Astros players celebrate Pink in the Park (and some even wore ties!)

The Astros have hosted three Pink in the Park Brunch and Bazaars, but they added a classy and unique element to Friday’s event that probably puts this one just a smidge above the others.

The Astros hosted 12 honored guests, all breast cancer survivors, all living proof that effective treatment — and yes, probably a little luck, too — can make the Big C not a death sentence, but rather a mere road block during the journey to remission. Breast cancer survival rates have increased significantly over the years, thanks to research, research, and more research — which, fittingly, is where the proceeds from this Astros event will end up as well.

The breast cancer survivors were escorted into Union Station and to their “seat of honor” in style. Flanked by an Astros player on each arm, the guests were introduced by Hall of Fame announcer Milo Hamilton and seated at the Royal Table, right smack in the middle of the ballroom.

I have to say, your Astros sure do clean up well. They were all gracious and charming, too (perhaps partly because wives, girlfriends and most importantly, moms, were invited to this as well.)

(Watch the full video here)

Linda Anderson, escorted by Brandon Lyon and Jeff Fulchino. (Linda was also the winner of MLB's Honorary Bat Girl contest,)

Ellen Cohen, escorted by Chris Johnson and Jason Castro. Cohen, a former State Representative, was the president and CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center for 18 years.

Julie Karlsson, escorted by Wandy Rodriguez and Angel Sanchez.

Kathy Larsen, escorted by J.R. Towles and Brian Bogusevic.

Mary Mahone, escorted by Humberto Quintero and Fernando Abad.

Jessica Nolly, escorted by Bill Hall and Jason Bourgeois.

Beth Sanders-Moore, escorted by Clint Barmes and Michael Bourn.

Dori Shannon, escorted by Brett Wallace and Hunter Pence.

Bobbie Smith, escorted by Aneury Rodriguez and J.A. Happ. (Bobbie has worked gamedays at the ballpark for as long as I can remember as did her late husband, Cotton. Bobbie might be the nicest and friendliest person, ever. We love her.)

Karla Sorenson, escorted by Enerio Del Rosario and Jose Valdez.

Peggy Sorenson, escorted by Brett Myers and Matt Downs.

Donna Stokes, escorted by Mark Melancon and Carlos Lee.

The event began with a shopping bazaar on the main concourse that featured numerous local boutiques and unique fashion designers. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Methodist Cancer Center. Additional funds were raised through a silent auction of numerous unique items including an exclusive opportunity to have a dinner for 10 people personally prepared by renowned Chef Bryan Caswell at Reef, his award-winning seafood restaurant in Midtown.

The brunch, co-chaired by Astros President of Business Operations Pam Gardner and Elizabeth McLane, wife of Astros Chairman and CEO Drayton McLane, was emceed by Lisa Malosky, former sports reporter and current associate editor of Health and Fitness Sports Magazine.

Malosky conducted a question and answer session with Dr. Jenny Chang, an internationally acclaimed breast cancer researcher and clinician, and Director of The Methodist Cancer Center.

The featured speaker was Denise Hazen, author of Treat Her Like a Princess: How to Help Your Girlfriend with Breast Cancer.  Hazen, a stage three breast cancer survivor, wrote the book based on her own experience to help caregivers guide their friends through the process of breast cancer treatment.

Wandy Rodriguez and his wife, Luz.

Angel Sanchez and his wife, Michelle.

Milo Hamilton, Lisa Malosky.

Summer Barmes, Sara Lyon, Pamela Michaels, Michelle Quintero, Gloria Moore (Pamela's mom)

Brian Bogusevic and his girlfriend, Kelly Smith.

3 Comments

Sweet, sweet, sweet. I lost my own mother to breast cancer when I was 19. There was no treatment for breast cancer in 1968. I was sooo impressed with “our guys”!! Thank you Alyson for posting such a great story. Becky :) :)

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I’m a longtime Astros’ fan dating back to the Colt .45 days. As a 17 year survivor of breast cancer, my thanks to the Astros for their support in fighting a disease that could have taken my life.

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