What to Wear to the American Cancer Society’s Mothers of the Year Luncheon

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American Cancer Society's Mother of the Year Luncheon returns to the St. Regis Rooftop on October 22nd.

There is an exuberance in the air in town as friends once again unite to support the important work being done by organizations like American Cancer Society. Philanthropic lunches and other fundraising events are critical not only to the institutions themselves but also to the hospitality industry that was devastated during the pandemic.

It is reported that hotel employment is down almost 40% from the pre Covid era. The Office of the Comptroller estimates the industry’s economic impact dropped by 75% from $80.3 billion in 2019 to $20.2 billion in 2020. New York has been one of the cities hardest hit by the international travel bans and curtailed tourism.

Enter Diane Feldman and Joan Lunden who will pack the iconic St. Regis Rooftop as they accept this year’s well deserved honor of Mother of the Year. John Jacob Astor founded the elegant Beaux Art establishment in 1904 as a place for New York notables to gather — a tradition that continues today. In 1988, the St. Regis New York was declared a New York City Landmark.

Diana has served in numerous leadership positions since joining the organization in 1976 after losing her mother to cancer. Today, as Chair of the Special Events Committee, she continues with the same enthusiasm and verve as the day she began.


Joan Lunden is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, television host, and motivational speaker. In June of 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. An eternal optimist, she turned her diagnosis into an opportunity to become an advocate and help others. She chronicled her experience in her memoir Had I Known.

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.
Christie Del Ray, Paige Costigan, Monisha Agrawal, and Tina Moya Zotovich.
Sharon Hoge and  Jeanne Lawrence.
Diana Feldman, Carole Holmes McCarthy, and Al Roker.
Somers Farkas.
Arlene Dahl, Carole Holmes McCarthy, and Hoda Kotb.
Ali Wentworth, Diana Williams, Sade Baderinwa, and friend.

Tory Burch and her mother, Reva Robinson.

One of the first times I attended Mother of the Year was in 2010 when Tory Burch was honored for  her commitment to philanthropy. For this year’s luncheon I popped into the website to see what looked good.  The answer? Everything! Taking a cue from the invitation, I was looking for some fall florals that are trending this season. I have noticed that women are dressing a little more brightly now, possibly in celebration of being back in circulation! Midi length dresses and separates continue to be popular, especially with the new generation of stylish philanthropists. And bags and boots are having a strong, stylish moment.

Dress: Eleanor Silk Twill Dress, $598. Top: Printed Bow Blouse, $398. Bottom: Tweed Skirt, $598. Accessories: Kira Cat Eye Sunglasses, $168 / Roxanne Fluted Bead Hoop Earrings, $158 / Fluted Leather Statement Earrings, $198 / Lee Radziwill Petite Double Bag, $598 / Lee Radziwill Petite Double Bag, $598. Shoes: Banana Heel Boot, $598 / Lila Heeled Over The Knee Boot, $648

Hilary is also popping color and florals. “I took my inspiration for what to wear from the pretty floral invitation. Short or long, floral dresses can be worn year round. And they look fresh with this year’s bold color accessories. I am thrilled for the honorees, especially Diane Feldman who has been a family friend for years. In fact, her apartment was across the street from ours and during the holidays she would often call to tease us that we had missed a spot on our Christmas tree. I look forward to celebrating these amazing women and their many accomplishments.”

Dresses: Moda Operandi Printed Satin, $890 / La DoubleJ Puff Sleeve Floral, $970. Earrings: Completedworks Pearl Drops, $305 / Bottega Veneta Twisted Leather Hoops, $580. Purses: Bottega Veneta Mini Patent Leather, $1900 / Bottega Veneta Leather Case, $890. Shoes: Miu Miu Embellished Satin Pumps, $850 / Dolce & Gabbana Embellished Mary Janes, $995.

We pay tribute to the former Mother of the Year Honorees  …

Sharon Bush, Muffie Potter Aston, and Dr. Elisa Port.
Jay McInerney, Anne Hearst, and Amanda Hearst.
Kris Kim and Charlotte Ford.
The Board.

The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. For tickets to the event or to learn more about helping, please contact Jennifer Kaplan Jennifer.Caplan@cancer.org

Photographs courtesy of Annie Watt and Patrick McMullan

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