Rock Island, Ill. (Oct. 3, 2022) – Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal benefit society based in Rock Island, Ill. has presented Sherry Stauffer, founder of DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation’s Pink for the Cure Committee, with a Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment award and $10,000 grant. The award and grant presented to Ms. Stauffer is one of ten Royal Neighbors will present nationwide this fall.
A membership organization with 250,000 members nationwide, Royal Neighbors of America offers life insurance and annuity products to its members and is driven by its mission of supporting women and serving communities. Nation of Neighbors is Royal Neighbors’ signature women’s empowerment program and recognizes and supports women who work to empower women and girls through a nonprofit, business, or program.
In 2008, after the completion of treatment for breast cancer, survivor Sherry Stauffer of DeWitt learned of her sister-in-law’s second breast cancer diagnosis. Ms. Stauffer was determined to help somehow, so she began a one-woman crusade to help the hospital and community around her to understand the depth of impact breast cancer can have on families, how to support them, and the importance of early detection.
Her initial efforts were simple and grass roots. Ms. Stauffer started with a simple flyer encouraging the hospital staff to wear pink for one day. From there, a committee of the DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation was formed and named “Pink for the Cure.” Awareness blossomed throughout the community quickly with merchants and residents turning the town pink during October. The Pink for the Cure Committee also created “Flamingo Flocking” to raise funds to build awareness.
As the fund raised, Pink for the Cure was able to purchase a 3-D mammography unit for the hospital, and the Genesis Medical Center, DeWitt is now able to make mammograms available to uninsured and underinsured persons at no cost.
Royal Neighbors of America employee Annette Braet nominated Ms. Stauffer for the Nation of Neighbors Empowerment Award and Grant. “Sherry has astounded the community and hospital with her determination and passion in growing this campaign that now embraces the strength of pink throughout October and beyond,” said Braet. “Sherry rallies the community around her to offer hope and strength for the individuals and families facing breast cancer.”
The award and grant were presented to Ms. Stauffer and the DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation’s Pink for the Cure Committee on Oct. 3, during a “Movie & Mammo” night at Operahouse Theatre.
“Pink for the Cure is making an impact by supporting women and their families – not just for today – but also for the future of breast cancer and the families that are affected by it through awareness and early detection,” said Royal Neighbors Interim-President and CEO Curt Zeck. “Her work creates a ripple effect of women’s empowerment, and that is in beautiful alignment with the mission of Royal Neighbors of America.”
Ms. Stauffer says Pink for the Cure will use the grant to spread more awareness and fund more mammograms to women of Clinton County. “Our Community Health Needs Assessment shows rural women are some of the greatest numbers not getting mammograms,” said Ms. Stauffer.
To date, Royal Neighbors has awarded more than $2.5 million in Nation of Neighbors grants nationwide.
Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities. Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children. In 2020, Royal Neighbors was upgraded to “A Excellent” (3rd highest out of 13) by the AM Best Company for overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to certificate holders. The rating was affirmed as of November 30, 2021. Royal Neighbors is a five-time Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, go to royalneighbors.org.
Marie Young, Manager, Communications
Marie.Young@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8280