We are a dedicated team of volunteers, who are steadfast in our goal of providing ‘everyday angels’ a way to bring hope to children and their families as they battle cancer.
For nearly a decade, Angels of Hope has been providing financial assistance to children and those who love and care for them as they battle cancer (theirs or a parents). With 98% of donations and proceeds from events directly financing these families we ensure every dollar does the most good, from donation to deed.
Each year we host two signature events, our “A Night of Hope” gala and “Angels of Hope Golf Outing”. Your support of these events helps bring our vision to reality. Like us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on our events, programs, and the families we help.
Bill Wylonis, Chairman
Bill retired in November of 2014 after 33 years in the commercial real estate / facility management business. Since retiring, he has been extremely active with several business ventures both in Michigan, South West and Central Florida.
For the last 12 years, Bill’s real passion has been working with Angels of Hope. As Chairman of the Board, his mission is to continue to grow the foundation financially so no child or family goes without the necessary financial support they need during the most traumatic time of their lives. Bill believes doctors and scientists are getting closer to finding a cure for cancer. Until then, Angels of Hope will continue its mission to provide support to these families as they battle cancer. Bill is quoted as saying “There is no greater feeling in the world…. than knowing you have made a difference in the life of child.”
Bill and his wife Lisa reside in Novi and spend most of the winter going back and forth to their home in Florida. They also have two children, his son Jacob and his wife Amanda who reside
in Arizona and his daughter Marisa who lives and works in Kalamazoo.
Bill enjoys playing golf in his spare time and some have even said he teaches water aerobics while in Florida.
Robin Sanderson, Vice Chairman
In 1996 Robin lost her mother Ruth Orr to lung cancer which impelled her to begin her crusade to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. In 1997 Robin held her first fundraiser in her home and raised $3000.00. Since then, she has held annual fundraisers as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society where she received numerous awards for her fundraising efforts.
In 2004 Angels of Hope was established and is the foundation that best fits Robin’s desire to assist families on a personal level, as well as allowing supporters to give back to the community. Robin is the Broker/Owner of Real Estate Network Elite and has been in real estate sales for the last 30 years.
Robin is thankful for the never-ending support from her daughter Diana, her son Michael and his wife Becky. Her fiancé Jim brings along an army of support with sons Christopher, Michael and their wives Meagan and Justyna.
In her free time she loves to golf and travel but most of all she loves her role as Nana to Bryce, Amelia, Isabella, Mason, Kaylee and Miles.
Carol Rusch, Treasurer
Carol’s younger brother, John, lost his battle with cancer when he was 9 years old. Her widowed mother was already struggling to support her 3 young children when Johnny was diagnosed. A man who was vaguely acquainted with the family became aware of the dire situation and stepped in to help. He brought media attention to the family’s circumstances and held fundraisers to help pay household expenses and off-set the substantial financial burden of medical costs.
The generosity and support of this virtual stranger touched Carol and instilled a need to find a way to pay it forward. Carol and her children, Jonathon and Sydney, have volunteered with various charitable organizations for many years but when Carol discovered Angels of Hope, she knew she had found her calling.
Following 3 years of volunteering with the foundation, Carol is honored to have a more formal role on the Board of Directors as Treasurer. Carol owns a boutique Retained Executive Search Firm and she hopes to leverage her business network to help increase corporate visibility for Angels of Hope. She views her role with the foundation as a tribute to the memory of her brother, John, and a compassionate Angel who helped her family in their time of need.
Jennifer Zbytowski, Secretary
Jennifer has been with Angels of Hope since 2009. Jennifer has a strong passion for the cause. Her mother Arlene passed away of cancer in March 2012. Jennifer is employed with Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a regional, nonprofit health plan that provides coverage to individuals and companies. She is currently the Vice President of Utilization and Case Management. She earned her B.A. and M.P.A. from New York University. Jennifer holds a Project Management Professional certificate and is a graduate of Leadership Macomb XII.
Jennifer is actively involved with her community and resides in Shelby Township, with her husband Bryan, and their three kids Gavin, Kamryn, and Brodie. In her free time she enjoys traveling, spending time with her extended family and friends and having dance parties with her kids.
Christopher S. Pirrone, Director
Chris’s involvement with the charity began with the founding of Angels of Hope. He was inspired by the compassion and dedication of other board members, sponsors and volunteers making a difference.
Chris’s area of expertise is in Graphic Communications, having owned and operated businesses in Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chris is currently employed as a Regional Business Manager at Classic Color of Chicago. Classic Color donates their printing expertise each year for Angels of Hope.
In addition, Chis owns and operates a high-end digital photography studio out of Shelby Twp., Michigan – Christopher Scott Studios, donating portrait sessions to families of Angels of Hope. Chris is supported by his loving family in the fight for cancer awareness.
Kelley Baetens, Director
Kelley brings 30 plus years experience in managerial and organizational skills from the legal field. The past 19 years Kelley has partnered with fellow board member Robin Sanderson to raise funds initially for cancer research. Then in 2004 with the organization and formation of Angels of Hope – where the mission and focus became assisting and supporting families locally within our community. Being able to directly make a difference in the lives of local families battling the physical, emotional and financial affects of cancer has fueled Kelley’s commitment and passion to her acts of service with Angels of Hope.
Kelley has developed and grown the Holiday Giving Program which has become one of the foundation’s most successful and most participated-in programs. The past 2016 holiday season, 100 families that have suffered from financial hardship during their battle were showered with Christmas gifts provided by our amazing and generous supporters.
Kelley feels privileged that she has been able to inspire others with her mission to give back by helping to grow the support network of the foundation. “I truly cherish all of my friends and family that generously support my endeavors that allow me to give back”. This includes the support of her husband Mike and two beautiful stepdaughters Caitlin and Carly.
Suzzanne Fournier, Director
It all began for Sue in 1997 when she helped Robin Sanderson in her efforts to raise funds for cancer
and in 2012 Sue was honored to accept the position of board member with Angels of Hope. Sue works with our Angel Network of Volunteer’s regularly, and also works on securing funding through corporate and private foundation grant requests. Sue feels that no family should have to walk this road alone, and hopes that through the combined efforts of the board and the sponsors, the foundation will continue to gain community support and recognition and will never have to say no to a family in need.
Sue is employed in the Printing and Graphic Communications field and brings over 30 years of project and administrative management to the board. Sue works for Schawk a division of Matthews International in Sterling Heights, MI.
Sue’s is thankful every day for the loving support of her husband Rich, her son Dominic who is
a volunteer reservist in the USNG and her daughters Maggie and Michele who also volunteer their time to the foundation.
Fran Lucido-Marheineke, Director
Fran’s passion for supporting charitable and civic causes on various levels has always been a priority in her life. Her love of family and community are ever present in her smile and in bringing joy, love and laughter to everyone she meets.
Fran has always had a desire to serve and was able to channel her desire by working with Angels of Hope on a volunteer basis beginning in 2005. She was inspired by the profound impact that the foundation had on the families that have been touched by this awful disease. Today, Fran proudly serves as a Director to Angels of Hope.
For 30 years, the Lucido Family has been an instrumental part of Making Memories in the lives of countless families. When Fran and her brother Vince co-founded Lucido Fine Jewelry of Birmingham in 2015, it afforded Fran the opportunity to put her talents of planning, networking and creativity to work. In doing so, she has been able to encourage friends and the business community to champion their support around the foundation’s mission of helping support Michigan families battling cancer.
Kelley LaFontaine, Director
Kelley LaFontaine is an integral part of the day to day operations at the LaFontaine Automotive Group. She helps to run 18 different franchises in 10 locations across Southeastern Michigan.
Her personal passions are an enduring quest to help find a cure for cancer and “to give back”. She is blessed to have her brother Ryan, a cancer survivor, in remission for over 4 years. In the past three years, together they have raised more than $525,000 and established 6 grants for blood cancer research at the University of Michigan. Kelley was honored in 2011 with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society National Woman of the Year Award.
Along with her strong passion to find a cure for cancer, Kelley demonstrates her strength through building & strengthening our local communities. She actively participates in many foundations, charities, on many boards and has won remarkable awards such as the DBusiness 30 in their 30’s honor in 2012. While running the Marketing Department of the LaFontaine Automotive Group for the past 5 years, Kelley has been activity involved with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, and Inforum Automotive Next. She has served as Chairperson of the Huron Valley Optimist Childhood Cancer Campaign and as a Board Member for the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce and Project 1. Kelley recently joined the Angels of Hope Board and looks forward to a lifelong partnership of “giving back” with the Angels of Hope team.
Ben Weaver, Director
Ben Weaver is the President and CEO of Weaver Media – Ben started in traditional outdoor advertising, but realized ahead of the crowd the need for innovative media solutions. This led him to explore non-traditional uses for banners and adhesive treatments, creating media placements that demanded attention. His work with numerous NASCAR facilities, collegiate sporting venus, amusement parks and Live Nation Amphitheaters led his creative agency to the top of his industry.
Ben got intimately involved with Angles of Hope in 2007 when close friends of his had a 4 year old son that was suffering from terminal cancer. Ben has always had a passion for working with disabled children. He had spent 5 years volunteering at a Muscular Dystrophy camp and he continues support the Special Olympics of Michigan. Ben was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and because of the adversities he faced growing up and the incredible success he’s had despite his obstacles, his passion in life has been to “pay it forward” with the blessing and grace that has been given him. Ben is tremendously enthusiastic about having the opportunity to sit on the Board of Directors and is looking forward to assisting Angels of Hope in making a difference in the lives that need it the most.
Michael Kernen, Director
In 1993 at the age of 23 I found out my father had stage 4 lung cancer. The next year and a half, much of my time was spent in the Cancer Center at U of M Hospital. Not only did I feel the struggles I was going through directly with my family, but all of the other families I would see there on a regular basis. Now with an aging mother who finds herself with a battle of her own, I find myself working with the most amazing organization and best people you could ever surround yourself with. Their passion and vision are unbelievably inspiring.
Currently the now President of Amplitude HR he has spent his entire career helping business owners with their most important assets. Their Employees!
Michael resides in Walled Lake with his daughters Josie, Sadie and Kinley where they keep him pretty busy.