Miss Illinois USA Ashley Hooks Raises Awareness for Ovarian Cancer

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NOCC event celebrates efforts to illuminate Chicago skyline teal in September during National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

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For my mom's sake and for the sake of all women, we all can contribute to the cause by educating ourselves and our loved ones on how to be more proactive with our gynecological health, so that we live longer, fuller and healthier lives.

The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) Illinois Chapter is hosting its annual event, the Teal Lights Celebration & Fundraiser, at the Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower on Friday, September 21st. Miss Illinois USA, Ashley Hooks, will be the keynote speaker. Ashley’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just a month prior to the Miss Illinois USA pageant last November. Since that time, Ashley has been an advocate of ovarian cancer research, education and awareness.

Ashley, a native of the Chicago south suburbs and 2008 graduate of the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), has been involved with the American Cancer Society, Be Bright Pink, Bears Care (the charitable arm of the Chicago Bears) and will be supporting the Women's Board at Rush University Hospital (where her mother received treatment) in their upcoming fund-raising fashion show. As part of her ongoing commitment to ovarian cancer awareness, Ashley will speak at the Teal Lights Celebration & Fundraiser about her experience since her mother’s diagnosis and why she feels it is so important to use her platform as Miss Illinois USA to advocate for those touched by the disease.

"Since I've been active in the community of ovarian cancer awareness, I am proud to see progress in the research and preventative treatments for gynecological cancers,” shares Ashley. “I'm ecstatic to combine voices with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to combat this disease from being tagged the ‘silent killer’ for so many women,” she adds. “For my mom's sake and for the sake of all women, we all can contribute to the cause by educating ourselves and our loved ones on how to be more proactive with our gynecological health, so that we live longer, fuller and healthier lives."

The NOCC-Illinois Chapter will also honor Wendella Sightseeing Boats, Inc. with a Community Partner Teal Ambassador Award for their support of NOCC and their efforts to help spread awareness this September, National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Wendella boats will be decorated in teal lights for the entire month and TEALtini’s will be sold on their tours. For every drink purchased, $4 will be donated to NOCC. Wendella Sightseeing Boats, Inc. has been a supporter of the NOCC since last year in memory of the Borgstrom Family matriarch, Lila H. Borgstrom, who died of ovarian cancer in January 2011.

This year’s event will be hosted by ABC 7 Chicago’s Stacey Baca. Stacey and her sister Lynn, a nine-year ovarian cancer survivor, hosted the 15th Annual Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer this past May at Diversey Harbor in Chicago. The NOCC-IL Chapter will also recognize the walk’s top fundraiser, Allison Sharpe-Robertson of Valparaiso, IN, with a top fundraising award at the event. Allison, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May, 2011 and completes treatment this month, raised $8,791 for the walk and her top-fundraising team, Lengyel's Ladies, raised $12,646.

“We are pleased to be growing our relationships and expanding our outreach to help us with our mission to promote awareness and education about ovarian cancer, says Jennifer Sloan, Chapter Manager of the NOCC-IL Chapter, “Stacey, Ashley, Wendella Sightseeing Boats, Inc, Allison and all of our walk participants and teams along with our volunteers work tirelessly to assist us in our efforts and we look forward to celebrating them and our survivors at this year’s event.”

The Teal Lights Celebration & Fundraiser, now in its third year, provides a wonderful viewing opportunity, as NOCC supporters, ovarian cancer survivors, participating buildings and sponsors come together and celebrate the downtown Chicago skyline illuminated in teal. Tickets for the event to be held on Friday, September 21st from 6:30-9:30 are $75 per person and must be purchased in advance by 9/19/12. The event includes hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a silent auction.

For more information or to purchase your tickets, please visit http://www.ovarian.org/IL or call the NOCC-Illinois Chapter at 312.226.9410.


The NOCC – Illinois Chapter is comprised of ovarian cancer survivors, supporters, and health care professionals who are dedicated to raising awareness and promoting education about ovarian cancer throughout the state. Our goal is to make more people aware of the early symptoms of ovarian cancer and provide information to assist the newly diagnosed patient, to provide hope to survivors, and to support caregivers.


The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that provides public education and awareness about ovarian cancer through a toll-free Help Line, local NOCC Chapters, comprehensive website, peer support, publications, and awareness/educational programs. NOCC’s mission is to raise awareness and promote education about ovarian cancer. The Coalition is committed to improving the survival rate and quality of life for women with ovarian cancer.
For more information about ovarian cancer or the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, please visit http://www.ovarian.org or call 1-888-OVARIAN.

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Jennifer Sloan
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