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.