The Power of Pink: The Strength of the Community Supports Monmouth Medical Center’s Oncology Services and the Hospital’s Cancer Patients

Welcoming attendees to the 2021 Pink event at the Navesink Country Club

Welcoming attendees to the 2021 Pink event at the Navesink Country Club in Middletown are, from left, Caitlin Olson, Regional Vice President of Development; Terry Ingram, Pink co-chair, Leon Hess Cancer Center (LHCC) Council member, Monmouth Medical Center Foundation (MMCF) advisory board member and founder of the Swing Pink golf and tennis event; Eric Carney, President and CEO, and Claire Knopf, Pink co-chair, LHCC council member and chair of the MMCF Board of Trustees.

Long Branch, NJ, September 27, 2021 — The COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold on many events and social gatherings over the past 18 months, but on September 20, Monmouth Medical Center’s Leon Hess Cancer Center (LHCC) Council used the power of pink to show its mettle, continuing its popular Pink fundraising events in both virtual and physically distant, in-person formats.

“One of the many things we’ve learned over the last year as a community is that we are flexible and resilient, just like our incredible patients,” said Terry Ingram, who serves as Pink co-chair, LHCC council member and Monmouth Medical Center Foundation (MMCF) advisory board member. She is also the founder of the Swing Pink golf and tennis event.

“These patients deserve the very best quality care as they fight for their lives and their futures,” added Claire Knopf, Pink co-chair, LHCC council member and chair of the MMCF board of trustees.

Pink returned to the community September 20 with a full-day program featuring Swing Pink’s traditional tennis and golf at Middletown’s Navesink Country Club in the morning and the Power of Pink virtual luncheon presentation in the afternoon.

Over the past 20 years, the council has raised more than $7 million to advance the hospital’s oncology services. The financial support funds the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and helps deliver programming for thousands of patients and families who face a cancer diagnosis.

Eric Carney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monmouth Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, notes this year Monmouth will be dedicating a significant contribution from Pink to support cancer survivor programs at RWJBarnabas Health Family Care and Wellness, a facility slated to open at the Monmouth mall in Eatontown in January.

“This new facility will bring innovative and expansive cancer support programs to help our patients continue to live life to the fullest from treatment through survivorship,” he said. “This is possible because of the work and generosity of this council; they have been a wonderful partner to Monmouth Medical Center.”

The event also featured the presentation of the annual Judith W. Dawkins Ambassador of Excellence Award. Judi’s many years with Monmouth Medical Center included time as a donor, a trustee, and a Board Chair, all of which were driven by her passionate commitment to clinical excellence and women’s healthcare. Joining the award ceremony virtually to introduce the award were Judi’s daughter, Noel Mihalow, and husband, Brigadier General and Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins, who noted that “she understood, fully, why awards like this are so important.”

“The Judith W. Dawkins Ambassador of Excellence Award is given to an individual who exemplifies the influence and personal achievement set forth by Judi to support doctors, patients, and the community we serve,” he said in announcing this year’s award recipient, the late Anne Vogel, and inviting RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region Vice President Bill Arnold to share Anne’s legacy.

“Earlier this year, we lost a good friend, Anne Vogel,” said Arnold, who also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. “She would have been so honored to receive this award. Anne first became involved with the MMC Foundation by attending the Power of Pink, and since then, she and her husband Sheldon have been long-time supporters and generous donors to Monmouth Medical Center.

He noted that in 2020, the Vogels deepened their commitment with a $50 million gift to build the state-of-the-art Vogel Medical Campus in Tinton Falls.

“Those who knew her describe Anne as generous, gracious, humble, and a wonderful storyteller; for Anne, giving from the heart was easy,” he said. “By presenting her posthumously with this Award, we hope that her story continues to inspire future leaders in the Monmouth Medical Center community.”

The inaugural recipient of the Judith W. Dawkins Ambassador of Excellence Award, Ann Unterberg, chair of Monmouth Medical Center Foundation from 2011 to 2017 and hospital trustee since 2005 and along with her husband Tom, a major hospital donor, presented the 2021 award to Judy Ziegler, Anne’s sister.

“It was my great honor to be the first recipient of this important award,” she said. “As someone who cares deeply about this community and those who support it, I am pleased to recognize Anne’s many years of dedication to Monmouth Medical Center. While we all wish Anne was with us today, I am pleased to pass the torch to her sister Judy.”

“My sister would be so honored today — the Power of Pink was her favorite event every year, and giving was her legacy,” said Ziegler, whose own deep ties to MMC include a 40-year tenure with the hospital’s Sleep Disorders Center. “I know she’s smiling on us today.”

For more information about Leon Hess Cancer Center Council events, call the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation office at 732.923.6886 or visit

CONTACT: Kathy Horan