February 3, 2017 - Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and bestselling author Anna Quindlen was the featured speaker at El Camino Hospital Foundation’s 5th anniversary Norma’s Literary Luncheon, which took place at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club on February 2, 2017. The sold-out memorial tribute to El Camino Hospital benefactor Norma Melchor raised nearly $140,000 for the therapeutic programs that will be offered in the women’s specialty unit of the new mental health pavilion that is being constructed on El Camino Hospital’s Mountain View campus. The Melchor family underwrote the event and three generations attended.
Quindlen spoke about the march of progress that has opened up new opportunities to women, using the generations of her own family as an example. She noted that the skills women mastered when they were relegated to the home – listening, communication, forming community through sisterhood, doing more with less – are invaluable in the professional and leadership roles they can assume today. Those same skills, she asserted, are also needed to make a better country and world.
“We went from having no options to every step being a battle to where we can have everything – family and professional attainment,” she said. “But, if this is just about us, the politics of self-interest, it is not enough. Opportunity for some is not a substitute for justice for all. We are strong and powerful enough now to focus on the latter.” With those words, she encouraged women to use their hard-won voices, resources, and skills to help make the world a better place as policy makers, donors, and volunteers. “If we don’t do good too, doing well is simply not enough.”
Event Chair Judie Wolken thanked the capacity crowd “for making such an important and healthy difference in the lives of women in our community.” Co-Chair Betsy Dawes invited everyone to return next year to hear from mystery writer Jacqueline Winspear, author of the best-selling Maisie Dobbs detective series. Save the date, February 8, 2018.