Lombardi Women Event Rallies Support for Breast Cancer Research

A ballroom filled with tables of people eating dinner while listening to speakers on a stage
Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis Weiner, MD, and event chair Jennifer Drake addressed attendees at this year’s Lombardi Women.

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(October 19, 2023) — The 17th Annual Lombardi Women event brought together nearly 400 of the Washington area’s most influential women in support of Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and its Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research. The event, chaired by Jennifer Drake, president of stores for Saks OFF 5th, took place on October 11 at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Cumulatively, over $5 million has been raised by Lombardi Women.

2023 Lombardi Women Leadership:

Jennifer Drake

Executive Committee:
January Adkins
Reema Bakarania
Sherrie Beckstead
Jennifer Bognet
Meredith LaPier
Nicole Miller
Mara Olguin
Event Committee:
Bella Alvarez
Marianne Burkart
Heather Dawson
Robin Finnell
Jill Goubeaux
Brenda Hartless
Catherine Heath
Ashley Houk
Betsy Karmin
Valerie Kelly
Martha Marks
Jill McCluskey
Holly Miller
Stephanie Morgan
Elizabeth A. Pye
Patricia A. Redding
Ashley Reiser
Killeen Rivers
Tess Rowley
Tomi Sargent
Lisa Schlossberg
Melis Spears
Karen Terry
Susan Thomas
Charlotte Troup Leighton


Diamond Sponsors:
JBG Smith
J Street Group

Presenting Auction Sponsor:
Saks OFF 5th

Highlights of the Evening

At the start of the evening, Stacy Butler, general manager of Capital One Hall, provided welcome remarks and introduced Claudine Isaacs, MD, Georgetown Lombardi associate director for clinical research, Georgetown professor of oncology and medicine, and MedStar Health medical oncologist, who briefed attendees on the latest developments in cancer research.

In her cancer briefing, Dr. Isaacs underscored the importance of research in breast cancer treatment, emphasizing that today’s standard of care is the result of yesterday’s research.

Jennifer Drake, chair of this year’s Lombardi Women, addressed attendees.

Throughout the evening guests mixed and mingled while enjoying cocktails and an informal dinner.

A silent auction raised a recent-year record of $37,000 in support of breast cancer research at Georgetown Lombardi.

Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis Weiner, MD, announced that Miriam Jacobs, MD, MedStar Health medical oncologist, was the inaugural recipient of the Davis-McDuffie Innovation in Breast Cancer Research Award. The award, named in honor of Lombardi Women co-founders and longtime volunteers Janet Davis and Barbara McDuffie, identifies and supports future research leaders in the field of breast cancer science.

The opportunity to network with other women has always been an event highlight.

Graphic designer and singer Lena Markley was one of the trio of breast cancer survivors who hosted a fall fundraiser in honor of Dr. Claudine Isaacs, for which they received this year’s Spirit of Life award. The annual award is presented to exceptional individuals whose intangible qualities — their generosity, ability to inspire and desire to make a difference for breast cancer research at Georgetown Lombardi — make their lives worthy of admiration.

Lena Markley, Susan Hess, and Sara Reges were the recipients of this year’s Spirit of Life Award. Markley and Alexander Reges (on behalf of Sara Reges) were present to accept their awards from Jennifer Drake.