Thursday, May 31, 2012


 Take a look at the photos posted to Facebook and see all the great supporters who came out to walk and raise funds for the National Kidney Foundation at the 2012 Walk.

Love your kidneys and learn how to care for them at the annual Kidney Walk, Saturday, June 16, 2012 at Headwaters Park West in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Registration is at 9:00 am and the 2-mile walk begins at 10:00 am.  It is easy to register individually or as a team online at the National Kidney Foundation website and there is no registration fee.

If you can't be there to participate in the walk please consider donating to a walking team or individual. Find the team or individual you want to support here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

6th Annual Early Childhood Alliance Tea, May 18, 2012

It was a beautiful afternoon for a fundraiser just northeast of Fort Wayne in the rural countryside of Indiana, as over 80 attendees felt as though they had been transported to under the Tuscan Sun for a truly Italian Tea.  Early Childhood Alliance was the recipient of the generosity of the sponsors and all that attended this 6th annual event.

Everyone there had a "sereno e tranquillo" Italian-style afternoon leisurely savoring the wonderful culinary delights prepared by Apple Spice Junction, enjoying the pleasure of each other's company, sipping delicious teas, and bidding on the wonderful items donated for the silent auction.

If you missed the 2012 Tea, you will not want to miss the 2013 Tea which will have another unique theme sure to please all.  To sponsor or attend the 7th annual Early Childhood Alliance Tea please contact Jane McGraw by emailing or by calling 260-458-0125.

To view more photos of this wonderful afternoon, click here and visit's Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bob and Irene Walters Honored with United Way Bill Latz Award for Leadership in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne business people and community volunteers Bob and Irene Walters were honored with United Way’s Bill Latz Award for Leadership on May 22, 2012. The award was presented during United Way’s annual leadership reception at the Lincoln Financial Event Center at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, IN.
Bob and Irene Walters 2012 Bill Latz Award Recipients
Linda Ruffolo, Irene Walters, and Donna Emley

Bob Walters is Partner at Barrett & McNagny LLC and Irene Walters is Executive Director of University Relations and Communications at IPFW. Both Bob and Irene have served the community in many leadership positions. Bob is currently a member of the Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust, the Advisory Committee to the City of Fort Wayne Community Trust Fund, and the Hospital Authority of the City of Fort Wayne. Irene is a co-founder of Francine’s Friends and still serves on their board, as well as currently serving on the board for Turnstone, Artlink, Downtown and RiverFront Development, Visit Fort Wayne, Tower Bank, and Parkview Hospital, among other involvements. Bob was included in the 2012 edition of Best Lawyers in America as the Fort Wayne Best Lawyers Corporate Law Lawyer of the Year and, in 2011, the Allen County Bar Association awarded him the Niemann Citation for Excellence and Professionalism. Irene has received many honors as well, including the Athena Award in 2010, the Monsignor Thiele Award in 2008, and Indiana’s highest civilian award, the Sagamore of the Wabash in 1994.
Standing Ovation for the Walters!

The Walters began giving to United Way of Allen County when they first moved to Fort Wayne after college in the late 1960s. Both have served on the Board of Directors; Bob from 1987 to 1994 and again from 1996 to 2001 and Irene from 2005 to present day. Bob was Campaign Vice Chair in 1997 and has been a Real Men Read volunteer since the program’s inception in 2009. He is also a School Buddy at Forest Park Elementary with a child in the second grade. During his tenure on the Board, Bob was a leading voice who worked with local law firms to raise the profile of United Way of Allen County in the community and, in turn, increase fundraising efforts. Irene started her work with United Way in the early 1990s, serving as Day of Caring Chair and on the Campaign Cabinet. She has served on nearly every committee within United Way, including the Finance Committee, Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Marketing Committee, and Women United Steering, Mentoring, Events, and Initiative Voting Committees. She saw United Way through a transformative period when she was Chair of the Board from 2007 to 2009 and led efforts to change the bylaws to allow the Chair to be in office for at least two years to enhance their knowledge and, therefore, effectiveness in that role. Currently, Irene leads efforts to grow leadership giving and participation in Women United, which focuses on United Way’s early childhood education initiatives.
Marilyn Moran-Townsend

“United Way and our larger community have benefited enormously from Irene and Bob Walters' leadership,” said Marilyn Moran-Townsend, who was the recipient of the Bill Latz Award for Leadership in 2011. “I can't think of an aspect of community life they haven't positively impacted; and I can't imagine what Northeast Indiana would be like without their drive, their compassion and their vision. We are so lucky that they have chosen to call Fort Wayne and Allen County their home.”

“Irene and Bob’s time as volunteers for United Way of Allen County has been one of immense growth; they help spread the message of United Way and work tirelessly to make lasting changes in our community,” said Todd Stephenson, president and CEO of United Way of Allen County. “On behalf of United Way and the many people our agency has served over the years, I want to thank the Walters for their outstanding leadership and advocacy.”
Todd Stephenson

The Bill Latz Award is given only when a volunteer has provided extraordinary leadership and service to United Way of Allen County. Recipients will have provided 20 or more years of service to United Way, will be major donors for many years, and will have made other exemplary contributions to the organization. Previous winners include Marilyn Moran-Townsend, Harriet and Richard Inskeep, Dick Doermer, and Ian and Mimi Rolland.
Bill Latz’s service to United Way of Allen County was extensive, including volunteering for the organization from 1942 to 2007. Latz served in almost every United Way volunteer capacity; he was the Board Chair, Campaign Chair and an Account Executive. He held the distinguished title of Board Director Emeritus and stepped in as Interim Director prior to the hiring of a permanent President and CEO in 1994. Latz and his wife, Danny, were Diamond Donors for more than 20 years; Danny continues to contribute at a leadership level. Latz passed away in December of 2007.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

STEVE PARKER / ALS 5k - May 19, 2012 - Pokagon State Park

It was a beautiful day for the Steve Parker/ALS 5k run/walk.  The race was run during the triathlon.
Mary Ann Parker, Steve's wife is the official starter of the race
The course was on a portion of the trails that the triathletes covered.  Steve is a long time member of Team TriFort and has been diagnosed with ALS and cancer.  All proceeds from this run will go to help Steve and his family as they endure the toughest race of their lives. Due to Steve's condition, he was not able to attend the race held in his honor.

Racers received a technical t-shirt and goody bag.  Refreshments were served after the race.  Awards were given to top finishers in their age groups and the overall winners.  Click here to see the results of the 5k.
Steve Parker's family turned out in a big way for the 5K in his honor!
To learn more about Steve Parker, please read the article published on April 23, 2012 in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Tapestry: A Day for You", April 27, 2012, Fort Wayne, Indiana

If you missed the 2012 "Tapestry: A Day for You", unfortunately for you, you missed a wonderful event!  The Breakfast Speaker, Dedication Award Honoree, and Keynote Speaker all were inspirational.  The Breakout Sessions were informative and entertaining, plus the Artisan Boutique and Silent Auction had something for everyone's taste and price range.

The Breakfast Speaker was the Mayor of Kendallville, IN, Suzanne Handshoe. She spent nearly a quarter of a century in the U.S. Marine Corps, she's a wife and mother of two children.  She is beginning her third term as the first female Mayor of the City of Kendallville. She is a living, breathing example of what you can accomplish when you "break the mold."

In her presentation, Handshoe talked about how "Breaking the Mold" allowed her to excel and succeed in her life's journey as she faced challenges in what some would call "a man's world."

Handshoe is a 1998 graduate of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) with a degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. She and her husband Randy have two children, Christina, a 24 year old nursing student at IPFW, and Brice, an 18 year old high school student.

Next, Dedication Award Honoree, Donna Emley, gave a heart-felt acceptance message thanking the special people in her life - from her parents, who adopted her as a newborn through to the business people, family, and friends in her life today - that makes what she has the opportunity to do possible.  

Every day Donna Emley works hard in her business, community, and personal life to be a role model for women and men of all ages. She leads by example through leadership, passion, compassion, service, positive attitude, and character. She is principal and creative director of Emley Design Group and has long been active in the community, serving on numerous boards and committees and lending her expertise to organizations such as American Cancer Society, Leadership Fort Wayne, Invent Tomorrow, Fort Wayne Bicentennial and Millenium Committees, and more. Emley currently serves as a board member of Francine's Friends, and member of the marketing committees for Arts United Taste of the Arts and Early Childhood Alliance.

Emley is a graduate and Distinguished Leadership Award recipient of Leadership Fort Wayne and was honored by Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne as an Honorary Lifetime Alumni Board Member. She has also been a very active member of Trinity English Lutheran Church, serving as vice president/chair of the congregation in 2010-2011 and communications director of its 3-plus year capital campaign. In business, community service, or personal issues, Emley's strong character shines through. As anyone who has interacted with her recognizes, Donna Emley is a woman who is never afraid to stand up for what is right. She is a wonderful role model.

Not to be missed was the lunchtime Keynote Speaker, Patricia Heaton.  The entire audiences enjoyed her refreshing candor, honesty, humor and willingness to tackle the tough topics facing people today. She shared with the audience her insights on marriage, motherhood, and raising four sons with how she's able to balance all that with her career. Her uplifting and humorous glimpses into her personal and professional life made Heaton a fascinating, entertaining and heartwarming speaker.

Heaton serves at the request of President Bush on his Council for Volunteerism, and lives out her commitment to serve through the many charities she supports, including Autism Speaks, The American Red Cross, World Vision, Compassion international, The Tuberousclerosis Society, The Every Child Foundation, Sparrows Gate Orphanage, and numerous other local, national and International organizations and causes. She is a highly sought-after charity emcee known for her eloquence and quick wit.  In keeping to her true character, Patricia Heaton was gracious in staying until everyone who wanted an autograph received one - risking missing her flight back home.