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New Officers and Board Members Elected for 2011

We say it all of the time, but we could not do what we do without our dedicated volunteers. One important group of volunteers plays a significant role in governing our organization and ensuring our success, our board of directions. Recently, they elected the following officers for 2011: Janet Stephenson, chairperson; Andy Candor, vice chair; Deb Durnell, secretary; and Don Bender, treasurer. Newly elected board members include: Neal Blythe, Joe Byers, Laura Lefever, and Sophie Tippmann. They join existing board members Denise Anderson, Gayle Bloom, David Fee, Rae Gonterman, Jeff Hamilton, William Kunkel, Tim Miller, Tom Niezer, Kathy Peterson, Randy Roberts, John Rogers, William Schroeder, Sue Shilts, Leigh Smith, Dr. David Trenkner and Bill Tucker.

We look forward to a successful 2011!

A Tai Chi Experience

by Gail Hamm, program director

I just had to share an experience I had last week as I took part in our new Tai Chi class. I had an idea of what it would be like, but I did not anticipate that I would like it so much.

First, you have to know that I do not like to exercise. I get bored, as well as challenged by shortness of breath. What I found was that I could actually follow the instructor, Susan Swardenski, and do the moves she demonstrated. They are soft and slow and designed to not strain the body. I did know I was getting a workout, however, because I had to remove my jacket when I became too warm. And breathing deeply at times caused a bit of lightheadedness. My body was probably shocked that it was finally getting the oxygen it needed!

Susan explained that Tai Chi is rooted in the martial arts. The moves are designed to keep the body balanced and promote increased body awareness by engaging the mind as well as the body. It’s not like other exercise I am familiar with, in that it is not about building muscle mass. It’s about promoting better health through movement, no matter what your abilities may be. It tends to decrease tension and can increase one’s ability to manage fatigue and pain.

There were 14 of us….. people with cancer, caregivers, and staff. Only a few had previously been in a Tai Chi class. We were of all ages and our abilities varied considerably…from people who moved fairly easily to those who chose to do all the exercises in a seated position.

I can’t wait for the next session of Tai Chi. By participating in this class, I hope to gain better balance, an increased lung capacity, and overall better health. Now it’s time to practice the home work we were given last week: …breathe slowly…in….and …. out …….and….out….in….and….out…..

Thank You Snider High School Students

Monette King’s Fashion Classes and Interpersonal Relations classes at Snider High School made wheelchair blankets for our clients. We say it all of the time, but we could not do what we do without the kindness and generosity of the community. Thank you Snider High School students. Our clients will love these!

Obama Tax Law Extends the Charitable IRA Rollover

A Win-Win for You and Your Older Donor
Posted by Katherine Swank on December 28th, 2010

On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed the much-anticipated Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Among other things it includes or extends provisions that benefit donors and charitable organizations. One of the most exciting provisions on charitable donations is the extension of the Charitable IRA Rollover. This law allows people who are 70 ½ or older to make tax-free transfers of up to $100,000 per year from a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA directly to charity. The law was originally effective for 2006 and 2007 and then twice extended through 2009. It was allowed to expire on January 1, 2010, however.

The new law extends the charitable IRA rollover for two years by allowing gifts completed in January of 2011 to be treated as if they were made on Dec. 31, 2010 and also allows transfers through the end of 2011.

According to early information collected by the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP) from more than 900 nonprofit organizations, hundreds of millions of dollars in donations have gone to charity through IRA distributions. At the time of their report, the average distribution was over $16,000 with the most common distribution was $5,000.

Both PPP and the Planned Giving Design Center (PGDC) have information and resources on soliciting and accepting Charitable IRA Rollover gifts(PGDC requires a free registration).

Tickets for Our Annual Design on Life Event Now on Sale

We will host our annual Design on Life event at the Johnny Appleseed Ballroom at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, February 26. This year’s theme is “A Stroll Down Bourbon Street” and the event will feature live street performers, a wine tasting and New Orleans style food, as well as silent and live auctions. Complimentary tickets to the Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show are included with each ticket. All proceeds will benefit people with cancer in our community. To purchase tickets, visit click here or contact Amber Recker at 484-9560, Toll Free @ 866-484-9560, or

.Auction items will be available to view online soon.
WHAT: Live and Silent Auction, fundraiser for Cancer Services
WHERE: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Johnny Appleseed Ballroom 4000 Parnell Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN
WHEN: Saturday, February 26, 2011, at 6:30 P.M.
TICKET PRICE: $50 per person if purchased before February 5, $75 per person after February 5
2011 Event Sponsors
Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show, Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center, Kroger, Fun 101.7 WLDE, WAJI- Majic 95.1 FM, Vera Bradley, Mattress Warehouse, Belmont Beverage, Vino LeFebvre, Aesthetic Plant Specialists, Comcast, I Du Creative, All Occasion Party

Love, Laugh and Be Thankful

By Gail Hamm, program director

I’ve kind of given up on making resolutions at the beginning of each new year….mainly because I make so many throughout the year. Well, not so many, really; but I make a few, repeatedly. Most have to do with living a healthier life and connecting with friends.

It’s important to know that we can start over any time, and not wait twelve months. Life is precious and cannot be taken for granted. So, even if we slip up, backslide, goof it up, ruin it, fall off the wagon, or forget it, we often get another chance.

Take that chance and live life to the fullest. Do what you need to do. Love, laugh, and be thankful.

Happy New Year!

A story from the Native American tradition…

by Dianne May, president & CEO

An elder Cherokee chief took his grandchildren into the forest, sat them down and said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. This is a terrible fight and it is a fight between two wolves. One wolf is the wolf of fear, anger, arrogance and greed. The other wolf is the wolf of courage, kindness, humility and love.”

The children were very quiet and listened to their grandfather with both of their ears. He then said to them, “This same fight between the two wolves that is going on inside of me is going on inside of you, and inside every person.” They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked the chief, “Grandfather, which wolf will win the fight?” He replied quietly, “The one you feed.”

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