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    Dianne Leventis, Irene Politis, Dr. Terry Saranton and Elaine Haskell.

Queen of Hearts High Tea

By Sam Boykin | Photography by Carolinas Healthcare Foundation

Posted: Friday, Jan. 27, 2012

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Continuing a tradition that started 16 years ago, the Daughters of Penelope’s Charlotte chapter will hold its annual Queen of Hearts High Tea fundraising event this month to help fight breast cancer.

Scheduled for Feb. 18, the gala event will be held at Carmel County Club and feature a fashion show, delectable food and deserts, along with door and raffle prizes.

“It’s just a real nice afternoon for ladies,” says Dianne Leventis, treasurer with the Daughters of Penelope. “We sit around and chitchat and talk and have fun. It can get pretty noisy.”

Previous Queen of Hearts High Tea events have hosted more than 600 guests, and at least that many are expected to attend this year. Proceeds from the fundraiser go to support Carolinas Medical Center’s Blumenthal Cancer Center and its ongoing fight against breast cancer.

According to CMC, breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. The Breast Center at Blumenthal Cancer Center offers patients innovative comprehensive care. Using a highly skilled group of specialists, the facility is dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients with breast conditions, both benign and malignant.

Leventis says that the Daughters of Penelope’s Charlotte chapter has helped raise funds for a number or organizations dedicated to fighting breast cancer over the years.

The group first assisted the now-defunct Mobile Health Outreach, an organization that traveled around Charlotte and provided breast cancer screenings for women who were uninsured.

The group next partnered with the Susan G. Komen For the Cure, formerly known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, one of the country’s largest and best-funded breast cancer organizations.

This event has raised $23,000 for Carolinas Medical Center’s Blumenthal Cancer Center since 2007. The organization has raised a total of $61,000 to fight breast cancer since it first started Queen of Hearts High Tea in 1995.

The Daughters of Penelope is the senior women’s auxiliary of the Order of American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). The Washington, D.C.-based association was founded in 1922, and its mission is to support Greek-American charities, causes and communities, and promote the social, ethical and intellectual interests of its members.

The Daughters of Penelope was founded in 1929 in San Francisco, Ca. Today there are about 300 chapters worldwide, with more than 15,000 members. The chapters have a number of philanthropic efforts, including a national scholarship award, a shelter for teenage girls and senior housing projects. Leventis says there are about 30 women in the Charlotte chapter.

Dozens of local businesses have donated items to be raffled off or given away as door prizes for the upcoming event. Clothing for the fashion show will be provided by Via Veneto at Phillips Place.

Want to go?
What: Queen of Hearts High Tea
When: Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2-5 p.m.
Where: Carmel Country Club.
Tickets: $35 each, or $280-$315 to reserve a table for eight or nine people.
More info: Call Dianne Leventis at 704-366-8284.www.blumenthalcancercenter.org

Note: A statement in the “Queen of Hearts High Tea” story in the February issue (page 54) in print suggested that funds raised by the Charlotte Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure do not remain in Mecklenburg County. In the 2011 grants cycle, more than half of total funds awarded went to 13 organizations that serve populous Mecklenburg County. As with all Komen Affiliates, 75 percent of net proceeds remain in the service area, and 25 percent supports breast cancer research.

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