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High Hopes in High Heels pledges annual volunteer support to Michelle DeJong's Fighter Foundation.

Ava Kay DeFonzo accepts High Hopes in High Heels "Fighter Award."

Fighter Foundation president, Ryan DeJong

High Hopes in High Heels commits perpetual annual volunteer support to the Fighter Foundation and introduced the "fighter award" in memory of Michelle DeJong.

TAMPA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, September 22, 2016 / -- At their 2016/2017 annual kick-off meeting, High Hopes in High Heels announced that the Fighter Foundation will receive perpetual support from their organization. In addition to pledging ongoing volunteer support, High Hopes in High Heels memorialized Michelle Boyd DeJong for her commitment to community service and her courageous fight against brain cancer by naming their annual service award in her honor. The “fighter award” showcases an individual for the impact they have made within their committee and its projects throughout the year. The recipient demonstrates what it means to be a FIGHTER in the sense of working hard towards the goal of ensuring the success of the project and bettering High Hopes in High Heels as a result. Michelle’s husband and Fighter Foundation president, Ryan DeJong was invited to present the award and provide the High Hopes in High Heels’ membership with an overview of the Foundation’s mission and objectives while sharing insights into the “fighter spirit” of their cherished board member and friend.

Michelle Boyd DeJong, died on February 14th, 2016 after a 23-month fight against brain cancer. She was a board member of High Hopes in High Heels from 2010 - 2016 during which time she volunteered hundreds of hours leading multiple committees and organizing events including but not limited to the Children's Cancer Center prom, Redefining Refuge's Taking Back Tampa Gala and National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) 5k walk/fundraiser. Michelle committed the resources of her marketing company, mdb&co, llc by creating marketing flyers for events, content for the High Hopes in High Heels’ website & blog. Mdb&co, llc. even sponsored membership dues for recent college graduates. Even after being diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma, Michelle continued to actively participate, hosting board meetings at her home and volunteering at charity events.

High Hopes in High Heels is a service oriented, Tampa-based, non-profit whose membership consists of a dynamic group of women focused on personal & professional growth as they provide critical volunteer support for startup and underserved philanthropic organizations. Each year, High Hopes in High Heels adopts three local non-profits pledging their support to help fulfill their respective mission and specific needs. Fighter Foundation is the first non-profit to receive a pledge for perpetual support from their organization.

The Fighter Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization was created in honor of Michelle Boyd DeJong and inspired by her "fighter" mentality. The primary objectives of the fighter foundation are to raise funds for brain tumor research and awareness, support quality of life improvement for brain tumor patients and their caregivers while promoting community involvement and civic pride.

For more information about the Fighter Foundation, please visit

john dejong
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