Shining Light Award winners to be recognized in Wilmington June 8

Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition to honor individuals and organizations
April 16, 2018

The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition has announced the winners of the 2018 Shining Light Awards. The awards began in 2014 as a way for the coalition to honor individuals and organizations who have made a difference in the local battle against breast cancer. The winners will be honored at a ceremony set for 8 to 10 a.m., Friday, June 8, at the Chase Center on the Wilmington Riverfront. Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long will give the welcome address.

As a former Delaware first lady, Carla Markell has been the face of many initiatives ranging from women’s health to volunteerism to mentoring. Her support for the fight against breast cancer was natural, given her personal experience. As a survivor, she has shared her discovery of the cancer, her treatment, and her survivorship journey, which is why she is being awarded for Spotlight on Survivorship. She has stressed the importance of sharing and openness about cancer, to remove the stigma and form a sisterhood with other survivors.

Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, D-Wilmington East, is known for her extraordinary commitment to public service with an emphasis on working to improve the lives of women, children, families and the elderly. She is being recognized with a Victoria Cooke Leadership Award for her years of service as a champion for legislation and state funding to break down barriers to breast cancer screenings and focus on serving traditionally underserved populations.

The career of former Sen. Liane Sorenson, R-Hockessin, is distinguished by her dedication to women, children and families. During her time as a state senator and minority whip, she used her position to sponsor legislation like the Breast Cancer Tax Check-Off, and the establishment of the Cancer Consortium and Office of Women’s Health. Her commitment continued as a proponent of the State of Delaware’s mobile screening van and its recent expansion. For these efforts and more, she is being honored with a Victoria Cooke Leadership Award.

Love Congo was selected to receive a Spotlight on Survivorship award. After being diagnosed with stage 3, triple-negative breast cancer in 2015, she said she had a myriad of questions like, “Will I survive this?” “Will I live to raise my daughter?” She went through treatment until she was declared cancer-free, but a year later she experienced pulsations in her face and was diagnosed with 13 tumors in her brain as a result of her breast cancer, which had metastasized. Congo hasn’t let her most recent diagnosis hold her back. She has become involved in various breast cancer initiatives including outreach to women of color. No matter the test, the drug or the therapy she had to experience, Congo has always kept a positive outlook and encouraging spirit.

Sandy and Bob Ashby, of Ashby Hospitality Group, are well-known leaders in the Delaware food-service industry and will be awarded in Spotlight on Philanthropy for their support of the community. Four years ago, Sandy was introduced to the coalition upon her initial diagnosis of breast cancer. She started out by obtaining a peer mentor to help her through her journey, and later, she became a peer mentor to help others. Sandy is now a three-time survivor, and she and Bob have become invaluable supporters of DBCC, creating teams for Dewey Goes Pink each year, and developing their own 5K, Deer Park Goes Pink, at their historic Deer Park Tavern in Newark. This event has seen significant growth in participation and raised $25,000 over the past two years. The Ashbys have become tireless community advocates and generous philanthropic leaders for DBCC and the community.

Dr. Wendy Newell, of Wolf Creek Surgeons, is being awarded in the category of Spotlight on Healthcare Delivery and Research for her efforts on the front line in the fight against breast cancer for more than two decades. When Newell started her career, breast cancer became her focus because nobody in Dover was specializing in breast issues. Newell was an essential leader in building the Bayhealth Go Pink! campaign, held each October to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer programs in Kent County. Go Pink will enter its 13th year in 2018. In addition to treating patients, Newell has been a longtime advocate for early detection, noting that early screening saves lives.

At WSFS Bank, health and well-being are fundamental to the company’s corporate giving strategy, and the benefits and programs it offers to WSFS associates. Since 2008, WSFS Bank has been a significant community partner to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition. WSFS leads by example, with employees participating in DBCC events, serving on planning committees, and volunteering in the fight against breast cancer. When it comes to community service, a commitment to health and wellness, and the value of teamwork, WSFS Bank is an exemplary partner and deserving of the award for Spotlight on Business for its contributions.

Proceeds from the Shining Light Awards event will benefit DBCC’s programs that increase breast cancer awareness, promote the importance of early detection, provide access to mammograms and cervical cancer screenings, and provide support and resources to women and men in the local community who are newly diagnosed or facing a recurrence of breast cancer. Visit for more information.

This year’s Shining Light Awards are made possible due to generous support from Highmark Delaware, Hopkins & Sons Inc., Bank of America and Delaware Today. Additional sponsorship opportunities and individual reservations are available. For more information, go to or contact

For more information, call 866-312-DBCC (3222) or go to