Friday, October 28, 2011

OmniSource Shows Breast Cancer Awareness Support in a Few BIG Ways

OmniSource and SDI have been long-time supporters of Francine's Friends and the support of breast cancer awareness. They were sponsor's of this year's fundraising event "Lunch with Francine's Friends" and participated in both our grassroots public capital campaign "50k in 50 Days!" and as a major funder of the new coach.

The OmniSource Marketing Group came up with a great idea for another way to show support for breast cancer awareness by painting one of their roll-off boxes pink! They also designed a ribbon magnet that included the OmniSource logo to put on the box. Breast cancer has affected some of the OmniSource employees as well as other important people in the lives of so many. Says the article in ScrapRap, the company newsletter "Our 'pink box' shows that OmniSource supports this important cause.”  The pink box is located in Fort Wayne and the ribbon magnet is also on some of their company trucks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fort Wayne Home Builders Association Presents Check to Francine's Friends

The Fort Wayne Home Builders Association presented a check to Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography at its monthly luncheon meeting on October 19th. The 2011 Parade of Homes, with homes located in the sub-division of Valencia at Rothman Road just east of Maplecrest Road, donated a portion of ALL ticket proceeds to Francine's Friends to help with the costs of screening mammograms. Read related post here.

Shown in the photo above from left to right: Sharon Simmons, Board President, Francine's Friends; Craig Yoder, Colonial Development and 2011 HBA President; and Teresa White, Volunteer and Community Resource Manager, Ronald McDonald House, who also received a portion of ticket proceeds. We thank our FRIENDS at the Fort Wayne Home Builders Association for their support!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Covington Plaza Goes Pink and Helps Support Francine's Friends!

 It was a bright, beautiful day at Covington Plaza on Saturday, October 22, 2011 - a perfect day to see pink and white balloons bouncing outside the various retailers and a very pretty matching pink, white, and red mobile mammography coach in the parking lot.

Francine's Friends mobile mammography coach was on hand from 9:00 am-1:00 pm providing screening mammograms for area women. Thank you to Senator Lugar's office and our local retailers and friends The Monogram Shoppe and More, Merle Norman Cosmetics, and Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio, who are donating 10% of their proceeds from Saturday to help provide future screening mammograms.

Be sure you continue to do YOUR future shopping with these wonderful friends of ours - for items like the latest purses, scarves and pillows, or that special accent piece for the home (Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio). Or what about a makeover for yourself? Check out all the latest and greatest color palettes and looks in make-up for fall and the holidays - including a special manicure for moi? (Merle Norman Cosmetics). Last stop? The perfect stop/shoppe for your holiday cards, personalized stationery or a Lynn Haney Santa. The Monogram Shoppe and More really gears up for the holidays, featuring Byers' Choice, Peggy Karr Glass, and Spartina Purses, along with baby presents, monogrammed jewelry and even men's gifts.  Support these local retailers who work so hard throughout the year to help support Francine's Friends!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 "Lunch with Friends" Filled with "LIFE" and Francine's Friends!

The Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Expo 1 was filled with the chatter of friends — Francine's Friends — on Friday, October 14, 2011. The 7th annual event fundraiser to help raise funds for women in northeast Indiana to receive life-saving mammography services also included an exciting short film premiere, medical updates, a survivor reunion, two new survivor makeovers, and a wonderful time with friends!

Long-time support and friend Linda Jackson, Indiana News Center, welcomed everyone to the event and then introduced our honorary emcees for this year — Robyn Scott and Colleen Murray, of Chicago's Second City and real-life best friends. Robyn and Colleen graciously agreed to host this year's event and introduce the premiere of "Life with Francine's Friends."  This year's luncheon attendees were able to ride along with best friends “Jill” and “Karen” as they learned more about “life with Francine’s Friends” after Karen gives Jill a mammogram appointment on the coach for her birthday. Francine’s Friends and “friends” all help equip Karen with ammunition about early detection and mammography screening in an attempt to help convince Jill to "get on the coach."

The video was created locally by PUNCH FILMS, in association with Francine’s Friends, Inc. and Emley Design Group, and was produced by PUNCH's John Cuneo and Derek Devine.  PUNCH FILMS has just been nominated for not one, but TWO Emmys for its "don't txt and drive" PSA spots.

"Life with Francine's Friends" stars Scott and Murray, along with Francine’s Friends founders, partners, board members, funders, sponsors, table captains, community supporters, breast cancer survivors and a host of other “friends” and was filmed locally at Toscani's Pizzeria, Fort Wayne Urban League, Scotts Foods and TrendSetters Hair Design. Scott and Murray are also co-writers and star in their own pilot "Darcy and Tess" (see it here at and were busy the week leading up to our event auditioning for the "Rosie O'Donnell" show. We are excited to say "we knew them when...!" Click here to view photos of the event.

Click here to download your photo with Robyn and Colleen.

Dr. R. Prasad Mantravadi, MD, FACR, FACRO, of Radiation Oncology Associates, addressed the latest medical updates as part of the program. Radiation Oncology Associates was one of the event sponsors, along with Indiana Surgical Specialists, Vera Bradley, Emley Design Group, Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hemotology, Punch Films, Cindy Friend Lifestyle Studio, Steel Dynamics, and OmniSource. PHP Foundation was the presenting sponsor of the event.

As co-hosts, Scott and Murray also brought a bit of their improv and Second City experience to the luncheon, engaging board members, a few table captains, and the crowd. "Dr. Know It All" proved that our board members weren't just another set of pretty faces as they fielded questions from the audience in a group answer. Long-time table captains Ann and Doris publicly revealed how they and other table captains act as "pillars" of our organization, as Robyn and Colleen "leaned" on them for support.

Robyn and Colleen were thanked at the end of this fun-filled luncheon and presented with stunning glass jewelry pendants, a first-time collaboration between Chicago artists Amy Odom (The Glass Cafe) and Laura Thompson (Savanah's Designs Glass Studio). These pieces were commissioned especially for Robyn and Colleen and this event. More information may be found locally at gallery8010.

Also announced — an update on the 2011 capital campaign to raise $350,000 for a replacement coach. Board President Sharon Simmons was thrilled to announce during her comments that the all-volunteer non-profit not only met its capital campaign goal, but "thanks to so many generous individuals, supporters, donors and funders, we have exceeded it!" Simmons asked the audience to be sure and check out the brand new coach with the "big red bow" in the parking lot, which was onsite providing screening mammograms. (Click here to see photos of the new coach).

Major funders of $25,000 or more include English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, PHP Foundation, Radiation Oncology Associates, Indiana Surgical Specialists, Steel Dynamics Foundation, and Vera Bradley. They will "ride around on the coach" with their names displayed on the exterior. Those donating $15,000 and above include Wilson Family Foundation, Journal Gazette Foundation, and Mary Cross Tippmann Foundation. Funders contributing $1,000 and above include Waterfield Foundation, Howard P. Arnold Foundation, and Dr. John Crawford. Equally exciting are the countless individuals, businesses, organizations who participated in the grassroots portion "$50k in 50 Days!" to complete the capital campaign. "Everyone who donated owns a piece of our new coach," said Simmons, "whether it was $1, $5, $100, or more!" Click here to read more about those involved in the "$50k in 50 Days!" campaign.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Francine's Friends on Indiana News Center

Francine's Friends Board President Sharon Simmons and board member Donna Emley recently caught up with one of our best "Friends" - anchor Linda Jackson. See and learn more on the weekend community affairs program airing on 10/15 at 11:09pm, and again on 10/16 at 6:09pm and 10/23 at 11:09pm. Thank you Linda!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Crawl for Breast Cancer" Donates to Francine's Friends

Francine's Friends loves it when our circle expands and that's exactly what happened recently when The Ultimate Bar Crawl, Inc. president Loren Bunnell called to let us know he was presenting us a donation! The first annual Downtown Fort Wayne Bar Crawl for Breast Cancer was held on Saturday, August 13th.  Although the weather was soggy, the spirits of the nearly 200 who attended were not.  Participating locations included Flashback on the Landing, Thirsty Camel, Columbia Street West, Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant, and JK O'Donnell's.

"My mother was recently diagnosed," explained Bunnell, who started the Ultimate Bar Crawl here in Fort Wayne in 2010. "Our goal was to do something fun, while supporting a local charity."

Participants checked in at the original downtown beer tent location on the Landing, received a t-shirt, an Ultimate Bar Crawl game card, and a map of participating bars. After dinner, "crawlers" visited each location, getting their cards punched at each stop — along with drink specials, no cover charges, and prizes and giveaways. "Most everyone came back to the tent at the end of the evening wet, but happy, and turned in their completed cards," said Annette Pearson, VP of Business Operations. Music by a DJ, more giveaways, and a drawing for six additional big-ticket prizes concluded the evening of fun — all for a good cause!

The result? Bunnell and Pearson presented Francine's Friends — their local charity of choice for this event — with a check for $1,425.00!

In addition to helping local charities and the armed forces, other "crawl" themes include birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. Find out more by visiting

Thank you to Loren and Annette and all those who participated and donated!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WLDE Carrie Wellman Chats with "Friends"

We love our "friends" around town who always take time to chat with us - to find out what's new, what's coming up, and to help us create more awareness of the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer.

One of our long-time friends (since the beginning!) is Carrie Wellman of Fun 101.7 WLDE Classic Hits. Carrie and her crew was the first ever to do a live remote from the coach (complete with the Weenie Wagon!); helping us to get the word out about the new Francine's Friends mobile mammography coach back in 2005.

Carrie recently chatted with Board President Sharon Simmons and board member Donna Emley - about our upcoming "Lunch with Friends" on October 14th, our capital campaign to purchase a new coach, and the ease, convenience and time-savings of having your mammogram on the coach. Tune in to hear them on Sunday, October 9, 2011 on "Fort Wayne Feedback" with Carrie at 101.7 WLDE. Thanks Carrie!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Francine's Friends Receives Kroger Community Donation

Francine's Friends was recently one of eleven local recipients honored when the new Kroger Marketplace opened at Coldwater and Dupont. The presentation was made on Wednesday, September 28th, at the invitation only, pre-opening open house.

"We are thrilled to be one of the recipients of the $38,000 total in monies donated," said Francine's Friends Board President Sharon Simmons, who was on hand to accept the award. Other board members in attendance included Debi Kennedy, Glynda Harris and Donna Emley. Camp Red Cedar, The Community Harvest Food Bank, and local area schools were also represented at the event. The $1,000 donation will go toward the actual costs of screening mammography. Kroger locations have been long-time sites for the Francine's Friends mobile mammography coach. This is the second time Francine's Friends has been a recipient.    

Kroger is in the midst of a $100 million expansion in northeast Indiana. At more than 126,000 square feet, the East Dupont Road grocery is Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.'s largest in Indiana. It features a cafĂ©, a Fred Meyers jewelry store and large infant and children's departments, and departments with furniture, linens, toys, office and school supplies. This is the first Kroger Marketplace store in Fort Wayne to open, so Kroger went all out with food samplings ranging from an expanded sushi section to scallops and steak hot off the grilling station in the meat department. 

In addition to groceries, the store will feature gluten-free all-natural foods, household appliances, a bistro and a build-your-own cupcake station. Employees from the Scott's that will close across the street will be joined by 130 new-hires for a total of 325 employees.

Francine's Friends is honored to again be a recipient and proud to have such a great community partner in Kroger.