Thursday, December 2, 2010

That's what Friends are for!

We are so thankful for new and old friends — Kroger's at St. Joe, Wal-Mart at Southtown, WMEE & Bras Across the Bridge, Erika's Spa & Wellness on West Jefferson, Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio...and the list goes on and on.

"We are always so appreciative when a local business thinks of Francine's Friends and selects us as a charity to support," said Board President Sharon Simmons.

Thank you all for your contributions and thank you to our patients who trust your care to us each year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Francine's Friends on PBS39 Healthline

While you're busy preparing those pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, remember to tune in to PBS39 on Tuesday, Nov. 23rd from 7:30-8:00 pm. You'll find our board president, Sharon Simmons, and Community Outreach Coordinator Debi Kennedy answering viewer questions on health issues, and specifically, Francine's Friends.

Learn more about the importance of early detection and breast cancer awareness, along with the process for how women find out about the schedule for the coach, how long it takes, payment arrangements, and other community resources available through the partnership between Francine's Friends, Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center and Breast Diagnostic Center.

They'll also share future plans and goals for 2011 and beyond to continue the commitment of promoting women's health and cancer awareness. Be sure to call in with your questions!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Francine's Friends Receives $1,000 Donation from Kroger

Francine's Friends board members were on hand for the grand opening of the newly remodeled and expanded Kroger Store at St. Joe and Maplecrest on November 4th. Along with assisting with the ribbon-cutting, they were presented with a check for $1,000. "We are so appreciative that they thought to make us one of their charities of choice and were very excited to accept the donation!" exclaimed board president Sharon Simmons. "We also want to thank Janet Detmer of Kroger specifically for being so good to work with," continued Debi Kennedy, community outreach coordinator.

The coach has been to many of the local Kroger sites throughout the year, and all expressed mutual appreciation for the support of the program and how much Kroger values Francine's Friends and their relationship with us. Thank you, Kroger's!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Your Chance for Room Makeover in Nov./Dec.

Thanks to Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio, all Allen County women receiving a mammogram on the coach during the months of November and December may enter to a drawing to win a room makeover! The drawing (a $2,500 value) will be held in early January and the lucky winner will be announced then.

"I was a guest at the 2007 breakfast and left it inspired and thinking of how I could help," Said Cindy Friend, Owner and Interior Designer of Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio. "The drawings/makeovers continue to be successful and inspiring for us as well as the winners."

To schedule an appointment, call 260-483-1847 or 1-800-727-8439, ext. 26540 (unless noted otherwise noted — click here to see remaining schedule for 2010). Appointments preferred and should be scheduled prior to the date. Walk-in openings are available depending on schedule.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Bras Across the Bridge" to benefit Francine's Friends

During Breast Cancer Awarenss month, WMEE, along with special sponsor Barbara's New Beginnings and IPFW, has created "Bras Across the Bridge" — a visual symbol of breast cancer awareness, hope, and survivors.

New and gently used bras will be used to form a giant chain of bras to span the St. Joe River at IPFW. Click here to find out more about donation locations and live broadcast schedules. This Sunday, October 17th at 1:00 pm, WMEE will do a special "Bra-Cast" at the Venderly Family Bridge at IPFW.

"We are very happy to be involved with women’s health issues, but particularly this one because of how it has affected our staff directly and family members of staff as well," explained WMEE's Becki Kelley, also a cancer survivor. 

Barbara's New Beginnings has been a loyal supporter of Francine's Friends since the beginning and we are honored that they would choose us to benefit.

Please help support this promotion of the health of women in our community and awareness for the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Lunch with Friends with Lisa Rinna" a success

Our thanks to everyone — table captains, attendees, bosom buddies, sponsors, corporate tables, individuals, and all of our other "friends" for a wonderful luncheon on Friday. View photos from Friday's luncheon on the Francine's Friends Facebook page by clicking here.

Keynote Lisa Rinna spoke about her life as actress, boutique owner, author, mom, and wife, and also shared her personal experience: her sister and mother were recently diagnosed and both had double mastectomies. Rinna talked about the power of two things — "prayer and a positive attitude" and the difference both can make when a diagnosis occurs. She also applauded the efforts of Francine's Friends and the importance of early detection.

Sponsors for this year’s event include presenting sponsor PHP Foundation, premier sponsors Radiation Oncology Associates and Vera Bradley, luncheon sponsors SDI, Fort Wayne Medical Oncology, Women’s Health Advantage, Indiana Surgical Specialist, OmniSource, Barbara’s New Beginnings, Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio, and Emley Design Group, and media sponsors Indiana News Center and Fun 101.7 WLDE.

Also announced at the event: Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio has once again teamed up with Francine’s Friends to give one lucky woman a room makeover for her home.  Each woman in Allen County who visit the Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Coach for a mammogram in November or December of this year will be eligible to enter a drawing for next year’s makeover.

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Flat Harry" a Huge Hit

When we first found out Lisa Rinna would be able to join us for "Lunch with Friends, husband Harry was accompanying her too. If you happened to catch them on "Today" on Tuesday, in the middle of the telecast, they received a call that their boutique, Belle Gray, was being robbed. So instead of Harry coming with Lisa to us, he flew back to LA early to deal with that, and for an event at the store Thursday night.

At Thursday's "VIP" Meet and Greet, we presented Lisa with a life-size cut-out of Harry for her to keep at her side while in Fort Wayne so she wouldn't be lonely. She absolutely cracked up when we gave it to her and brought it with her to the luncheon to share with 600+ women. She even took pics with her phone and sent to Harry - it was a big hit!

The morning of the luncheon, she had already Tweeted about Francine's Friends ("what amazing women") and flat Harry, and the news made other media websites, because at the store event in CA, they ALSO presented Harry with a cut-out of Lisa! Said Rinna, "this is how we make our marriage work lol!"

Purchase Lisa Rinna's new book today and help Francine's Friends!

For those of you at today's luncheon, keynote speaker Lisa Rinna talked about her new book, "Starlit: A Novel," an entertaining fictional look at Hollywood. 

Lisa announced today that for a limited time only, a portion of the proceeds for books purchased on Amazon will go to Francine's Friends!

Read more about the book here at

Her first book, 2009’s "Rinnavation: Getting Your Best Life Ever," was a New York Times best-seller. Thank you, Lisa!

"Harry Loves Lisa" - and Francine's Friends and Fort Wayne does too!

The VIP "Meet and Greet" event last night with Lisa Rinna was a wonderful event and Rinna is such a warm, lovely, genuine person. She happily posed for numerous photos and chatted with sponsors and guests during the two-hour reception.

American Style Ballroom's co-owner, Patric Didier, and his partner and breast cancer survivor Mary Essingler, performed an inspiring dance exhibition for Rinna and guests.

Rinna was also presented with the limited edition print, "Life's Dance," created by local artist Terry Ratliff for Francine's Friends and also the cover art for notecards all attendees will receive at the 10/8 luncheon.

See more at the photo album on Facebook — click here now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

UPDATE — Lisa Rinna to Speak Friday at "Lunch with Friends"

Lisa Rinna — actress, “Dancing Queen,” model, host, author, and entrepreneur, and known to many as Billie Reed on Days of Our Lives, and Taylor McBride on Melrose Place, is coming to Fort Wayne this week!

Rinna will be in town on Thursday, October 7, for the VIP reception with sponsors and other VIP “Friends,” and then will speak at the Francine’s Friends “Lunch with Friends” luncheon on Friday.

Rinna replaces Carrie Ann Inaba, who is unable to keep her commitment due to another opportunity. Rinna will be accompanied by her husband, Harry Hamlin, most notably of L. A. Law fame. The couple is also starring in TV Land’s Harry Loves Lisa, a docu-soap series premiering this week.

We are VERY excited that Lisa Rinna is able to join us, and bring her husband with her! Both her mother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer, and in the month of October, proceeds from sales at Belle Gray, her boutique, go to help support and fight the fight against breast cancer.

We know this will be a wonderful and special "Lunch with Friends!"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Circle of "Friends" Continues to Expand

Photo by Cathie Rowand/The Journal Gazette

Click here to check out the Francine's Friends article in this morning's Journal Gazette......

Remember, tickets are still available for next week's luncheon event. Contact Jeanne Garton (625-3532) or for more information. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Be a 2010 Bosom Buddie!

Our $1,000 Annual Sustainng Friendship Circle grows each year. As a bosom buddie, you help us bring screening mammography to many more women. Individual sponsors at this level also receive:

• Limited edition print "Life's Dance" by local artist Terry Ratliff
• One ticket to the Thursday evening VIP “meet and greet” reception from 6-8 pm at the Fort Wayne Country Club with Carrie Ann Inaba
• Recognition in program and at the event

We know that there are many worthwhile causes and we are especially grateful each year to our Bosom Buddies. Deadline to be included in the program is Sept. 24th. Contact board president Sharon Simmons (385-2016 or email: to find out more or become our "buddie" today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's the Buzz? Carrie Ann!

Ads and PSA are running, billboards are up, e-vites and regular invites are mailing, and the word is out — on October 8th, the Memorial Coliseum is THE place to be — to welcome Carrie Ann Inaba to "Lunch with Friends, our 6th annual fundraiser to benefit mobile mammography.

"We're expecting a record attendance this year because of the excitement generated over Carrie Ann," explained board president Sharon Simmons. In addition to table captains hosting tables of 10, single tickets are also available. "We couldn't do the event without our wonderful sponsors," continued Simmons. "Because of their support and generosity, including an "underwriting angel" this year who covered the fee for Carrie Ann, all event proceeds will go to cover the cost of screening mammography on the coach."
Sponsors to date include presenting sponsor PHP Foundation, Radiation Oncology Associates, Vera Bradley, Fort Wayne Medical Oncology, SDI, Women's Health Advantage, Indiana Surgical Specialist, OmniSource, Barbara's New Beginnings, and Emley Design Group.

Media sponsors include Indiana News Center and Fun 101.7 WLDE, and you may have already seen or heard radio and TV spots, including interviews with both WLDE's Carrie Wellman and Indiana News Center's Linda Jackson. Both have been long-time supporters of Francine's Friends, and this year, join us officially as event sponsors.

In addition to the Oct. 8th luncheon at the Memorial Coliseum, there will also be a Special VIP Event on Thursday Oct. 7, 2010, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Fort Wayne Country Club. Our VIP “meet and greet” will include photo opts and a chance to visit with with Carrie Ann Inaba and "Friends" and more. This pre-event evening is one you won't want to miss! A limited amount of tickets are available for $100 per person.

Tickets for the Oct. 8th luncheon are $75 and still available. For information on either, contact board member Jeanne Garton (625-3532 or email:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Come see us at the 2010 Taste!

Francine's Friends will have a booth at Taste of the Arts downtown at Freimann Square on Saturday - free goodies, information about the coach, a coloring activity for kids, and updates about Carrie Ann Inaba - our exciting keynote speaker for this year's luncheon on ...Oct. 8.

We'll be there from noon to 4pm - be sure to stop by and say hi!

More info about the Taste may be found here:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Live radio broadcast on WMEE in Oct.

On October 15 and 27, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 97.3 WMEE-FM will broadcast live from the Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography Coach. (Privacy of women receiving mammograms on the coach will be maintained, of course.)

Stop by to visit with the on-air personalities -- and get your mammogram -- when the coach is at Curves, 918 Woodland Plaza, on October 15 or at Elegant Occasions, 14722 Lima Road, on October 27.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An important milestone: 1,000 days on the road

The mobile mammography coach celebrated its 1,000th site visit on Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at Wal-Mart in Huntington. This milestone marked 1,000 days of visits since we started December 5, 2005. One thousand days of:
  • Bringing lifesaving screening technology to more than 11,000 women, making annual mammograms convenient.
  • Providing funding for women without insurance or sufficient means to pay.
  • Dedicating 15 minutes to safeguarding the health of each woman who trusts her care to our experts at the Breast Diagnostic Center and the radiologists of FWRadiology.
Thank you to our service providers, generous program supporters – Francine’s Friends, the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust Fund, Vera Bradley, the Susan G. Komen Foundation – and countless others who donate to the cause so we can continue to provide mammograms for women in northeast Indiana.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

2009 Room Makeover Winner To Be Announced at 2010 Luncheon

Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio has teamed up again this year with Francine’s Friends to give one lucky woman a room makeover for her home.

Francine's Friends board members and
Cindy Friend (second from left) draw the winning
name for the makeover
Each woman in Allen County who visit the Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Coach for a mammogram in November or December of this year will be eligible to enter a drawing for next year’s makeover.

The winner for 2009 will be announced at the October 8th luncheon.

"I was a guest at the 2007 breakfast and left it inspired and thinking of how I could help," Said Cindy Friend, Owner and Interior Designer of Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio. The drawing and makeover in 2008 was successful and inspiring, and the recipient was so excited, so we decided to do it again in 2009, and also again this year.

Cindy Friend has provided interior design services to clients throughout the area for over 20 years. In September 2007, Cindy opened her “Lifestyle Studio” at 4203 West Jefferson Blvd.  Cindy’s studio is a place to shop for furnishings, art and d├ęcor, as well as a facility the hosts special events and fundraisers.  Contact her there at (260) 432-5533 or visit online