Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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May 8, 2013

Breakfast celebrates United Way successes

“Always remember the three bones,” Indiana Fever basketball coach Lin Dunn said. “The wish bone, because you’ve got to have a dream. The funny bone, because laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects. And the backbone, because if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Dunn, who coached the Fever to a WNBA championship last year, is about to get another season started. But on Wednesday morning, she was the featured speaker at the Hendricks County United Way’s sixth annual Breakfast of Champions, lighting the morning with laughter at a packed banquet room at Primo Five Star Catering in Plainfield.

The Breakfast of Champions gave the United Way a chance to reflect on its 2012 successes and set goals for the coming year.

Executive Director Susie Friend, who was named United Way employee of the year in central Indiana, will be retiring at the end of the year. It was announced at the breakfast that she plans to go out with a bang — setting a 2013 fundraising goal of $1 million.

The breakfast had a “vacation” theme that will carry on throughout the United

Way events this year as they look to reach that goal.

Dunn applauded the work the group does.

“I’m here to celebrate all of the wonderful things the United Way does,” she said. “It’s just so impressive.”

Dunn, who led Purdue University’s women’s basketball team to an NCAA Final Four and three Big 10 championships in addition to coaching and being the general manager of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, kept the crowd laughing, but also gave advice.

“My first game I coached at Purdue, there were 250 people there, if you count the ushers and the ticket takers. The last game I coached there, we had 9,500 people,” she said, noting that when she was in school in Alabama, it was against the law for girls to play high school basketball.

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