Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Let's Go Krogering - Time to Join the Fight on October 5th!

Kroger is donating 3% of sales on Wednesday, October 5th to the American Cancer Society, Cancer Services of Allen County and Francine’s Friends.  Again this year 15 area Kroger stores in the region will participate. Additional "Fight Cancer Day" store activities include: Food sampling, Celebrity Baggers, and radio remote at some locations.

The “Kroger Fight Cancer Day 2016” promotion will be themed to honor local “superheroes” that were nominated by the participating cancer agencies for being a survivor or devoted in the fight against cancer.  The three superheroes include:   Kendall Williams — Cancer Services, Donna Emley — Francine’s Friends, and Jeff Krudop — American Cancer Society.  Each has donned a costume & cape on billboards and in-store posters throughout the Fort Wayne area. This year, customers and associates will be offered the opportunity to take photos in a superhero standup that will be in all 15 stores.  

“Donna Emley, a Francine’s Friends Board Member, was a unanimous choice as our Super Hero this year.  Donna is not only an important member of our board serving as the chair of our Communications/Marketing Committee where her talents and expertise have branded Francine’s Friends as a highly recognized community asset, but, additionally, Donna is an inspiration to all who know her for her grace under pressure when colon cancer and Stevens-Johnson TENS struck her, one after the other.  She proved to us that she is not only our hero, but a SUPER Hero as well,” said Francine's Friends board president Sharon Simmons.

Over 37 years, the annual Cancer Day event has raised $4,816,773 for local cancer organizations and the company hopes to significantly exceed that amount in 2016. “Kroger Fight Cancer Day 2015” total proceeds were $76,271.  Volunteers from ACS, Cancer Services and Francine’s Friends, many of whom are cancer survivors, will be working in stores across the region in support of the event.

The "Fight Cancer Day" Superheroes will be making a guest appearance on October 14th at the Francine's Friends 12th Annual "Lunch with Friends" fundraiser at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. This year's theme is "Celebrating Champions" and Kroger is a sponsor of the annual event.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center 3rd Place Finish Awards $4,500 to Francine's Friends

Drumroll, PLEASE — it's official! — Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center Win 3rd Place in the 6th Annual National Pink Glove Dance Competition, bringing this year's fundraising total to $4,500 for Francine's Friends.

Videographer & Editor Clay Stahlka, Byron Health Center CEO Deb Lambert, Francine’s Friends board vice president Glynda Harris, Breast Diagnostic Center Director Marita Dwight-Smith and Byron Health Center Director of Marketing & Public Relations John Drebenstedt were all on hand for the official announcement on September 30th at Byron Health Center.

This is the third year in a row that Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center have participated in the Pink Glove Dance video competition, and the second time to place 3rd and garner the additional funds.

Thanks to all who helped ROCK THE VOTE and to our wonderful FRIENDS at Medline, Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center for selecting Francine's Friends as the charity of choice!

Visit to view Byron Health Center’s winning video.

Click here to see some behind-the-scenes shots of the making of this year's Pink Glove Video.

Read more of the official press release from Byron Health Center below:

Fort Wayne, IN – 2016 marks the sixth year that the Medline Pink Glove Dance video competition has united dancers nationwide, including healthcare professionals, breast cancer patients and survivors to celebrate and raise awareness for those still fighting – all through the joy of dance.  The votes are in and Medline announced today that Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center have won 3rd place in the small-bed category of the competition.

Determined by public online voting, Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center received 5,080 votes, and has won a $2,500 donation from Medline to the breast cancer charity of its choice, Francine’s Friends, which provides mobile mammography screening and follow-up services to women in northeast Indiana. Furthermore, as part of the organization’s fundraising efforts during the competition, an additional $2,000 was raised for the charity.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Zumbathon Keeps the Party Going for Early Detection

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the YMCA of DeKalb County presented a check to Francine’s Friends, Inc. in the amount of $1,565 raised at the 2016 Zumbathon with the help of Tri Kappa of Auburn. Pictured from left are Lynn Shonka (YMCA COO), Melissa Eshbach (Tri Kappa Member), Bob Krafft (YMCA CEO), Sharon Simmons (Francine’s Friends Board President), Glynda Harris (Francine’s Friends Board Vice President), and Anna Every (YMCA Wellness Coordinator). Photo courtesy of YMCA.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Help Francine’s Friends Win $15,000! Just VOTE!

Please SHARE this with ALL your friends! VOTE for "Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center” to benefit Francine's Friends in the PINK GLOVE DANCE Contest!

Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center would be very grateful if you could take a minute and help get Fort Wayne, IN to #1!

Click here and Vote Online and Help Francine’s Friends Win Up to $15,000! Vote for the "Byron Health Center and Breast Diagnostic Center” link at Pink Glove Dance!

Voting is from September 12th to the 23rd, so VOTE ONCE A DAY from ALL of your email accounts!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Francine's Friends Awarded Dr. Bernard Stuart Health Award

Francine’s Friends was awarded the Dr. Bernard Stuart Health Award given each year by the local Fort Wayne Chapter of the NAACP.  The Dr Bernard Stuart Health Award honors local organizations or individuals whose efforts improve the health of the African-American community in Fort Wayne. The award was given this year at the annual Freedom Fund Dinner on Saturday, August 20.  The event was held at the Mirro Center and featured remarks by Mr. Larry Gist, the President of the local chapter and Ms. Barbara Bolling, Indiana State President of the NAACP. 

“We are very humbled and honored to be presented with the health award from the NAACP this year,” said Sharon Simmons, co-founder and board president of Francine’s Friends. “In our twelve years of funding screenings, our mission has been to improve the health of women in our community through early detection and by making screening mammography accessible to those who may be unable to otherwise receive this potentially lifesaving screening,” she continued.  “We thank the NAACP for their confidence in our ability and their support of our mission,” she concluded.

Shown from left to right: Larry Gist (NAACP Chapter President), Betsy Didier (Francine’s Friends board member), Sharon Simmons (Francine’s Friends co-founder and board president), Gail Littlejohn (award presenter). and Sharon Eisbart (Francine’s Friends co-founder and board member).

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Vote for Francine's Friends Display Window at Glenbrook and Help Us Win $200!

Francine's Friends had the opportunity to put up a window display at Glenbrook Square the month of August promoting mobile mammography and early detection and would like to extend its publicity life on the website and get a chance to win $200 for Francine’s Friends.

All we need is your vote!  There are no forms to fill out, no contact information, or cookies are collected.  Simply hit the vote button by our window display (click here for direct access), or visit at, then click on “window contest” at top.

If you want to see the window in person, it's just inside the mall entrance by Red Robin.

Thank you for your support! And thank you to Carson's for making the opportunity to promote nonprofits possible each month. You are a wonderful community partner!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

2016 Table Captain Luncheon Celebrates Champions

The 2016 Pre-event Table Captain Luncheon was held on Thursday, July 29th at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. Over 40 women gathered for lunch, learning and laughter and to hear more about this year's 12th annual "Lunch with Friends.

This year's October luncheon theme is "Celebrating Champions". In addition to our passion for both survivors and fashion, guests will enjoy a lively debate — “Controversies in
Screening Guidelines” — from featured speakers William C. Petty, M.D., BDC, and TJ Krasun, American Cancer Society.'s Friends was excited to announce a new "Champion" level sponsor of this year's luncheon — Brigadoon Financial. “It’s truly an honor for someone to trust that we are good stewards and donate such a substantial amount to us," said Ellen Tom, co-chair of sponsorship and the annual luncheon event, and Francine’s Friends board member. “Through champions like Bruce Dye/Brigadoon Financial, our message of awareness and early detection is embraced and expanded, and we are thrilled,” she added.

“This is confirmation that our message really reaches and resonates with everyone,“ continued Sharon Simmons, co-chair of sponsorship and the luncheon event, and Francine’s Friends board president. “We look at our coach as a way to bring health and hope to all women, regardless of her circumstances, and sponsorship support helps us fulfill that mission,” she concluded.

“Celebrating Champions” — the 12th Annual “Lunch with Friends” will be held Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Memorial Coliseum. Additional sponsors confirmed include Presenting Sponsor PHP, and Luncheon Sponsors Kroger, Radiology Oncology Associates, P.C., Emley Design Group, glo Magazine, Fort Wayne Oncology and Hematology Consultants, Very Bradley, Steel Dynamics, OmniSource, Punch Films, Shaffer Multimedia, Do It Best, and Med Pro.

View this year's Table Captain Luncheon photos on Facebook by clicking here. For information on being a table captain, bosom buddy or corporate sponsor, contact board vice president Glynda Harris or 385-1601.