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Photos: National Cheers Foundation luncheon salutes ‘Women of Wonder’ in La Jolla

Dr. Doris Howell speaks about the tough career moves she faced as one of the first female physicians in the United States.
Dr. Doris Howell speaks about the tough career moves she faced as one of the first female physicians in the United States.
(María José Durán)

The National Cheers Foundation (NCF) hosted its annual Women of Wonder luncheon June 8, 2016 at the La Jolla Country Club. Some 70 people were in attendance to help NCF celebrate four years of promoting women’s health.

More than $10,000 was raised at the luncheon, which will be used to support medical research, health institutions, advocacy groups, and outreach programs that focus on women. The 2016 grants from the National Cheers Foundation were awarded to Family Health Centers, South Bay Community Centers and Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health.

The silent auction included several idyllic vacation destinations, and a Diamond Draw had guests buying $100 Champagne glasses for the chance to win the one that contained a $2,400 diamond.

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The event also inaugurated a Cheers Foundation membership program. Prospective sponsors can donate $500 for a Pearl membership and $25,000 for a Diamond membership, each includes different levels of honors and appreciations.

Honoree and guest speaker Dr. Doris Howell, aka San Diego’s “Mother of Hospice Care,” delighted the audience with a talk that turned personal. “I’m going to speak about the men of my life,” she announced, and she described the events that shaped her long, illustrative life in medicine, through the men that were involved.

In one revealing anecdote, Howell spoke of the admissions committee that interviewed her when she tried to get into Harvard Medical School. Skeptical of a woman becoming a physician, one of the admissions officers asked her: “How do we know you are not going to get pregnant?” to which she responded. “I have been fertile for four years and I haven’t gotten pregnant. If I’m not worried, I don’t know why you should be.”

Howell highlighted all the career difficulties she went through just because she is a woman. She referred to the presumptive nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party candidate for President, and spoke to every woman in the room: “If you have an ambition, do something! Don’t hold back. The only thing is needed, is hard work.”

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The Foundation announced its 2016 gala will take place Saturday, Oct. 1 at the La Jolla Country Club with the theme “La Dolce Vita.” NCF President Anseth Richards said the party will include dinner, an auction and a dance night with entertainment by The Zippers. For more information visit nationalcheersfoundation.org or call (858) 361-2551.

Taylor Miller, Pamela Pogue and Kristi Pieper
Taylor Miller, Pamela Pogue and Kristi Pieper
(María José Durán)
Victoria Chinsee with Peter Potente
Victoria Chinsee with Peter Potente
(María José Durán)
Joan Warren, Nancy Borreli, Terri Coladis and Molly McKellar
Joan Warren, Nancy Borreli, Terri Coladis and Molly McKellar
(María José Durán)
Gay Sinclair and Megan Heine
Gay Sinclair and Megan Heine
(María José Durán)
Brooke Kokawa, Robin Corahan, Kathryn Lembo and Larissa Tabin
Brooke Kokawa, Robin Corahan, Kathryn Lembo and Larissa Tabin
Kathy Ingleden and Leah Higgins
Kathy Ingleden and Leah Higgins
(María José Durán)
Mimi Swenson and Chris Andrews
Mimi Swenson and Chris Andrews
(María José Durán)
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Diana Cavagnaro, Gina Hixson and Jackie Helm
Diana Cavagnaro, Gina Hixson and Jackie Helm
(María José Durán)
Tracy T. Bennett, Shannon Turner and Maryl Weightman
Tracy T. Bennett, Shannon Turner and Maryl Weightman
(María José Durán)
Gulia Fulton, Marnie Cheney, Anseth Richards and Jill McDonald
Gulia Fulton, Marnie Cheney, Anseth Richards and Jill McDonald
(María José Durán)