A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes

“It is a day I look forward to all year long,” a sentiment expressed by one honored mom but shared by many as they expressed their love and appreciation for the annual “A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes” luncheon, an event conceived of and hosted by Chris Glavine, wife of baseball superstar Tom Glavine.

The fifth annual luncheon was held on Saturday, September 19th and, by all accounts, continued the tradition of an elegant event packed full of inspiration and emotion. The luncheon is a very unique event that honors mothers of childhood cancer patients past and present. The mothers are hosted and presented with a beautiful luncheon, an inspiring speaker and a day to share their joys and their pains with the only people who truly understand them, their fellow moms.

CURE Childhood Cancer’s Executive director, Kristin Connor, explains that the event began and continues to be about a need that she, Chris Glavine and other committee members have to do something for the moms they love. “Almost selfishly, we need this day,” says Connor. “We need to have some way – however small – to show these moms that we care about what they’ve been through and continue to endure.”

“The Quiet Heroes luncheon is a very unique and special event,” explains hostess, Chris Glavine. “I believe the day remains in the hearts of those who attend. It is my hope that they will all be inspired to take a more active roll in the fight against childhood cancer.”

Ruth Hoffman, a Quiet Hero and Executive director of the National office of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Mrs. Hoffman discussed the need for more research and emphasized the need for less toxic treatments, citing her own daughter’s struggles as an adult survivor. As always, the talented and giving Jill Becker, also a Quiet Hero, emceed the event.

Even in a tough economy, this year’s event was an overwhelming success, raising $260,000 for childhood cancer research. “The fact that more than 550 people attended this luncheon on a busy Saturday in September and opened their hearts and their wallets to our cause proves that people really care,” remarks Connor. “It gives us so much hope.”

Below two Quiet Heroes share how much the luncheon means to them.

For me, Quiet Heroes is one of the most special days of the year. It is a day when I am recognized for the struggle I have weathered with my child and, especially during her treatments, it was the one day I stopped to let myself be cared for. As I enter the hotel, I see all of the silent auction items and I watch as people playfully fight over bids. It brings tears to my eyes because I know that every dollar they bid means more hope for our children. Seated in this beautiful room for lunch, surrounded by so many other mothers who have fought or are fighting similar battles with their children, I am home again. I am amazed by the number of people there, and again I am touched and thrilled, knowing that many of those people chose to pay for their seats – more hope for our children. As I look around me on that day, I know that every face there represents either a mom or family member of a child, or they chose to be there because they care about this battle our children are fighting. How precious all of those people are to me. This is a day filled with love ~ and so much hope. And I am so grateful for it.

~ Quiet Hero Lisa Hanger

The annual Quiet Heroes luncheon is an event like no other. It is truly hard to put into words what the day represents and means to so many of us. It is an experience of the truest of sisterhood and total acceptance. There is probably no other venue where you have something in common with every woman in the room that has on a name tag with the Quiet Heroes reference. There are emotions of every type expressed on the faces of these women. There are smiles of joy in seeing their fellow cancer moms and confirming that their child is still in survivor status. There are smiles of hope as they are telling that their children are bravely still fighting their battles. There are tears of deep loss but smiles of gratitude for those wanting to know how they are coping with their loss or wanting to learn about who their child was. The connections that are made are ties of a lifetime that bond these women together. As all of the Quiet Heroes are asked to stand each year, we do it with pride but with such sadness. As we look around the room and see all of the other mothers, our hearts are filled with love and admiration for each other but with such sadness for all of the children represented there. The Quiet Heroes luncheon is one of the greatest gifts that I have personally received since I started the cancer journey with my daughter. It is an event that I cherish and look forward to every year. I always leave with renewed hope and am re-energized for the task at hand.

~ Quiet Hero Cathy Smith

Watch for details about the sixth annual “A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes,”coming in September 2010.


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