Friday, November 17, 2017

October Fundraisers Benefit FRIENDS!

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Francine's Friends is thankful for the many third-party organizations who designated funds from their October fundraisers to support Francine's Friends and our mission.

Summit Plastic Surgery raised over $4,500 to help provide screening mammography through Francine's Friends with its first annual "Think Pink" event at the West Jefferson location on October 19th. Dr. Matthew E Shambaugh has spect 25+ years helping those affected by breast cancer and he and his staff welcomed guests to refreshments, a silent auction, prizes and giveaways, a demonstration of services, and a tour of the new office. It was a terrific evening with our new FRIENDS!!! For more information about Summit Plastic Surgery, visit

On Friday and Saturday nights in October, Fort Wayne's SKYZONE Park was all a GLOW for Francine's Friends! For those of you not in the GLOW, this black-light after dark experience is like none other with lasers, LEDs, EDM music and black lights. Special Neon GLOW t-shirts were for sale with a portion of each sale going to Francine's Friends. T-shirts were available through the end of October. Thank you SKYZONE for helping to create awareness and funds through this awesome promotion! Find out about other upcoming events at

Our friends at The Journal Gazette donated a percentage of ad space proceeds from its October THINK PINK section to Francine's Friends, raising $507 to help fund screening mammography! This tabloid publication was distributed October 15th and included a ton of wonderful information, stories of hope, and ads about local resources. THANK YOU JG and local advertisers!

Locally owned and independently operated Yard Cards by Jess helps celebrate birthdays, milestones and many other special events by helping Fort Wayne decorate a yard with high quality personalized signs. Jess and her friends raised $122 for Francine's Friends during the month of October. Find out more about Jess on her Facebook page - Yard Cards by Jess Facebook Page -  and "don't just give them a card, decorate the yard!"! Thank you JESS!

Francine's Friends is very appreciative and grateful to the many organizations throughout the year who support Francine's Friends and its mission through third-party fundraisers.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 13, 2017 — 13th Annual "Lunch With Friends"!

Nearly 600 women (and men) attended the 13th annual "Lunch with Friends" at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum to help raise funds to support the mission of Francine's Friends — to ensure ALL women in northeast Indiana are able to have screening mammography on the Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography coach, regardless of any barriers.

This year, we were thrilled to welcome many returning alumni models/survivors from our 2005-2016 luncheons.  Linda Jackson, Evening Anchor of Fort Wayne's NBC and long-time FRIEND, was back on stage as the vivacious emcee of the luncheon, who had the crowd taking selfies and trending #FrancinesFriends on social media. After an invocation by The Rev. Dr. Kathleen Haller, Trinity English Lutheran Church, Board President Sharon Simmons had everyone up on their feet in honor of breast cancer survivors. Simmons continued with remarks about advances made in early detection and treatment resulting in less invasive surgeries and therapies. Simmons also expressed gratitude to the various organizations and groups holding third party fundraisers to benefit Francine's Friends. "We are blessed by all of these efforts," remarked Simmons. "It is so much fun for board members to attend these events and talk about the importance of early detection — from the 'Ride for a Cause' sponsored by the Moonshine Cowboys — to the Todd Alber Annual Golf Outing — to the Tri Kappa DeKalb Pink Out — to all the Pink Outs sponsored by area sports teams — to events to raise awareness like Glo's Wine, Women and Wellness and area health fairs," she concluded. To date, 2017 third party events have raised more than $34,000 for Francine's Friends, with additional events still happening in October, including a SkyZone promotion and the Summit Plastic Surgery Open House and fundraiser.

Then it was time to meet Tamyra, Patty and Vicki, this year's survivors, with the help of our feature video produced by Punch Films. All were diagnosed on the Francine’s Friends coach — Tamyra at East Allen County Schools, Patty at OmniSource, and Vicki at Life Center of Fort Wayne, a community site. The big fashion reveal was up next, showcasing the makeovers of our three special ladies courtesy of Julie Eckert Clancy, owner of Jophiel, Lacie's Hair Design and The Red Stiletto make-up artists. These beautiful ladies ROCKED the runway and brought the house down with their stage presence!

The other heart and soul of our annual luncheon — our generous Table Captains — were also acknowledged and thanked for their efforts in bringing together all of THEIR Friends to fill the seats, along with other community partners and supporters.

Each year, some very special Friends annually create a Sustaining Friendship Circle — “Bosom Buddies for Life” — through a $1,000 donation. All 2017 Bosom Buddies received a limited edition print of this year’s original artwork “Sowing Seeds of Love” created by our FRIEND and artist Terry Ratliff.  More than a quarter of a million dollars has been raised to support screening mammography and our mission through this giving circle! 2017 Bosom Buddies include: Ann Bobilya, Cheryl Brockmann, Sharon Eisbart, Ronda Hanning, Glynda Harris, Debbie Hirschfield, Nancy McNabb, Kim Murphy, Dar Richardson, Ari Rifkin, Judy Rifkin, Chris Rupp, Sharon Simmons, Debbie Swinford, Carolyn Tyndall, Irene Walters, and Mary Ann Ziembo.

This year's event luncheon sponsors were Kroger, Radiation Oncology Associations, Physicians Health Plan, Vera Bradley, Steel Dynamics, Briner, Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology, OmniSource, Do It Best, Emley Design Group, Glo Magazine, Punch Films, and Shaffer Multimedia.

2017 Corporate Tables included BAE Systems, Breast Diagnostic Center, Brigadoon Fitness, Lake City Bank, Medical Protective, Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center, Old National Bank, PNC Bank, and Women’s Health Advantage. 

The luncheon closed with Linda Jackson reminding everyone of why we were together: "Through YOUR continued generosity, the mobile mammography coach will go out into Fort Wayne and our surrounding communities — to businesses, clinics, health fairs, community sites and rural sites in 11 counties in northeast Indiana — for screenings YOU make possible, and even MORE women will learn that 15 minutes can save a life," Jackson explained. "Through YOUR continued generosity, more women will be able to take care of this potentially life-saving screening at their place of work, on their lunch hour, before they pick up their kids from school, or in between errands, and after taking care of and saving everyone else, can do something to potentially save themselves."

Since its inception, Francine’s Friends has funded 14,053 mammograms, and afforded 10,979 women their first screening mammogram. The all-volunteer organization has raised $1.6 million from its annual October fundraisers (from 2005-2016) to fund screening mammograms, and screened 40,085 women to date (June 2017) who are insured, under-insured, or have no insurance. 

Donations may still be made to Francine's Friends to help provide early detection screenings. The average cost of a mammogram is $140. Click here to make a donation online!

Click here to view the feature video from this year's "Lunch With Friends"

Click here to view the Facebook photo album from this year's "Lunch With Friends"

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Get YOUR Indiana IBCAT License Plate!

Francine’s Friends is a 2017 recipient of a grant for breast cancer screening from the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, Inc. (IBCAT).  In 2017 alone, IBCAT granted nearly $400,000 to 34 organizations dedicated to screening mammography and diagnostic programs, including Francine’s Friends.

IBCAT receives funds through sales of breast cancer awareness specialty license plate.  Each IBCAT license plate sold generates a $25 donation. The Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness license plate can be purchased online or at any Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) branch. 

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

The mission of IBCAT is to increase awareness and improve access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and support services throughout Indiana.  For more information on IBCAT, visit

Monday, September 25, 2017

October Glo Features Francine's Friends!

"Come one, come all. Be a friend. Bring a friend."

That's what page 30 of the October issue of Glo magazine asks us all to do. Glo magazine has been a long-time community partner and friend to Francine's Friends. Each issue helps create awareness by including the schedule for the Francine's Friends mobile mammography coach, how to schedule a mammogram, and a factoid about the importance of early detection as the best protection in the fight against breast cancer.

This October issue highlights Francine's Friends — the organization, its mission, its annual October "Lunch with Friends" fundraiser, and this year's featured survivors. In the article, long-time event sponsor Mark Millet, president and chief executive officer of Steel Dynamic, says this: “Francine’s Friends is providing a valuable service to our community and we are proud to be a community partner with them.”

Echoing Millet’s sentiments is Michelle Kearns, marketing communications director of Physicians Health Plan, who said, “Francine’s Friends shares our focus of supporting preventive health and early detection programs and we are proud to provide financial support for continued access to life-saving mammograms."

The "powerful cover" of the October issue was created by artist and Francine's Friends board member Donna Emley in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Leaning Stronger” includes this description of the inspiration behind Donna's cover artwork: "While strength certainly comes from within us from places we uncover and discover, it also comes from being strong enough to say, ‘yes, I need help’ or ‘yes, I’ll let you help lighten my load.’ We become stronger emotionally, physically and mentally when we’re in community, when we share our power, when we open our hearts and when we hold on tight to each other. We survive and thrive when we seek and seize opportunities to lend our strength and accept someone else's strength.”

The September issue of Glo included a feature update of "Where Are They Now?" highlighting a few of the model/survivors from our annual "Lunch with Friends". It was good to offer Glo readers a chance to catch up with "Francine's Friends" Eva, Melissa, Angel, Donna K., and Ann.

"We are appreciative for our continued partnership and value Francine's Friends and its mission tremendously," said Executive Director Sue Rawlinson. And Francine's Friends is equally appreciative — we couldn't do it without the help of Sue, Melissa, Lynn, Barb, Betty, and all of our friends affiliated with Glo magazine, Senior Life and The Papers. Thank you for your continued friendship and commitment!

The October issue of Glo is on newsstands now!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Moonshine Cowboys 2017 "Ride for a Cause" Raises Record $23,000!

Francine's Friends board members were on hand when the kick stands went up! The 2017 Moonshine Cowboys "Ride for a Cause" with Brandt’s Harley Davidson took place on Saturday, August 5th, 2017. There were 204 motorcycles and over 360 riders – plus additional attendees at the live auction and dinner that followed the ride.

“The event, as always, was so full of enthusiasm and inspiration. It was heartwarming to see the dedication and determination of so many working together to save lives,” explained Irene Walters, Francine’s Friends Board Member. “We did our best to convey to as many as possible how grateful Francine’s Friends is for this event and support.”

“What a caring group of individuals who took a Saturday afternoon motorcycle ride and turned it into a major fundraiser to support breast cancer initiatives,” echoed Glynda Harris, Francine’s Friends Vice President and Board Member. “Everyone was wonderful, generous and downright fun. Our thanks to everyone involved in making this happen!”

The ride was created five years ago when the Moonshine Cowboys partnered with  Robert & Toni Metzger (Owners of 95.9 KISS FM – WKUZ Radio).  Toni lost her sister Susie to a rare form of breast cancer and created the ride with the Moonshine Cowboys in memory of her sister. The group 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.  In 2016, the Moonshine Cowboys joined forces with Brandt’s Harley Davidson in Wabash.

“It was a really unique event with lots of happy bikers committed to both a good cause and a desire to help others - I loved the great tee shirts everyone was wearing, the amazing generosity and the awareness so many bikers created for early detection,” said Mary Ann Ziembo, Francine’s Friends Treasurer and Board Member.

The Moonshine Cowboys, Brandt’s Harley Davidson and 95.9 KISS FM – WKUZ Radio would like to thank everyone for making the 2017 event a great success. “We’re looking forward to 2018 being even more successful!” exclaimed co-founder and event organizer Toni Metzger.

Additional information can be found on or contact: Clarence Griese – Phone: (260) 571-1127 or Toni Metzger – Phone:  (260) 571-8142.

Event phoots can be found at:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017 Pre-event Table Captain Luncheon

The 2017 Pre-event Table Captain Luncheon was held on Wednesday, July 28th at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

Four Francine’s Friends board members shared personal stories and perspectives on early detection, education, awareness and advocacy as part of a panel presentation. Over 40 women (and three men!) gathered for lunch, learning and laughter and to hear more about this year’s 13th annual "Lunch with Friends".

The 13th Annual “Lunch with Friends” will be held Friday, October 13, 2017 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum from 11:30 am-1:00 pm. 2017 "Lunch with Friends" sponsors to date include Kroger, Radiology Oncology Associates, P.C., Physicians Health Plan, Vera Bradley, Steel Dynamics, Briner, OmniSource, Do It Best Corp., Fort Wayne Oncology and Hematology Consultants, Emley Design Group, GLO Magazine, Punch Films, and Shaffer Multimedia.

The call to action was "Bring YOUR Friends and honor breast cancer survivors!" Luncheon guests will also enjoy survivor makeovers by Jophiel, Lacie’s Hair Design, and The Red Stiletto — and all help raise funds for mammograms!

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 for this year's event, or for individual ticket information, contact board vice president Glynda Harris ( or 385-1601).

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Conversation with "Friends"

It's always fun to spend a morning or afternoon in the company of Friends, which was exactly the case when the current board members of Francine's Friends came together as part of a video shoot in preparation for the annual "Lunch with Friends" fundraiser in October.

What was captured during the two-day long shoot? Fifteen minutes of fame for all of us? We think not. Bloopers? Absolutely! Our very own Fort Wayne version of "Burns and Allen"? We guarantee captured footage of that! 

Thirteen years of memorabilia from the storage closet and shared memories helped fuel each conversation segment, covering topics ranging from the first trip to Dayton/Cincinnati to research the original coach to accolades and community awards to the over 40,000 women served. Most importantly, talk centered around the many survivors who have participated in each luncheon, the role of early detection, and how many of OUR Friends have made mobile mammography accessible and available to so many.

Many thanks to the Punch Films crew who made the interviews run smoothly, along with the magic of make-up artist Christa Rife, who made all of us "better versions of ourselves" for the shoot. 

Want to see the finished product? There's only one way to do so — be sure to attend this year's "Lunch with Friends" on October 13, 2017. 

Our goal is to fill the Memorial Coliseum with as many friends as possible to promote the importance of mammograms and early detection. Contact Jeanne Schneider (625-3532 or or Sharon Eisbart (432-2252 or on how you can become a table captain or for more information on individual seating.  In the meantime, check out these "behind the scenes" stills of Friends in action!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Important Mobile Mammography Update!

5.15 LATEST UPDATE - we are back up and running!

To schedule an appointment, please call the scheduling line at 260.266.8120.

The Francine's Friends Mobile Mammography coach is currently having its generator replaced. Due to this repair work, many locations have changed.

If you have an appointment for a mammogram on the Francine's Friends coach and have not been contacted to reschedule, please call 260-483-1847 or 1-800-727-8439, ext. 68120. 

If your business or organization is hosting the coach and you would like to confirm a scheduled visit of the mobile mammography coach at your site, please contact Breast Diagnostic Center at 260-266-8120 or email

We apologize for any inconvenience — the coach will be back on the road very soon! 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Our DeKalb County Auburn Tri Kappa friends are busy getting ready for their 3rd Annual Pink Out on Thursday, May 18th! 

5/18/17 PINK OUT DAY DEKALB COUNTY @ The James Cultural Plaza
1p-8p – Francine’s Friends coach
4p-7p – Health Fair 6th Street
6p-8p – DABA Cruise In
6:15/6:30p – Library PINK Parade to the ceremony on 6th Street
7ish – ceremony Francine’s Friends, Dr. Pink & Nina Bennett 

"The Auburn Chapter of Tri Kappa is so grateful to partner with Francine’s Friends to complete our mission educating DeKalb County community members about the crucial importance of early breast cancer detection," said Pink Out spokesperson Natalie Taylor-DeWitt. "Francine’s Friends is able to service our community in the most convenient way by coming directly to businesses and organizations.  The coach provides women a safe and comfortable environment for mammograms.  The volunteers who run this organization have become our forever friends in saving women’s lives all over Northeast Indiana, especially DeKalb County."

"Francine's Friends is so happy to support the DeKalb County Pink Out and our special friends of Tri Kappa!" echoed Sharon Simmons, Francine's Friends board president. "Early detection is our best protection and Tri Kappa is dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of regular screening mammograms. Partnering with Tri Kappa and Pink Out is a natural for Francine's Friends."

In additional to the 5/18/2017 official Pink Out, many other supporting community events are on the calendar for May in DeKalb County, including:

5/1/17 6pm Eckhart Library Breast Cancer Detection Workshop
5/5/17 ADAC First Fridays Cruise in
5/6/17 YMCA Zumbathon 1P-3P 

5/14/17 Auburn Golf Course Mother’s Day Brunch with Pink mimosas
5/20/17 Byler Lane Winery Pink Out Anniversary Party 5p-9p

The Francine's Friends mobile mammography coach will be onsite from 1-8 pm for screening mammograms, so take 15 minutes to check yours off the list - and remind a friend or two to do the same! Thank you Tri Kappa Auburn for planning and hosting this wonderful annual event. #pinkoutdekalb2017

To schedule a mammogram, call 260-483-1847 or 1-800-727-8439, ext. 68120.

View photos of last year's Tri Kappa Pink Out DeKalb County.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Moonshine Cowboys Announce 5th Annual "Ride for the Cause"

The Moonshine Cowboys recently announced that they are celebrating their 5th "Ride for a Cause" on August 5, 2017. And, as in 2016, Francine’s Friends has been selected to be the lucky recipient of the proceeds from this year's ride, and we couldn't be happier!

Ride for a Cause is an annual fight breast cancer ride that takes place every July or August in and around Wabash, Indiana. The event has raised over $36,000 total in the first four years of the ride’s creation.  Their goal in 2017 is to surpass $50,000 in total donations over the first five years.
The donations are raised thru rider registrations, shirt sponsorship(s), auction of merchandise donated, and miscellaneous donations.

The ride was created five years ago when the Moonshine Cowboys joined forces with Robert & Toni Metzger (Owners of 95.9 KISS FM – WKUZ Radio).  Toni lost her sister (Susie) to a rare form of breast cancer and created the ride with the Moonshine Cowboys in memory of her sister.

For more information,visit or You can view photos from last year's event, visit the Francine's Friends Facebook page.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Welcome Friends!

 January brings a whole new monthly screening schedule and a lot of new sites for the Francine's Friends mobile mammography coach. We welcome our new "Friends" to our long list of businesses, organizations and community sites who are already helping take care of their female customers, employees and neighbors by providing screening opportunities for ALL women!

New sites for 2017 include: Hamilton Community Schools (DeKalb County) and Hamilton Village Foods (DeKalb/Steuben Counties), Brunswick, Vincent Village, Ethan Allen, Charis House, The Beehive Salon, Barrett McNagny, Amnesty & Deliverance Community Festival, Archer's Pointe, Ruoff, and New Haven Chamber of Commerce (Allen County), Eden Worship Center (LaGrange County), and Women's Health Day, Williams County Fairgrounds, Montpelier (Williams County).

Check out on our website for all upcoming coach locations and visit a community site near you!