2018 Community Fundraisers Wrap-Up

Each year, businesses in our community hold fundraisers in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and making Pink Ribbon Society the recipient of the funds they raise.

This year, local businesses held various types of events to support the men and women of our community whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. Shown below are those we wish to thank for their ongoing appreciation of the programs and products Pink Ribbon provides to the community:

Check Out Challenge – Round Up – Strack & Van Til

For the third consecutive year, the Strack and Van Til and Town and County stores in our community held a Check Out Challenge supporting the programs and services of Pink Ribbon Society. From October 1 – October 14, 2018 Strack and Van Til and Town & County employees asked their customers to “Round Up” to support breast cancer and they did… just two short weeks, they raised $ 46,177.00. This brings the Check Out Challenge to a total of over $ 135,000 over the past three years.
Pictured: Left to right: Joe Battistoni, General Manager/Vice President of Sales & Marketing The Times; Barbara Werblo, committee member of Pink Ribbon Society; Ann Peters, Founder & President Pink Ribbon Society; Maura Rowley, Secretary/Treasurer Pink Ribbon Society; and Dave Wilkinson, President Strack & Van Til.Also shown are three of the top four fundraising cashiers, Debbie Scott, SVT Crown Point Franciscan Drive; Hunter Johnson, SVT Chesterton; Jessica Sherrod, SVT Munster; not shown is Jocellyn Theiling, SVT Cashier Valparaiso South. Far right is James Pellegrini, Marketing Manager The Times.

Check Out Challenge - Round Up - Strack & Van Til

Southshore Ladies Thursday Morning Golf League

This is the 7th year the Ladies have supported Pink Ribbon through their annual outing for breast cancer. To date, they have donated over $ 36,000. Shown in the photo are from left to right, Rose Colbert, Judy Alliss, Ann Peters, SSLGL President Mary Lou Thompson, Kathy Ebert and Peach Early.

Southshore Ladies Thursday Morning Golf League


Paint the Town Pink

The City of Whiting held their annual Paint The Town Pink event in May. They are shown presenting a check in the amount of $ 14, to Pink Ribbon Society Secretary Treasurer, Maura Rowley. Shown are front from left to right are: Ann Canning, Lora Cairo, Leslie Flores, Diane Kaminsky, Alexa Cano, Evelia Garcia – Back: Mayor Joe Stahura, Clerk Treasurer John Haynes.

Paint the Town Pink


Kauffman Chiropractic

Kauffman Chiropractic in Crown Point and Merrillville have been ongoing supporters for many years. With their contribution this year in the amount of $ 2,500, they have donated a total of over $ 20,000 to support the programs provided by Pink Ribbon Society. Shown from left to right are: Amanda Mattox, Maura Rowley, Ann Peters, Dr Danielle Kauffman, Jean Chappel and Bradley Ott.

Kauffman Chiropractic


Sheep’s Clothing

Paula Strietelmeier, her staff and customers of Sheep’s Clothing in Valparaiso, have been knitting and crocheting to benefit Pink Ribbon for over a decade. Each year, they present a style show and auction of styles that they have knitted and crocheted themselves. To date, Sheep’s Clothing has donated over $ 18,000.

Sheep's Clothing


Culver’s Valparaiso

Culvers of Valparaiso has been an ongoing supporter of Pink Ribbon for the last three years. They have been our sponsor at the annual Popcorn Festival as well as a full month of fundraising during the month of October. To date, Culvers has donated over $ 8,000 to support the men and women of our community whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. Show below are Ashley Crouch, Ann Peters and Dustin Pickley.

Culver's Valparaiso


Vanis Salon and Day Spa

Vanis Salon and Day Spa in Valparaiso, held a Cut-A-Thon making Pink Ribbon the recipient of the funds raised during this event. They donated $ 2,190 raised during the special event. Show with Ann Peters are Debi Schweda and Jen Bunk.

Vanis Salon and Day Spa


Gary Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Society

GAC Physical & Mental Health Chairperson, Shalonda Hall presents a check in the amount of $ 809 to Ann Peters of The Pink Ribbon Society. The money was raised through a recent GAC Bowl-a-thon held by the group.

Gary Alumnae Chapter of  Delta Sigma Theta Society


Bosak Motors, Tom & Eds Autobody and Towing, Inc., Crown Brewery

Andy Tylka of Tom and Eds Autobody & Towing Inc, Zack Bryan of Crown Brewing, John Schultheis and Skip Bosak from Bosak Motors, presented Ann Peters with contributions of over $ 500 from a recent Jeep/BCB collaboration.

Bosak Motors, Tom & Eds Autobody and Towing, Inc., Crown Brewery


Other fundraisers held but not shown include, Anytime Fitness, Fegley Elementary School and GFWC St. John’s Women’s Club.

Meet Ms. December 2018: Shirley Wade

Ms. December 2018: Shirley Wade“Share your story with others – doing this may help someone else.”

Shirley Wade and her husband of 42 years, Robert, reside in Munster, Indiana. They have two daughters, Robyn and Amy and four grandchildren, AJ, Jillian, Nick and Leah.

At the time of her diagnosis, Shirley worked at McShane’s as a Sales Administrator. Her co-worker stated that “she always came to work with a smile on her face, ready to tackle any assigned task.” She is currently employed at the Ingalls Family Care Center in Calumet City, Illinois and is also affiliated with the Humane Society of the Calumet Area.

Receiving her diagnosis at a young age of 38, Shirley was determined to “be here” for her family. Having to care for the family and raise two young children gave her the inspiration and determination to be strong.

Shirley continually felt the support of her husband, children and friends and states “They were with me every step of the way – I love them all!”

Shirley Wade is a 25 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Mindy Erickson.

Meet Ms. November 2018: Mary Jo Keithley

Ms. November 2018: Mary Jo Keithley“Do not give up – hold on.”

Mary Jo Keithley and her husband John live in a beautiful farmhouse in Lowell, Indiana. She has one daughter, Cheryl and two grandchildren, Lauren and Amanda.

During her working years, Mary Jo was a bookkeeper for Huntington Labs.

Mary Jo is a member of First Methodist Church, and a 70 year member of Eastern Star, having also been a past Worthy Matron.

Described as a real “go-getter”, she still drives and although we won’t divulge her actual age, she continues to care for her 98 year old husband and is going strong! She considers “being able to go on with and enjoy my life” as her greatest accomplishment since her diagnosis.

Her advice to others is to “Hold on – Life gets better!”

Mary Jo Keithley is a 24 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Lisa Manes.

Meet Ms. October 2018: Freda Riddle

Ms. October 2018: Freda Riddle“The compassion, concern and interest shown by family and friends should be paid forward.”

Freda Riddle resides in Hobart, Indiana where she was born and raised. She attended Taylor University and earned a degree in education. After teaching locally for several years, Freda joined a mission organization and decided to teach in Africa. With the exception of an occasional home visit, she spent the next 20 years in Africa, being both a teacher and dorm mother in Ethiopia and an upper grade teacher in Nigeria.

Several years after returning home, Freda received her diagnosis and then plotted the course she would undertake. She was determined to keep her eyes on God and maintain a positive mental attitude. Her confidence in God and her surgeon carried through her cancer journey.

Freda is an active member of Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton, Indiana and is involved with the Hobart Community Foundation and the Maria Reiner Center.

In the words of her friends, “She is a person who is compassionate and always ready to help others. She has a terrific sense of humor and is a person of deep faith.” In her own words, she advises people to “have a good attitude, laugh and let God make the decisions.”

Freda Riddle is an 18 year breast cancer survivor proudly co-nominated by her friends Mary Jo Hopkins and Marjorie Gresser.

Meet Ms. September 2018: Janet Petrites

Ms. September 2018: Janet Petrites“Be aware of the little things that touch you throughout the day and thank God for them.”

Janet Petrites is the sixth of eleven children and lives in Merrillville, Indiana. She has fourteen nieces and nephews and nine great nieces and nephews – all of whom have been a special part of her life.

Janet spent over twenty years working as a pediatric nurse at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and feels that the children there “showed (me) how to accept suffering and still have a smile for others.”

Caring for others comes naturally to Janet. Upon her retirement, she returned home to care for her mother and then her ailing uncle. She is always ready to care for anyone in need and is currently helping her brother and sister-in-law. Even while undergoing her own treatment, she devoted more time to her siblings and provided support and attention to friends in need.

Janet is active in numerous charitable organizations including St. Matthias Church, SS. Peter and Paul Church and Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine. Her advice to others is to “Trust in God totally and ask …Him to guide you in choosing the best treatment plan… and to help you live one day at a time.”

Janet Petrites is a 17 year breast cancer survivor proudly nominated by her friend Marjorie Simunic.