First Lady Tonette Walker

Fay-Steinhardt honored for work to help cancer patients meet expenses

By: Charles Davis, Green Bay Press-Gazette
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meg Fay-Steinhardt didn’t do it alone.

In 2003, she and three others started Ribbon of Hope Foundation, which helps people diagnosed with breast cancer pay for medical and living expenses. The nonprofit, fully staffed by volunteers, has now given more than $1 million to those in need. On Thursday, Fay-Steinhardt, a breast cancer survivor, was given the Wisconsin Heroes Award, which honors people in the state who are committed to helping others.

"One person does not achieve this," Fay-Steinhardt, Ribbon of Hope president, said in tears after receiving the award from Tonette Walker, wife of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. The presentation was held at the U.S. Bank office in downtown Green Bay.

"It’s never one person," Fay-Steinhardt continued. "It's the teamwork; that’s why I’m here."

Fay-Steinhardt is the fifth person -and the first in Northeastern Wisconsin - to receive the monthly award. Past honorees have helped organize food drives, made military care packages and assisted low-income families. The initiative began in January and Fay-Steinhardt was selected by a first lady committee of women.

"She has given so much to the community for 10 years,' said Ribbon of Hope vice president Diane Mangan, who nominated Fay-Steinhardt for the award and praised her fundraising efforts. "This is not just a volunteer situation for Meg. This is a way of life for Meg."

Tonette Walker said Fay-Steinhardt exemplifies the meaning of the award. Walker said the cause held a special meaning in her heart because her mother died of cancer from a brain tumor. Walker said she took a 19-month leave from work to care for her mother while she battled the disease.

"If I wouldn’t have been able to do that, who would have taken care of her?" she asked.

Ribbon of Hope was founded with the help of Linda Rueckl and Rick and Kathy Miller, who died of breast cancer complications in July 2007. The foundation donates 97 cents of each dollar received to help men and women impacted by breast cancer. The foundation has more than 150 volunteers and has assisted more than 850 people.

In April, Fay-Steinhardt was awarded Brown County’s adult volunteer of the year at the WPS Volunteer Awards breakfast.

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