About Us

Our organization was founded in May of 1995 and was granted non-profit status by the Federal government.  We comply with both national and state rules by providing audit reports and yearly reporting.

To date, we have assisted more than 650 women Downriver in their personal battle against this disease.  The assistance comes in the form of monetary donations and the individual may use the funds as they choose.  There are no financial requirements or restrictions.  Referrals come from a variety of sources including, many times, the patient.

We raise these funds through several means that include luncheon/dinner events with prominent speakers, a holiday wreath auction and the highly popular Groundhog Day celebration.

We have been fortunate to touch the hearts of other civic and social groups who have raised funds on our behalf and a number of donations have come from the family and friends of breast cancer patients who have succumbed to the disease.  We are most grateful for their consideration and support.

Our Mission

Life is a road unforeseen with twists and turns. One of the toughest paths any woman can encounter is that of facing breast cancer.  As a group, we hope to smooth out that road.

Victories in the war against cancer have come in small increments. It will not be won by any single scientific discovery or social initiative. It will be won, instead, on many fronts, as a result of many victories in cancer research, prevention, early detection and legislative and social action. 

Joined together, we hope to increase awareness of prevention and early detection opportunities available to women and assure that these programs are of the highest quality.

As we enter the battle, we know the challenges are many.  Community-based funding is one means to win this war.

We pledge long-term commitment and support to our vital mission.  Women with cancer shall not travel alone.

Our Structure

Women Celebrating Life-Downriver is run by a Board of Directors and several Board Members. Meetings are held quarterly or more often, depending on the agenda.

Events are planned in order to bring in revenue which is used to provide mini grants to those in the Downriver area diagnosed with breast cancer.


  • Chairperson - Rebecca Kaplar
  • Vice-Chairperson - Sheila Blair
  • Treasurer - Joan Hennessey
  • Secretary - Patricia Andrews

Board of Directors

  • Sandra Andrews
  • Katie Chambers
  • Maria Fracassa Dwyer
  • Sandra Joliffe-Kasic
  • Lisa Kaiser
  • Virginia Lebold
  • Renee Levko
  • Karen Mazo
  • Janis Puskar
  • Carey Weihmiller