Fort Wayne Community Schools celebrates Riley Champion, kicks off annual event

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INDIANAPOLIS (February 6, 2014) – Fort Wayne Community Schools will celebrate one of this year’s Riley Champions and kick off its annual Kids Caring & Sharing fundraising event for Riley Hospital for Children on Monday, February 10.

Diana Overman, a fifth grader at Harris Elementary School, will be honored as a 2014 Riley Champion presented by Kroger at an all school assembly. The 11-year-old was born with cerebral palsy, coped with a major stomach illness and is now in her second battle with thyroid cancer. Even with 46 surgeries behind her, Diana loves to give back by passing out “angel bells” at Riley, participating in Riley Radiothons, and speaking at Ball State University Dance Marathon. “I’ve been through a lot,” Diana says. “But helping others helps me get through it.”

Riley Champions presented by Kroger is a program that launched six years ago to honor Riley Hospital for Children patients who have inspired communities with their bravery and commitment to help others. Riley Champions reach beyond their own medical challenges to give meaning to their struggles. The 2014 Class of Riley Champions honors only seven Riley patients throughout Indiana.

Diana will be presented with a proclamation of recognition from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry’s office and a banner will be unveiled for Harris Elementary School to display in her honor.

Diana is the third FWCS student to be named a Riley Champion.

Diana will help kick off the seventh-annual FWCS Kids Caring & Sharing fundraising event, which gives students a chance to help other children. The program is a special project of the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) to support Riley Children’s Foundation. Each year, FWCS sets a goal of becoming a Miracle Corporation, which means raising $1 for every student in each school in the district. Last year the district raised $35,562.18 during their Hearts for Riley campaign.

WHO:  Diana Overman, 11, Harris Elementary School student and Riley Hospital patient
Jana Ankenbruck, principal, Harris Elementary School
Kevin Kotansky, Public Affairs, The Kroger Co.
Susan Miles, Kids Caring & Sharing Officer, Riley Children’s Foundation
WHAT:  Recognition for 2014 Riley Champion presented by Kroger Diana Overman
WHEN:  Monday, February 10; 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Harris Elementary School
4501 Thorngate Dr.
Fort Wayne, IN 46835

2014 Riley Champions

Sneha Dave, 15, Greenwood (ulcerative colitis)
Owen George, 13, Newburgh (spina bifida)
Diana Overman, 11, Fort Wayne (cerebral palsy; thyroid cancer)
Paige Rawl, 19, Indianapolis (HIV)
Dylan Shumaker, 16, Bremen (spinal cord cancer)
Carter Swathwood, 9, Lafayette (H1N1 flu; respiratory failure)
J.T. Wood, 17, Indianapolis (heart surgery)

About Riley Children’s Foundation

Riley Children’s Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana’s only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year children from all 92 Indiana counties turn to Riley Hospital and its regional clinics throughout the state more than 300,000 times – including more than 3,800 patient visits involving children from Allen and surrounding counties. Riley Hospital’s partnership with Indiana University Health and its strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine make Riley Hospital the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region.

About Kroger

The Kroger Co. has been serving local communities for 130 years. The Kroger Central Division has 136 food stores, 114 pharmacies and 75 fuel centers operating under four banners; Kroger, Scott’s, Owen’s and Pay Less, with locations primarily in Indiana and Illinois, in addition to three stores in Missouri, one in Michigan and one in Ohio. Kroger Central Division is dedicated to supporting every local community it serves, contributing more than $13.3 million in 2012 to local organizations, primarily focusing on hunger relief, K-12 education, health causes and diversity. The Kroger Co. was recently named the most generous company in America in a Chronicle of Philanthropy listing detailed in Forbes Magazine. At Kroger we value:  honesty, respect, inclusion, diversity, safety and integrity.

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