Author Anita Shreve on Writing and Recovery at Pink Rainbow Luncheon

Author & speaker Anita Shreve

Three dedicated women with a common medical experience, and a New York Times best-selling author, strangely with the same experience, came together at Belle Mer in Newport for the First Annual Newport Pink Rainbow Luncheon, a celebratory affair honoring friendship, fellowship, and survivorship of breast cancer.


Attended by nearly every fashionable woman in Newport (and a lesser contingent of gentlemen), the luncheon was ablaze with pink, honoring both the program that distributes gift bags and hope to newly-diagnosed cancer patients in a “healing arts” program, and its founders and survivors.


Kim Herrlinger, Elizabeth Leatherman &

Abby Campbell-King

Originally founded by Alyson Warner Barnard, who began the luncheon program in l998 in North Carolina as the Pink Ribbon, the event has grown throughout the country, and expanded to Rhode Island when Newport residents Pat Fernandez and Kim Herrlinger joined in. Through their efforts, the Pink Rainbow program embraces newly diagnosed women in cooperation with the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital in Providence, and at Newport Hospital


The spellbinding author Anita Shreve, winner of the John P. Marquand award, whose narrative voice in her nineteen best-selling books is both extraordinary and riveting, gave the keynote speech after being introduced by "Eyewitness News" anchor for WPRI,WNAC and Fox, Erin Kennedy. Mary E. Cooper, M.D., J.D.Senior Vice President and Quality Control Officer for Lifespan, spoke on Miriam Hospital’s work at improving safety, quality, and care. “Cancer has touched so many lives,” she stated.


Stephanie Forstmann & Stacie Mills

Ms. Shreve described writing as a “calling she couldn’t ignore”, and talked about the time she was called by Oprah Winfrey to tell her that her novel, The Pilot’s Wife, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection (and later, a film.) Another novel, Resistance, was filmed and starred Bill Paxton and Julia Ormond.  Yet another, All the Other Ones is in pre-production, and will star Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley, and be directed by this year’s Academy Award winner for “The Hurt Locker” Catherine Bigelow.) Her husband, John Osborn, along with Clyde Barnard, listened appreciatively. Ms. Shreve’s “life-changing” diagnosis of breast cancer came six years ago, and she said that the experience “intensifies life” and made her “happy to be here.”



Among her early career experiences were covering a press conference for Jackie Kennedy, crossing a Kenyan glacier while working in Africa (which was “exhausting and miserable”), and meeting author Norman Mailer and photographer Peter Beard. Her closing advice to the audience about life, and illness: “don’t give up".


The table settings -- Think Pink!


Door prizes of Angela Moore jewelry and a trip were awarded, Pink Angels and hostesses were asked to stand, and were given an heartfelt ovation. J. McLaughlin and Island Books donated 20% of the profits from their booth sales to the Pink Rainbow program.



Doris Nemtzow, Kara Malkovich & Mimi Hathaway

Virginia Gladding,Kathleen Cullen, Juliet McVickar

& Peggy Richmond

Cynthia O'Malley is a pink vision.

A pink boot centerpiece with a message

A sassy J. McLaughlin brochure

Negotiating sales to benefit Pink Rainbow

Candy McDonald, Joanne Nelson & Kathye

Smith, avid tennis players

Janet Merriman & Susan Winter

Checking in the Ladies who Lunch for a cause

Carleen Massed, Steve Massed, Chairman of

the Board of Newport Hospital & Norey Cullen

Carol O'connor, Linda Purdy, Mary Gilbane &

Betsy West

Kate Field & her mother, Hope Alexander


Newscaster Erin Kennedy


Karen Kastenberg wore a great hat!


Ms.  Kennedy gives opening remarks


Ms. Herrlinger, Alyson Barnard & Pat Fernandez,

Pink Rainbow principals


Ms. Kennedy listens to speaker Mary E. Cooper,

M.D., J.D.


Anita Shreve talks about her career as a

best-selling writer with Ms. Kennedy


Ms. Shreve's husband John Osborn listens to his wife


Direct and candid, Ms. Shreve's remarks

touched everyone


Mona Beitchman listened to Ms. Shreve' remarks


Stephanie McLennan with Sister Jane

Gerety, President of Salve Regina University


Pat Fernandez, Diane Beaver & Councilwoman

Kate Leonard


Teresa Cordeiro won the trip door prize!


Mark Cummings & Marianne Kennedy


The book table featured a colletion of Anita

Shreve's novels


Ruth Orthwein with Sharon Viens


Pat Hanna, Erin Kennedy, mother Diane Kennedy

& Thelma Roche were a study in pink


Jane Moore & Melanie Delman smile for

Newport Seen


Bobbi Carpenter & Wylene Commander with

her gift bag


Elizabeth Lewis with a pink tulip bouquet


Linda Fischer & Diana DiBari shopping


Ms. Shreve signing books for fans, with

Alyson Barnard


The contents of a Pink Rainbow package, for

newly diagnosed cancer patients, on display

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