Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's A Wrap with Francine's Friends and Lucky Harley Davidson

Francine's Friends board members/volunteers helped with a little pre-holiday wrapping party at "Ladies Night" at Lucky Harley Davidson earlier in December. Thanks to manager Cindy Nissen (shown above with Francine's Friends board president Sharon Simmons) and the LHD staff - and all who donated to Francine's Friends that evening. We enjoyed visiting with all who stopped by to say hi to Santa's little helping "Friends". Check out more photos here on our Facebook page.

Monday, November 5, 2012

"Girls’ Night Out with Friends"

Open House 4:00 pm-8:00 pm 
Thursday, November 15, 2012
2930 Hedgerows Pass, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(Covington Chase subdivision)
Hostess Kris Purcell —

Join hostess Kris Purcell for beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and the premiere of the “Gems for Life” necklace from Goldworks, LLC — a fine chain with stations of gems that can be added to — to celebrate the special dates and people in your life!  10% of all sale proceeds will be donated to Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography!

Click here to learn more...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Life with Francine's Friends" is an Emmy Nominee!

Francine's Friends recently learned that "Life with Friends" - the short film created last year and presented at the 2011 October luncheon is a 2011-2012 Emmy¨ Nominee. The news was announced by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

"Life with Francine's Friends" was one of four out of 14 that submitted in the category: Outstanding Achievement for Informational/Instructional Programming - Program/Special/Series/Feature/Segment (Award to Producer/Host/Reporter).

"Life with Francine's Friends" premiered at last year's annual October fundraising event. The video/23-minute short film asked luncheon attendees 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."

Robyn Scott and Colleen Murray, of Chicago's Second City star in "Life with Francine's Friends" and are also real-life best friends. In addition to Scott and Murray, "Life with Francine's Friends" features 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. 

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.

"What's fun about the story is that it has a lot of moving parts that integrate so well.  There are the two main characters and their journey, the people they meet and learn from and the individuals on the couch who tell their stories and partially narrate the journey of the main characters," explained John Cuneo.  "It was a big project that required a lot of support and collaboration with the people of Francine's Friends, and look at what happened as a result."

PUNCH films provides production services for a wide range of interests by offering the proper allocation of resources and abilities along with the collaboration and experience needed to support broadcast and digital projects.  PUNCH won it's first Emmy in 2011. "Life with Francine's Friends" is PUNCH's third Emmy nomination.  To see more of their work, go to:

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 "Lunch with Friends" Enjoys Record Number of Friends!

The largest number ever of "friends" gathered at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on a cool but sunny fall day to spend a few hours with friends - and what a wonderful time together it was! Francine's Friends welcomed back Robyn Scott and Colleen Murray (from Chicago's Second City Improv) to help co-host this year's event, along with our very own Linda Jackson of Indiana NewsCenter.

The packed house made a new friend with Dr. Adeline Deladisma, MD and 2011-2012 AAMC Breast Center Fellow, who shared her thoughts and excitement to be joining the Fort Wayne community as the area's only female, fellow-training breast surgeon. Dr. "D" officially starts with Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS) on Nov. 5th and was given a heart-warming welcome from everyone in the audience. 

Next, our eight fabulous breast cancer survivors took the stage — Melissa Eshbach, Barbara A’Hearn, Denise Deeds, Gina Burtness, Jeannie Porter, JoEtta Bopp, Krista Gonzales, and Adoria Dowdell "strutted their stuff" and shared their stories, including red carpet interviews by improv artists turned "E" entertainment news type reporters Robyn and Colleen. Special thanks to Nancy Nokaya, owner of Essentials and Frosting, Susan of Susan's Fashions and Cookie Mausbaum from Stein Mart Boutique, along with Trend Setters Hair Design, Merle Norman Cosmetics, and The Loft Hair Skin Nails Salon, for their generosity and help with the special survivor makeovers. Vera Bradley "wrapped up" the special gift baskets for our survivors with their new "Ribbon" design tote, filled with lots of extra goodies from local area retailers — Auburn Artifacts, The Cheese Man, Essentials and Frosting, Sarah Abbott; Gold Canyon Candles, Goldworks, Jeremiah Brewed Awakenings, Lebamoff’s Cap N’ Cork, Massage Envy (north & south Locations), The Olive Twist, Paper Gourmet, Pat Smith Jewelry, Possibilities and Pizza Hut — THANK YOU!

Our Second City improv ladies then took the stage again to welcome two special friends from Chicago - in attendance for the first time, and actual friends of the "real" Francine - Francine Shubert, our namesake. This year marked the 10th anniversary since Francine's passing, so it was a special treat to hear Anne and Charlene share stories of their friendship with Francine, and then have the audience in stitches when they improved with Robyn and Colleen. A very special treat - and very special ladies!

Jen Ramos was the lucky winner of the special Star 88.3-sponsored gift basket — a $285 value. Other exciting news? PUNCH Films was in the house to help us all celebrate the recent EMMY nomination last year's short film "Life with Friends" received earlier in the week at the Chicago Midwest Emmy Nomination event. Our short film was one of four out of 14 in "Category #7 - Outstanding Achievement for Informational / Instructional Programming - Program/Special/Series/Feature/Segment (Award to Producer/Host/Reporter)" and we are SO proud!!!

The luncheon wrapped up with a rousing flash mob grand finale that brought everyone to their feet to sing, shout, dance, clap or smile...thanks to Tiffany Doyle and Tiffany & Co. School of Dance, Ace McKay, Flashing Edge promotions, K Monique's Studio of Dance, staff members of Fort Wayne Radiology, Markey’s Rental & Staging Fort Wayne Division and the countless other "flash-mobbers" who helped present "We Are Family" in such a spectacular style.

SPECIAL THANKS to our 2012 sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: PHP Foundation, Radiation Oncology Associates, Vera Bradley, Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS), Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology, Emley Design Group, Steel Dynamics, OmniSource, and Star 88.3.

SPECIAL THANKS to our 2012 corporate table sponsors: 21ALIVE/ I WEAR PINK, Breast Diagnostic Center, Briner Building Inc., The DeHayes Group, Haines, Isenbarger & Skiba, Indiana Michigan Power, Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center, PNC, and Tower Bank.

SPECIAL THANKS to our 2012-13 “Bosom Buddies for Life” Sustaining Friendship Circle: Ann Bobilya, Cheryl Brockmann, Carol Busse, Sharon Eisbart, Cathy Gallmeyer, Rae Gonterman, Glynda Harris, Debbie Hirschfield, Nancy McNabb, Dar Richardson, Ari Rifkin, Judy Rifkin, Mimi Rolland, Chris Rupp, Sharon Simmons, Judy Springer, Kathy Summers, Neile Ternet, Carolyn Tyndall, Irene Walters, and Mary Ann Ziembo.

And heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who attended this year's event. See you next year!

Click to view ALBUM OF EVENT and of ATTENDEE PHOTO ALBUM on our Facebook page.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lucky Harley-Davidson Hosts Breast Cancer Awareness Day and Harley Ride

UPDATE: Click here to see photos of this event!

Come out this Saturday, Oct. 13th: Lucky Harley Davidson & Wings Etc. team up for Francine's Friends. The coach will be at Lucky Harley-Davidson for Breast Cancer awareness day from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. "Save 2nd Base" Motorcycle Ride begins at 3:00 pm - registraton fees for ride to benefit Francine's Friends. Calling all Harley riders and those who'd like to be - come out and join in the fun! More event ride info:

Wing’s Etc. is donating proceeds from rubber bracelet sales during the month of October - you can see Debi/Francine's Friends at Wing's Etc. this Sat. from 4-6pm. and get your fix on these delicious wings and choice of 18 sauces - that's right: 18 Sauces!! Try their classic "Hot" Buffalo Wing Sauce, or maybe the famous "Tweener" Sauce - not too hot, not too mild. A walk on the wild side? Try their "Me-So-Spicy," "Hot Barbie," "Sweet Chili Cha-Cha," or "Major Jerk" sauces. Like flavor without the heat? Honey Mustard sauce and new Gar-Licky-Parm sauce are getting rave reviews! Thank you Lucky Harley-Davidson and Wings Etc.!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Go Garrett!

Get out to Garrett High School this Saturday, October 13, to see the Girl's Volleyball team "Dig for the Cure" breast cancer game. JV will be playing at 11am, Varsity at noon. The team has been busy selling shirts and seeking donations.  A Silent Auction and bake sale will be in the commons area outside the Bateman gym.  All proceeds raised will benefit Francine's Friends Mobile Mammogram program.  Very special thanks from Francine's Friends, Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center and Breast Diagnostic Center to these girls and their coach, Sallie Raferty, for thinking of us!

Pictured with the "Dig for a Cure" T-shirt are junior and senior volleyball players:  (left to right) Alaina Creager, Mary Hoeffel, Emma Reidley, Rachel Stafford and Michaela Scherer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Turn the Plaza Pink" Oct. 12th and 13th

“Turn the Plaza Pink” — Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13, Covington Plaza, Fort Wayne. Our good friends at Covington Plaza will be turning their plaza pink on Friday and Saturday to help promote Francine's Friends and the importance of early detection. Mention you heard about this promotion from Francine's Friends and participating retailers will donate 10% of all sale proceeds to Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography Coach to help provide screening mammograms! Participating retailers include: belyst, b mitchell fine jewelry, Cindy Friend Lifestyle, Merle Norman, The Monogram Shoppe and More, Olive Twist, and Susan’s. Let's go shopping!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meet our Fabulous Models!

Next Friday at our annual "Lunch with Friends" to benefit Francine's Friends, be prepared to be "wowed" by eight VERY special women - our breast cancer survivors and this year's fabulous "red-carpet" models!

Not only will they strut their stuff at our fashion extravaganza, but you'll also hear on-the-spot "red-carpet" interviews by our roving reporters Robyn Scott and Colleen Murray from Chicago - as our special guest models dazzle us all in fabulous fashions from Essentials and Frosting, Susan's and Stein Mart; with spectacular hair and make-up by Trendsetters Hair Design, The Loft hair skin nails, and Merle Norman Southwest. Be prepared to be INSPIRED by these eight lovely women - Melissa Eshbach, Barbara A’Hearn, Denise Deeds, Gina Burtness, Jeannie Porter, JoEtta Bopp, Krista Gonzales, and Adoria Dowdell. Thank you, ladies, for sharing your stories and your special messages with us!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Memories of Francine...Anne Schiff and Charlene Gelber

Editor's note: Ten years ago this past September, Francine Shubert, our namesake, lost her battle to cancer. This year, as so many "Francine's Friends" gather to honor her and continue to fight the battle on her behalf, we heard from two very special "Francine's Friends" - two actual friends of Francine. Not only will they be in attendance at the luncheon next Friday, but we're also so happy to be able to share their memories of their friend "Francine" — who is the reason this group came together, and whose spirit helps continue to inspire and grow this broad circle of "Francine's Friends". Read on....

From left to right: Francine, Charlene, and Anne at dinner in Chicago.

Memories of My Friend Francine

Francine was a force to be reckoned with.  That was true from the first day I met her (in fourth grade), to the last days of her life.

When first coming to our elementary school, she was placed in the wrong class.  When she was to be transferred to my class, I overheard two older girls say that they were glad, because she was “too cute.”  Indeed.  She was adorable, with her long corkscrew ponytail and her impish grin.

Francine and I became friends, an improbable pairing, given my “goody two shoes” disposition and her “devil may care” bravado.  I found her to be fascinating, a little dangerous, and generous to a fault.  She could talk me into just about anything; she had that way about her. And we had fun!

It was she who first took me to an indoor roller-skating rink (an environment a bit out of my comfort zone, where tough-looking athletic kids wore short shiny skirts, skated backwards, and probably spit on the street); she and her father took me to an incredible horse show at the old Chicago Coliseum (I’d had my picture taken on a pony once, and was familiar with Trigger and Buttermilk from TV, but that was about it); and she urged me to usher with her at a downtown theater (a fabulous experience which I continued to do throughout high school, affording me the opportunity to see many plays at no cost).

Francine moved to New York after high school.  She was so gutsy!  She talked about all the interesting people she’d met and the incredible places she’d gone.  It all sounded very glamorous, and I so admired her ability to create a life for herself in a totally new environment.  She was Mary Richards before Mary Tyler Moore created the role.

When a friend and I contemplated our first trip to New York, I called Francine to let her know I’d be coming.  She was all excited, and immediately started to plan for our visit.  Among other things, she told me that she’d get “house seats” for a Broadway show – that she’d met the producer and he’d provide us with tickets.  I wanted to believe her, but I was skeptical…

However, when we arrived, she handed me an envelope with tickets to a major show.  The tickets were for fifth row center, and the writing on the outside indicated that they belonged to Edgar Lansbury, the show’s producer.

On that same trip, Francine took us to several iconic New York restaurants, including Toots Shor’s, Reuben’s Delicatessen (the original home of the Reuben sandwich), and Rumplemeyers, a restaurant famous for its ice cream concoctions.  At Reuben’s, she insisted that the waiter give us the glass mugs that had contained our drinks.  He agreed, and to this day I drink coffee from it every morning.

The years went by, and Francine moved back to Chicago.  Learning of a vacancy in my building, she rented the apartment.  Voicing concern, our friends admonished her to behave herself and not be too intrusive in my life.  I was not worried.  One night, however, around 11:00 pm, there was a knock on my door.  It was Francine, loaded down with various foodstuffs.  It seems that she had just watched the Tonight Show, where Vincent Price prepared a recipe called “Pompous Pancakes.”   She thought they looked really delicious, so why not make them.  Of course she didn’t want to do it alone, so she decided to include me.  Despite my protestations, she assembled the ingredients on my counter, including flour, eggs, sugar, peanut butter, jelly, etc.  Fortunately I had milk.  We made the pancakes, which were excellent, and stuffed our faces at midnight, almost choking from simultaneously eating and laughing.

Francine’s move to Fort Wayne afforded our little circle of Chicago friends many years of fun, hilarity, and new experiences.  She never failed to entertain. I miss her, but I can still see that impish grin and glint in her eye signaling, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”  And I ain’t.

— With devotion, Anne Schiff

Friend of Francine

Francine was a beautiful woman who could charm and finesse,
all those she met, were put to her test.
If she needed your help or if she needed your funds,
don’t even think you could run from her ‘guns’.
From grade school in Chicago all the way to Ft. Wayne,
I never could get ahead of her game.
No matter how hard I tried to say no,
the guilt was too much; I had to go with her flow.
Baking at midnight, ‘cause she so loved my cookies,
Going places I never wanted ‘cause she gave me one of her ‘lookies’.
It was hard to resist her insistence and pleading,
By the time I agreed she made me think I was leading.
We traveled together both with and without spouses,
So many memories were shared at our houses.
Her romance with a budding actor I was made to bear witness,
when I fell on the ice and he helped me up with such quickness.
As a great cook, hostess and planner, all was in perfect order,
Only admiration and gratitude could you have toward her.
When illness came upon her she never faltered,
kept planning and traveling, nothing she altered.
Francine was a giver, a leader and the most terrific volunteer,
these are some of her qualities we all hold so dear.
We feel her spirit shine bright on this anniversary #10,
Let’s give a ‘shout out’ to Francine and her Friends!

— Charlene Gelber

Monday, October 1, 2012

Special Offer for Francine's "FRIENDS" from Star 88.3!

Our good friends at Star 88.3 are offering a special prize package for one lucky Francine's Friend - it could be you! Click on the link below to register for your chance to win - this is only for those attending the luncheon as an added thank-you from our generous friends at Star 88.3.

The Star 88.3 prize package includes 2 books, 5 cds, gift cards to DeBrand Chocolates, Cookie Cottage, Family Christian Bookstore, and a Safari gift certificate.  It also includes STAR goodies, including a t-shirt.  The total values is $285!  And, as always, your email won't be shared with any third-party entities.

But hurry - you need to register between now and Oct. 11th - drawing will be held at the end of the day on Oct. 11th. Click here to register for the Star 88.3 promotion prize package.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

WLDE - Chatting with Old and New Friends!

WLDE and MAJIC aired a conversation between friends on Sunday - our good friend Carrie Wellman, board president Sharon Simmons and survivor Adoria Dowdell - as they chatted about Francine's Friends.

Carrie and her sister both got their mammograms on the coach - and loved it (we knew they would). And you'll be hearing more from and about Adoria at our "Lunch with Friends" on Oct. 12th - she's one of our 8 featured models and breast cancer survivors. Thanks Carrie!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I Wear Pink and Francine's Friends!

Don't miss "I wear PINK" on the Square - taking place between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM at Freimann Square on Friday, September 21st.  INC News Center and Insight will broadcast live at Freimann Square beginning at noon, interviewing Francine's Friends board president Sharon Simmons and Dr. Adeline Deladisma of Indiana Surgical Specialists and a fellowship-trained breast surgeon. Dr. Deladisma will also be speaking at "Lunch with Friends" on Oct. 12th. Francine's Friends and V102.9 will be on the Square as well...tune in or drop in!

"I wear PINK" encourages women to engage in the early detection of breast cancer, thereby reducing mortality and improving the quality of life in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. You can follow on ABC 21Alive on the 21st of each month and online at It is sponsored by Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Click here to see photos of Francine's Friends on the Square with "I wear PINK"! 

If you missed this great day in the square, click on the links below to watch the video segments:

Sharon Simmons, Francine's Friends board member, on Insight

Dr. Adeline Deladisma, Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS) - segment one on Insight

Dr. Adeline Deladisma, Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS) - segment two on Insight

Friday, August 31, 2012

Star 88.3 Chats with Friends

Earlier this week, Star 88.3 personality Melissa Montana had the opportunity to talk with breast cancer survivor, Denise Deeds.  Denise shares about a monthly support group that she leads and the important role support groups play when someone goes through that journey.  Denise and Melissa also talk about the October "Lunch with Friends" Luncheon that is coming up and what guests can expect.

Click here to go to the Star 88.3 website and listen to the interview.

Francine's Friends is proud to have Star 88.3 as a media sponsor for this year's "Lunch with Friends". Tickets are $75 and all proceeds go to help cover the cost of mammograms. This year promises to be an exciting year as Francine's Friends welcomes back Colleen Murray and Robyn Scott of Chicago’s Second City for a true "red carpet" treatment with our eight special survivors. Guests will also hear from Dr. Adeline Deladisma of Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS) and the AAMC 2011-2012 Breast Center Fellow.

Plus, you'll hear more from Denise and others as they walk the red carpet and show off their newly acquired fashion “wow” under the direction of Nancy Nokaya, owner, Essentials and Frosting; with help from local area retailers, and hair and make-up professionals!

For more information on how you can attend, contact Jeanne Garton (625-3532 or or Sharon Eisbart (432-2252 or And be sure to tune into Star 88.3 between now and Oct. 12 to hear more about our upcoming event and Francine's Friends!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Local Wendy's Helps Spread the Word About Mobile Mammography and Early Detection

We LOVE our new friends at Wendy's! Wendy's Fort Wayne-South Bend is partnering with Francine's Friends this month to promote "Early Breast Cancer Detection." They are helping us to get the word out with FREE "care" cards (designed by local artist Terry Ratliff) available at Wendy's in Fort Wayne and Columbia City, Auburn and Decatur locations - while supplies last.

Click here to see the promotion details on Wendy's facebook page.

Grab lunch or dinner at Wendy's (and encourage YOUR friends to too!) and pick up a FREE "Care Card" today. These are perfect to give to your mom, sister, relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors as a gentle reminder to learn more about mobile mammography and the importance of early detection. And, when they schedule their mammography on the coach and present the card, they'll also receive a coupon for a FREE Frosty! No purchase necessary, just ask for a free "care" card and tell someone you care. Pick up a Free "Care Card" at any Fort Wayne Wendy's locations now through Sept. 17th. Your reminder and 15 minutes could save a life!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 26th Pre-Luncheon Table Captain Luncheon Biggest Yet

Table Captains, Bosom Buddies, sponsors and friends of Francine's Friends gathered at Sycamore Hills Country Club recently for the Pre-Luncheon Table Captain gathering and to learn more about this year's event. Francine's Friends board members and Table Captain Co-chairs Sharon Eisbart and Jeanne Garton welcomed the group, shared information about the upcoming annual "Lunch with  Friends" and presented packets, plus tips on how to fill the Memorial Coliseum on Oct. 12th to the rafters with Francine's "friends"!

Sponsored by Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS), guests also heard from Dr. Adeline Deladisma, new to Indiana Surgical Specialists (ISS), and most recently the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellow at the AAMC Breast Center. The AAMC Breast Center in Annapolis, Maryland is an affiliate of Anne Arundel Medical Center and is nationally recognized for its outstanding care, research and comprehensive programs. The Breast Center offers kind, sensitive, and tailored breast disease treatment and care for women. Dr. Deladisma officially begins at ISS on Nov. 1st, and is so excited to be moving to our community. She instantly won the hearts of everyone in attendance, and will also be speaking at the Oct. 12th "Lunch with Friends".

Not a table captain yet? No worries - contact Jeanne Garton (625-3532 or or Sharon Eisbart (432-2252 or and they will provide you with a packet and instructions for helping you fill your table. This year, we're also making individual tickets available too - tickets are $75 each and every cent of the ticket price goes to help cover the cost of a mammogram on the coach. RSVP to Jeanne or Sharon (by Sept. 11th) for individual reservations, and plan to attend!

Click here to download PDF of event flyer

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Francine's Friends Makes New Friends with Encore

Francine's Friends board president Sharon Simmons recently made a presentation at the May meeting of Fort Wayne Encore Club.  Fort Wayne Encore Club is a non-profit organization that provides social and educational opportunities and fosters community involvement for its members.

Fort Wayne Encore Club has monthly luncheon meetings and many interest groups to provide its members with social and informational gatherings. Members include women who have moved to Fort Wayne and have lived here for more than 18 months, and those who were members of Newcomers Club for five years and are now ready to move on to Encore to continue the friendships made in Newcomers.
Shown left to right is Chris Lehman, Sycamore Hills Golf Club; Gale Mann, president, Encore; Sharon Simmons, board president, Francine's Friends; and Marcia Kirby, social co-chair, Encore. For information, contact Fort Wayne Encore Club membership chair, Dee Keywood,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

See Francine's Friends in April issue of SEE Magazine!

Check out the online April issue of SEE Magazine and you'll "see" a familiar face or two - pages 10, 11 and 12 include photos and an article about Francine's Friends.

Founder and Editor Lori Lewis has passion, purpose and a very defined mission for SEE Magazine; to quote Lori, "it's my life's deepest desire that even one girl or woman feel heartened by what she reads in SEE Magazine, that it gives her something she needs, right when she needs it, and she comes away from its pages better for it — stronger, with more of a sense of herself and her worth." SEE shares stories of empowered girls and women — and Francine's Friends is thrilled to be included in the April issue.

Click here to read it now...Thank you Lori, for helping to share the Francine's Friends mission and story for all to SEE!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Francine's Friends on Chicago Comcast

"Life with Francine's Friends" will be airing in Chicago and outlining areas on Comcast Cable 25, RCN Cable 25 and WOW Cable 25 on the following dates:

Monday, April 9th at 8:30 p.m.
Friday, April 13th at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, April 16th at 8:30 p.m.
Friday, April 20th at 7:30 p.m.

Thanks to John Cuneo of Punch Films for helping to make this possible.

"Life with Francine's Friends" premiered at last year's annual October fundraising event. The video/23-minute short film asked luncheon attendees 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."

Robyn Scott and Colleen Murray, of Chicago's Second City star in "Life with Francine's Friends" and are also real-life best friends. Robyn and Colleen also graciously agreed to host, emcee and introduce the video premiere to the luncheon audience. Along with Scott and Murray, "Life with Francine's Friends" features 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. 

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.

The Comcast airings hope to raise awareness and continue to inspire women (and men) to take action and support mobile mammography and the importance of early detection.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Francine's Friends Thanks Major Funders of 2011 Capital Campaign

Board president Sharon Simmons (left) presents
certificate of thanks to Jill Nichols, Executive Vice President
Philanthropy & Community Relations at Vera Bradley
(center) and Catherine Hill, Foundation Executive Director
at Vera Bradley (right).
The entire board of the all-volunteer non-profit Francine's Friends was both thrilled and humbled that it not only met its capital campaign goal, but "thanks to so many generous individuals, supporters, donors and funders, we have exceeded it!" said board president Sharon Simmons.

The 2011 capital campaign to raise $350,000 for a replacement coach succeeded thanks to major funders of $25,000 or more including English Bonter Mitchell Foundation, PHP Foundation, Radiation Oncology Associates, Indiana Surgical Specialists, Steel Dynamics Foundation, and Vera Bradley. Board president Sharon Simmons recently presented certificates of thanks to all of these special friends.

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.

The new coach served its highest number of women yet in November of 2011, and has been on the road making life-savings screenings possible Allen County and the surrounding communities.

Click here to view photos of the new coach.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Board President Sharon Simmons Wins 2012 Athena Award

Board president and 2012 Athena winner
Sharon Simmons with 2011 Athena
winner Marilyn Moran Townsend

And the 2012 Athena Award goes to....Sharon Simmons, board president of Francine’s Friends Inc., the all volunteer organization which helps provide mobile mammograms to all women, regardless of their ability to pay. The nominees were honored on March 15th during a lunch at Ceruti’s Summit Park.

The international Athena Award Program recognizes those who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in work while also giving back to the community and empowering women. The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce sponsors the local contest.

Read article about Sharon Simmons in The Journal Gazette by clicking here.

We are so proud of her!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Francine's Friends Coach at March 8th Screening Event

Mark your calendar and plan to attend the "Taking Charge of Your Health" screening event from 4-7 pm on March 8, 2012 at the Carew Medical Park, first floor atrium at 1818 Carew Street. The Francine's Friends mammography coach will be onsite for screenings, and BDC in Carew will stay open to help with any overflow.

Other screenings and/or services include blood pressure, oral health screening, bone density screening, PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test, colorectal cancer home test, skin cancer screening, smoking cessation, and vision screening.

Hosted by the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Network and presented by the Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center in conjunction wiht American Cancer Society, the event also includes a presentation by Virendra Parikh, MD, Parkview Physicians Group – Colon & Rectal Surgery, on screening for, and preventing, colorectal cancer.  Representatives from various local organizations will be available to answer questions as well as provide important health information.  Dr. Parikh’s presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.  Light refreshments will be provided. Free parking is available in the adjoining parking garage. For more information, call (260) 266-9180. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Churubusco Volleyball Girls ROCK!

As part of their Pink Out days, the 18 member volley ball girls from Churubusco High School made bracelets out of pink & white beads, etc. and sold the 19 they made and raised $500 for Francine's Friends!!!  Unbelievable!

Lady Eagles left to right are Emma Frericks, Chandler Blake and Gabby Jones, shown with Debi Kennedy, Community Outreach Coordinator — Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography, accepting the check. Thank you to our young friends and everyone else in Churubusco for supporting and remembering Francine's Friends mobile mammography at their recent Pink Out event and donating!! These young ladies ROCK!