On Thursday, October 13, guests joined us for our 7th Annual Tribute Dinner at the Marquis Ballroom at the Fort Wayne Marriott. This year’s event, “Navigating Life’s Detours”, offered our community an opportunity to pause, treasure the memories of people who have been touched by cancer, and pay tribute to them, whether a cancer survivor, caregiver, physician, or lost loved one. In addition to quality time spent with family and friends, guests were entertained and inspired by guest speaker Regina Brett, best-selling author and cancer survivor. Regina shared the story of her own cancer journey through her 50 Life Lessons, which appear in her book “God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Details.” She made us laugh and she made us cry, but mostly she instilled in us the hope that the best is yet to come, no matter where we are on life’s journey.
Last year, we unveiled the William A. Kunkel III Champion of Hope award, which was created to recognize an individual, family or business that embodies the mission of Cancer Services through a lifelong commitment to enhancing the quality of life of those affected by cancer in Northeast Indiana. The recipient of the Champion of Hope Award demonstrates an unparalleled devotion to the organization as a volunteer, advocate, friend and companion, leading by example and exhibiting unwavering compassion. Last year’s award went to its namesake, Bill Kunkel.
We were pleased to announce the selection of Jim and Adda Jane Wiegman as the recipients of this year’s Champion of Hope award and we honored them at the dinner. Jim and Adda Jane have made significant contributions to our community as volunteers and co‐founders of the US TOO support group for men with prostate cancer and their partners. Since its debut in 1992, US TOO has held more than 200 monthly meetings providing men and their partners a safe place to talk about their health and well‐being. Jim and Adda Jane have dedicated much of their time to US TOO, and in return they have become a source of comfort and information for hundreds of men and women throughout our community. Jim and Adda Jane served many years as volunteers with the Scotts/Kroger Cancer Day, bagging groceries and helping at the golf outing. They have given financial support to Cancer Services and been a foundation for inspiration to staff and volunteers alike, always offering their help. These two Champions of Hope have had positive impacts on the quality of life of so many friends and neighbors through their very own message of hope.