mom battle ovarian cancer. Her struggle and strength inspired me to create the Wall Street Tennis Challenge where all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research and early detection. She was the inspiration for the entire event! I am proud to honor her and couldn't pull this off without the support and help of many other amazing women. 
None of this would be possible without my four co-chairs - Lori Zych, Kristina Gabelli, Jen Morris and Melissa Hawks. They are incredible!

What makes your event different than others?
It is different because guests come to watch some of the best tennis in New England! We have several former pros and great local players participating. This year we will be joined by former tennis professional, Jimmy Arias. Jimmy Arias was a tennis prodigy who turned pro at age 16 in 1980. His career high ranking was No. 5 in the world in 1984. He won the 1982 French Open Mixed Doubles Championship with former World No. 2 player Andrea Jaeger. He currently serves as a commentator for ESPN International and the Tennis Channel.

How can people attend, donate, or help the cause?
We have a limited number of tickets left so visit our site and buy them now! Tickets can be bought here. If you are unable to attend we are thrilled with any donation big or small for this very important cause.

Over here at The Sentimentalist we think this event is a total ace. Here's to facing challenges head on  - both on the court and off. 

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