Rush to Action






There will always be someone who doubts you. Don’t let that person be you!

-CNN’s Mel Robbins

The Hilton Chicago’s Grand Ballroom was filled to capacity at the annual spring luncheon held by the Women’s Board of the Rush University Medical Center. All 500 female attendees were in rapt attention as CNN analyst Mel Robbins took the stage—there was no doubt in anyone’s mind regarding this dynamo. Over 10 million viewers have eagerly tuned into Robbins’s TED Talks, with fans in the audience today to hear her take on inspiring change: “Communicating so People Listen, Care and Take Action.”


Mel Robbins addresses the sold-out crowd at the Hilton Chicago Grand Ballroom.

Debra Beck, Women’s Board President, described that empowering day:

“Our guests loved Mel and her presentation. She greeted everyone as they arrived, posed for photos, and signed our guests’ copies of her national bestseller, The Five Second Rule.

“We received rave reviews about the luncheon—dozens of guests have let us know how much, and how quickly, Mel’s rules have positively impacted their daily lives.”


Debra Beck and Mel Robbins with event co-chairs, Catherine King and Marianne Berger (both in blue).

The 23rd Annual Women’s Board Luncheon raised over $100,000, benefitting this year’s principal project to develop and implement Rush’s school-based mental health program that helps at-risk youth in three school centers.

Marianne Berger and Catherine King chaired the event, and Stevie Boggess, Caroline Degenaars, Abby Dunn, Katie Frekko, Colby Gaines, Wendy Herb, Marcia Hines, Caroline Husting, Gigi Johnson, Karen Krehbiel, Buffy Maier, Gloria Masterson, Kate Peterson, Karen Reid, Emily Reynolds, Samantha Schwalm, Gillian Stoettner, and Adrienne Weisenberger served on the committee.


Debra Peck and Mel Robbins with the 2017 Spring Luncheon Committee.

The 200-member Women’s Board supports Rush in many ways, as Debra points out:

Our members are very active. Through the operation of our gift shops and our benefits, they raise funds for the annual project and for the other community and hospital-based programs we fund each year. 

“Members also participate in hands-on projects such as providing comfort care gift bags to pediatric patients and collecting books and other needed items throughout the year for Rush’s patients.”

Ending the Rush Fashion Show is a recent Women’s Board action. Debra explains the reasoning behind this big decision:

After 90 years, the Women’s Board made the decision to take our fundraising efforts in a new direction. On November 3, our inaugural fall benefit will celebrate the board’s 133-year history of making a difference in the community. It will be held at the Art Institute and will feature a cocktail reception and a seated dinner. We are very excited about our new event and it promises to be a spectacular evening!”

We are certain it will be another sold-out success for this go-getting group.


Mary Tritley, LJ Savarie, Caroline Deganaars, Sally Brown Thilman, Gloria Masterson, and Erin Ritchie.


Buffy Maier.


Tricia Hagenah and Emily MacEntee.


Dr. Larry Goodman, Rush CEO and President, with wife, Michelle Goodman, and Mel Robbins.


Audrey Tuggle.


Eileen Seyfarth, Callie Anne Clark, and Cindy Mancillas.


Beth Myers.


Bridget Pennise, Melissa Anton, and Betsy Kilroy.


Mel Robbins in action.


Michelle Worth and Sarah Alshouse.


Mindy Kelly.


Sally Brown Thilman wearing Mickael Aghal.


Wendy Tan.


Phoebe Turner, Annie Atzeff, Mel Robbins, and Sarah Bogan.


Melanie Madigan Nordby.