Girl Planting seeds


October 21, 2011 09:01 AM

October 21, 2011, Hackensack, N.J.– The Maureen Fund for Ovarian Cancer, a community education outreach program provided by the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, will host its first-ever “Girls Night Out” fundraiser during the evening of Thursday, November 17 from 7-9 p.m. at the John Theurer Cancer Center. Ovarian cancer survivor, Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history, will be the event’s featured speaker, and well-known area comediennes, Sunda Croonquist and Mary Dimino, will perform.

“Girls Night Out” makes fundraising an evening of fun, but the goal is serious— to continue the work of The Maureen Fund for Ovarian Cancer,” said Babak Litkouhi, M.D., Co-Chief, Gynecologic Oncology, John Theurer Cancer Center.

During her gymnastic career, Shannon Miller won a combined total of 16 World Championships and Olympic medals between 1991 and 1996. She ranks as the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history. Miller was also the most successful American athlete, by medal count, at the 1992 Barcelona Games, winning five altogether. She is the author of several books on fitness, and her experience battling Ovarian Cancer, titled, “My Journey” is chronicled on her web site (

Paterson, New Jersey native, Sunda Croonquist, was voted " NJ's Funniest Female" in her home state. Sunda's stand up career took off when she created and performed in the longest running all female comedy show, "Femmes Fatales," a weekly broadcast that ran on the NY Toyota Comedy Festival for eight years. Now beginning her third season on JTV, she hosts the hottest late night talk show, "James and Sunda," on Jewish Life Television with James "The Iceman" Harris. Croonquist, a former private investigator with a degree in Criminal Justice, is married to attorney Mark Zafrin and has, in her words, “an uncontrollable fetish for shoes” that she passed down to her two "tween" aged daughters.

In theaters, Mary Dimino has performed off-Broadway in The Vagina Monologues, as the lead in Beating, the award-winning play Heavenly Drum, in the romantic comedy Surprise, and most recently as Connie the Maid of Honor in the off-Broadway hit Tony and Tina’s Wedding. Her highly acclaimed solo show SCARED SKINNY: a one (hundred pound lighter) woman show, made its world premiere in The 2010 New York International Fringe Festival where it won Best Solo Show Award. Dimino is a familiar face on television, appearing on HBO's Chris Rock Show, the David Letterman and Conan O'Brien shows.

“We are inviting the community for an evening of laughs, which we believe is very important to a person’s overall well-being,” said Ami Vaidya, M.D., Gynecologic Oncologist, John Theurer Cancer Center. “In addition, this support will help The Maureen Fund continue to identify women and families at high risk for ovarian cancer, assist patients and their families with prevention measures, and provide education to the general population.”

“Prevention and early detection play an important part in our fight against cancer,” said Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., Chief Innovations Officer and Professor and Vice President of Cancer Services, John Theurer Cancer Center. “The funds raised at this event will allow us to continue providing this important community education program to the New Jersey community.”

Tickets for “Girls Night Out” are $35. Light refreshments will be served and free parking is included. The event will be hosted at John Theurer Cancer Center, 92 Second Street in Hackensack, NJ. To purchase tickets visit For more information, please call 201.996.3252.

About the Maureen Fund for Ovarian Cancer
The Maureen Fund provides ovarian cancer education and prevention services for high-risk women with a goal of preventing or detecting ovarian cancer when it is most treatable. Founded in 2005, the program's services include risk assessments, genetic screenings, genetic counseling, imaging and blood work as appropriate, and a tumor registry for patient follow-up and research. For more information, call 201-996-4287.

About John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is among the nation’s top 50 U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals for cancer – the only cancer in New Jersey with this designation. It is New Jersey's largest and most comprehensive cancer center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screening, prevention, as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancer.

The 14 specialized divisions covering the complete spectrum of cancer care have developed a close-knit team of medical, research, nursing, and support staff with specialized expertise that translates into more advanced, focused care for all patients. Each year, more people in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area turn to John Theurer Cancer Center for cancer care than to any other facility in New Jersey. Housed within a 775-bed not-for-profit teaching, tertiary care, and research hospital, John Theurer Cancer Center provides state-of-the-art technological advances, compassionate care, research innovations, medical expertise, and a full range of after care services that distinguish John Theurer Cancer Center from other facilities. For more information please go to



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