Thursday, December 29, 2016

Do You Have YOUR Indiana IBCAT License Plate?

Francine’s Friends will again be a recipient of a grant for breast cancer screening from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, Inc. (IBCAT). In 2016, IBCAT granted over $417,800 to 36 organizations dedicated to screening mammography programs, including Francine’s Friends.

The mission of IBCAT is to increase awareness and improve access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and support services throughout Indiana.  IBCAT receives funds through sales of breast cancer awareness specialty license plate.  Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust plate sales began in January of 2002.

“We are so grateful for the support from IBCAT!” explained Francine’s Friends board president Sharon Simmons. “They help us fund screenings in many counties in Northeast Indiana - Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley.  Thank you IBCAT for improving the health of women in our communities!”

Through these sales, monies are available for grants deemed to best address the unmet screening needs of the people of Indiana.  Each Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness plate sold generates a $25.00 donation. For more information on IBCAT, visit

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Francine's Friends Receives $20k as Part of Kroger 2016 "Fight Cancer Days"

The Kroger Marketplace store on Dupont was the site of the "Kroger Caring for Fort Wayne" press conference held on Friday, December 16 at 10:00 a.m. Eric Halvorson, Kroger Manager of Public Affairs for the Central Division in Indianapolis, joined Fort Wayne district manager Chris Gomez and local agency representatives to announce a total contribution of $126,000 for seven area charities.

A check in the amount of $82,000 went to three "Fight Cancer Day" agencies — The American Cancer Society, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana and Francine's Friends, representing three percent of Kroger sales raised on October 5, 2016 —  the 38th Annual "Fight Cancer Day" — and customer donations from the month of October. In addition to "Fight Cancer Day", the "Kroger Cares" presentation on Friday included donations to Marine Corps Toys for Tots, Community Harvest Food Bank, Coats for Kids and the Salvation Army.

"Fight Cancer Day" Super Heroes from all three agencies "flew in" and were also on hand to receive the donation. Francine's Friends board president Sharon Simmons thanked Kroger for their generous donation, noting that "Francine's Friends is so grateful for this partnership; it's meant a great deal to our all-volunteer organization and all the women we reach and serve."

Click here to view photos on Facebook.

Click here to read a related blog post.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Central Noble Jr-Sr High Volley Ball Pink Out raises over $1,600!

UPDATE....Here's the official photo of the check presentation in January 2017 - when these ladies make a commitment, they make a commitment! Thank you Lady Cougars and the entire Central Noble community for making the 2016 Pink Out such an amazing success!

On Monday, October 3rd, the Central Noble Lady Cougars JV & Varsity teams hosted Hamilton and were victorious, "spiking down cancer" for their annual Pink Out Night and game, raising a whopping $1,600!

Prior to the start of the varsity match-up, a moment of silence was observed and there was a presentation of pink flowers by the volleyball team to honor breast cancer survivors. There also was a bake sale, silent auction, raffles and PINK cotton candy. Francine's Friends was presented with a giant Pink Out poster signed by the Cougar Varsity Team players at the close of the evening. All proceeds from the evening's events went to Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography Unit.

“We can’t believe how much is going on this evening,” said Donna Emley, who sits on the charity’s board of directors. Such fundraising events are critical, Emley said to KPCMedia reporter Matt Getts, who was on hand for the Albian New Era. “It’s really exciting to see the community come out like this,” Emley continue, “We’re an all-volunteer organization and it’s grass roots events like this that fund our mission.”

Special thanks to Kelly Beams, Guidance Counselor, and Central Noble Varsity Volleyball coach Laura Scott for helping organize the event, all who attended, and especially the Lady Cougars JV and Varsity teams. A check for final proceeds will be presented in January.

Click here to view more photos from the evening on the Francine's Friends Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Todd Alber Memorial Golf Outing Raises $2,000 for Francine's Friends

Scott Downs, organizer of the "Todd Alber Memorial Golf Outing", recently presented Francine's Friends with a check for $2,000 — a record amount for proceeds raised from the annual event held in August at Noble Hawk Golf Course.

"We remember Todd for his smile, his many stories and the tomfoolery that sometimes surrounded him. He was the life of the party and was known by several nicknames including “Toad,” “Bird Dog,” “RT” and “Indiana Bob.” Todd was a dedicated son, brother, friend and UPS team member. His kindness, love and enthusiasm touched us all. Todd made the most of life, his black lab (Kip) and the game of golf," explained Downs. "This fifth annual tribute to Todd was bigger and better than ever, and we're thrilled to help support our deserving charities," Downs continued. Francine’s Friends and the Allen County SPCA are the two charities of choice.

For more information on the annual golf outing, visit

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fuel the Fight Against Breast Cancer!

MacFood Mart/Sunoco recently presented Francine's Friends with a check for $200 - donations raised at their "Fuel the Fight Against Breast Cancer" event on October 14, 2016.

"Last year we hosted a 'Fuel the Fight Against Breast Cancer' during the Grand Opening for our Goshen Road convenience store," explained Melinda McDonald, Media Coordinator at McIntosh Energy. "We wanted to host a very similar event this year to celebrate our one-year anniversary."

The MacFood Mart/Sunoco station, located at the corner of Washington Center and US 33, sold approximately 2000 gallons of regular gasoline in a four hour timeframe, which is a LOT of gasoline! MacFood Mart manager Shannon Noble presented Francine's Friends board president Sharon Simmons with a check for the proceeds and thanked Francine's Friends for its work in the community.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 14, 2016 — "Celebrating Champions!"

It was a day of celebrating champions — and a sell-out crowd helped Francine's Friends do just that! Nearly 700 women (and men) attended this year's annual "Lunch with Friends" to help raise record funds — which will be used to provide screening mammography on the Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography coach for women in northeast Indiana.

Along with this year’s breast cancer survivors and the Breast Diagnostic Center (BDC) staff from the coach, our "friends" helped us celebrate and share a “passion for fashion” thanks to Jophiel, Carson’s, Susan’s, The Find, Tangles, and Classic Image Salon and Spa. William C. Petty, M.D.,  Medical Director, Breast Diagnostic Center and TJ Krasun, Senior Manager, Hospital Systems Lakeshore Division, American Cancer Society, Inc., used a lively debate format to entertain and inform the audience with  “Controversies in Screening Guidelines”.  Francine's Friends Table Captains, Bosom Buddies, and community partners were also acknowledged and celebrated.

This year's event sponsors included Presenting Sponsor PHP, luncheon sponsors Kroger, Radiation Onocology Associations, Emley Design Group, Glo Magazine, Vera Bradley, Medical Oncology and Hematology, Steel Dynamics, Inc., OmniSource, Do it Best Corp., Punch, Briner Building, Inc., MedProGroup, Shaffer Multimedia, and a new champion-level sponsor — Brigadoon Fitness.

Click here to view photos from this year's "Celebrating Champions!"

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).

Thursday, August 11, 2016

4th Annual Moonshine Cowboys "Ride for a Cause" raises over $16,000!

Brandt Harley-Davidson in Wabash presented a check for $1,500 to Francine's Friends for their donation portion of the 4th Annual "Ride for a Cause" with Moonshine Cowboys. Shown left to right in the photo are Sean Stoner (Brandt's Harley Davidson General Manager), Glynda Harris (Francine's Friends Board Vice President, Sharon Simmons (Francine's Friends Board President), and Mark Shanks (Brandt's Harley Davidson Marketing Manager).  This is in addition to the over $16,000 the Moonshine Cowboys raised. Thank you FRIENDS!

Original post:
The threat of rain didn't stop riders from shining up their bikes and putting up their kickstands for the 4th Annual "Ride for a Cause" on July 30th. This year's event combined riders from Brandt’s Harley Davidson breast cancer ride with the Moonshine Cowboys "Ride for a Cause" — starting at two different locations, but ending up back together at Scotty's Bar for dinner, a silent auction, and raffles — all to benefit Francine's Friends.

Over 130 riders traveled from Wabash to Peru to North Manchester before returning to Scotty's Bar. Over fifty participants formed motorcycles into the shape of a breast cancer ribbon at Brandt's Harley Davidson for a wonderful tribute and "photo opt" before the official "kickstands up!" announcement.

The "fight breast cancer" fundraiser started when the Moonshine Cowboys and Toni & Robert Metzger from 95.9 KISS FM – WKUZ Radio got together four years ago.  Toni’s sister had recently passed away from Inflammatory Breast Cancer and she was looking for an avenue to help others fighting cancer. The Moonshine Cowboys are a group of motorcycle riders that have a common passion for helping their communities.  They share a love for the open road and a deep love for people and a desire to help anyone they can. The Moonshine Cowboys are also involved in many other events during the years including blood drives, adopting families at Christmas and other charitable rides throughout the year. The two groups planned and hosted what has come to be an annual "fight breast cancer" fundraiser that has grown every year, with the proceeds going to Francine’s Friends.

Click here to see photos from the 2016 event!

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.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Are YOU Ready for Summer?

Even though the weather hasn't always felt like it lately, summer is just around the corner and Francine's Friends has a busy June, July and August!

Along with our coach schedule for mammograms (click here to view), there will be many other wonderful opportunities to spend time with "Friends" (click here for current third-party event dates and descriptions, along with our annual official Francine's Friends event dates).

You can also like and check out our Facebook page for the late-breaking information, events, and coach locations.

If you know of an organization who would like to sponsor a fundraiser to benefit Francine's Friends, please contact Glynda Harris ( or 385-1601) for more information.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Congratulations To The Lucky Winners!

Congratulations to the winners of the Francine's Friends drawing at the Vera Bradley annual outlet sale at the Memorial Coliseum.

Jodi Getz won the framed Terry Ratliff original, "A Day In the Life" created specifically for Francine's Friends. And Sarah Speer was the lucky winner of two tickets to the October 14, 2016 Lunch With Friends. Thank you to our great community partner, Vera Bradley, for space at the event to spread early detection awareness!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Garrett Railroaders Again Raise Funds for Francine's Friends

The Garrett Railroaders, including freshman and JV teams, sold tee shirts and pink bracelets and helped share tour message of early detection, raising $450 for Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography. Board President Sharon Simmons and Vice President Glynda Harris happily received the check from head coach, Bob Lapadot, and the varsity Lady Railroaders.