INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - The specter of cancer has been a part of Becky and Doug Lunnemann's life, affecting their loved ones and friends. A few years ago, they wanted to discover a way to help families undergoing the crucible of treatment.
It is out of the couple's concern that they launched a program to raise public perceptions during traditional Breast Cancer Awareness Month, traditionally observed in October. While managing a Texas Roadhouse and Bubba's 33 restaurant in Missouri, they launched a fundraiser, challenging their servers and staff to sell pink bracelets to customers.
Their idea was simple: Encourage patrons to purchase the bracelets at $1 each. The proceeds were then shared with a local hospital caring for cancer patients.
When they moved to Indianapolis to manage Bubba's 33 on the city's south side, the Lunnemanns upped their game and sought out Franciscan Health Cancer Center Indianapolis, which is known for its patient and family assistance to those dealing with cancer.
"Our goal was to find a practical but useful way to serve others experiencing cancer," said Becky Lunnemann. "Franciscan Health seemed like the best hospital to work with because we wanted to duplicate or surpass the success we had in Missouri."
The partnership has paid off. At the end of last October, restaurant employees sold $1,545 to their customers. And the funds were converted into restaurant gift cards, bearing both the distinctive Bubba's 33 and Franciscan Health logos.
"Many already have so much to deal with and this is one way we can help ease their problems," said Joan Himebrook, community outreach coordinator for the Cancer Center. "This is particularly true for patients and families who are experiencing bone marrow transplantation."
Cancer Center staff determines the denomination of each card and distribute them accordingly to families.
Photo Info: Becky Lunnemann (second from right) and her colleague, Sarah Clark-Carson, visited the Franciscan Health Cancer Center to present staff with Bubba’s 33 food gift cards for cancer patients and their families. Here, they are flanked by Center Director Dr. Peter Garrett and Theresa Weisenbach, cancer services nursing director.
By Joe Stuteville
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