Friday, October 19, 2018
Linda Jackson, Evening Anchor of Fort Wayne’s NBC and long-time FRIEND, was back on stage as the high energy emcee of the luncheon, encouraging the crowd to take selfies and celebrate 1,000 iikes on Facebook, while helping to trend #FrancinesFriends on social media.
Survivor, and “conqueror” Tamyra Kelly offered the invocation and then Rebecca Nelson, Lead Genetic Counselor, Parkview Health, took the podium to share her connection with Francine’s Friends before performing “At the Beginning” from Anastasia while guests enjoyed lunch. Jackson returned to thank this year’s sponsors for their partnership and community support. This year’s event luncheon sponsors included Kroger, Radiation Oncology Associations, Steel Dynamics, Briner, Vera Bradley, Physicians Health Plan, OmniSource, Emley Design Group, and Glo Magazine. 2018 Corporate Tables included BAE Systems, Breast Diagnostic Center, Lake City Bank, MedPro, Parkview Cancer Institute, and PNC Bank. Also acknowledged was this year’s “Bosom Buddies for Life” — an annual sustaining circle of women who donate $1,000 each year to Francine’s Friends. 2018 Bosom Buddies include Ann Bobilya, Carol Busses, Sharon Eisbart, Glynda Harris, Debbie Hirschfield, Ari Rifkin, Judy Rifkin, Chris Rupp, Debbie Swinford, Kathy Summers, and Irene Walters. More than a quarter of a million dollars have been raised to support screening mammography and the Francine’s Friends mission through this giving circle!
Dwight-Smith also acknowledged and thanked two key community partners — Parkview Cancer Institute and Breast Diagnostic Center — for their dedication to the mission and continuous support of the mobile mammography program. “We simply could not do this without you,” Dwight-Smith emphasized.
Jackson then returned to the stage to introduce this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Linda Han, Breast Care Team Director of the Parkview Cancer Institute. Dr. Han’s presentation was both educational and inspiring, and the crowd loved her warmth, intellect, and message of hope to both newly diagnosed women as well as survivors and thrivers.
The luncheon closed with Conqueror Tamyra Kelly retuning to the stage to thank Francine’s Friends for “saving her life” and turning her into a champion for the importance of early detection and screening mammography. Then Linda Jackson and Marita Dwight-Smith closed the event by reminding everyone of why the group was together: “Through YOUR continued generosity, the mobile mammography coach will go out into Fort Wayne and the 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 concluded.
Since its inception, Francine’s Friends has funded 15,612 mammograms and screened almost 44,000 women to date (June 2018) 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. Checks should be made payable to Francine’s Friends and mailed to
Click here to view the Moonshine Cowboys Video from this year’s “Lunch With Friends”
Click here to view the Facebook photo album from this year’s “Lunch With Friends"