Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller joined comics Sunda Croonquist and Kerri Louise for an ovarian cancer fund-raiser held in the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) on November 17. The event raised thousands for the center’s foundation, but, more importantly, was a highly successful showcase for the Montclair State University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which conceived, promoted, and cohosted the event.
The evening, titled “Girls’ Night Out,” was created to provide ovarian cancer survivors and their families an evening of fun and inspiration. Croonquist and Louise provided the fun while Miller provided the inspiration. Louise, a finalist on Last Comic Standing, opened the show, regaling the audience with hilarious stories about being a mother of three. Sundquist, “New Jersey’s Funniest Female Comic” and also a mother, based her routine on being the daughter of a Swedish father, an African-American mother, and a wife of a Jewish lawyer.
Miller, herself an ovarian survivor, is the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history and is considered one of the country’s greatest gymnasts. She was the 1993 and 1994 World All-Around Champion, the 1996 Olympics balance beam gold medalist, the 1995 Pan Am Games all-around champion, and a member of the gold medal-winning Magnificent Seven team at the Atlanta Olympics. The winner of a combined total of 16 World Championships and Olympic medals between 1991 and 1996, Miller ranks as the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history. She was also the most successful American athlete, by medal count, at the 1992 Barcelona Games, winning five altogether.
The student group working with HUMC will now begin planning a Blue Hydrangea spring fund-raiser for the cancer center. It has also begun promoting a series of “Lunch and Learn” seminars for businesses throughout northern New Jersey.
The Montclair State PRSSA was certified by the Public Relations Society of America in 2008. It is one of only six PRSSA university organizations in New Jersey. Performing work for “real” clients, the MSU/PRSSA has performed public relations work for Hall of Fame golfer, Lorena Ochoa, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Autism NJ, and the Andy Kaufman Award.