Tera’s ‘Twilight’ party will be big, even without her

The family and friends of Tera Honderich honor her memory with a "Twilight" movie fundraiser to kick off a new cancer foundation named for her.

Posted on Nov. 13, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — Tera Honderich hoped to make it to this week’s opening of the final “Twilight” movie, “Breaking Dawn Part 2.” She won’t be there, but dozens of people plan to be there in her place, and everyone’s invited.

Her friends and family plan to get together for the late-night opening of the movie and to use the occasion to kick off a foundation in her honor, to help address ovarian cancer.

It was that cancer, which she had for half her life, that ended her life of 34 years Oct. 18. Because of her love of “Twilight,” this week is the perfect time to kick off the Tera Honderich Ovarian Cancer Foundation and their “Teal for Tera” campaign, said Heather Bontrager, sister to Tera’s husband, Josh.

“That was her goal, actually, was to make it to see the last one. That was her huge goal. She fell about a month short of it,” said Bontrager. “She read the books first, then when the movies came out,” she started going to the opening showings. “Sometimes it was with me and my daughter, her niece, Eliahna, and sometimes it was people from work,” Bontrager said.

Tera’s loved ones decided they want to use her memory to help address the disease. “What we want, in the long run, is we want to get enough to give scholarships,” Bontrager said. Her brother has been in touch with IU Simon Cancer Center because “he would like to give something back to ovarian cancer patients,” she said.

“Also, research and education will be big, too. Especially education. It is a silent cancer,” she said.

“A lot of people care about Tera,” said Don Riegsecker, a friend and former coworker of Tera’s at Indiana Community Bank.

They’ve started a foundation, and “we’re going to try to grow it over the years and see what we can do. We’re going to see what we can do about ovarian cancer, get the word out,” Riegsecker said. “There’s no paid staff, it’s going to all be strictly going out the door,” he said.

The first event happens at 8 p.m. Thursday at Linway Cinemas, in the old lobby. “We are planning a pre-movie party with family friends to honor and remember Tera and then friends may watch the movie if they so desire. The suggested contribution is $20 for the foundation and the movie will cost an additional $8. All contributors will be given a Teal for Tera commemorative shirt,” said Riegsecker.

There are also a couple of items for a silent auction to benefit the foundation.

After this week’s effort, there will be a give-back day at Honey’s in Linway Plaza Nov. 28. Anyone with a “Teal for Tera” coupon at the store will have 20 percent of their sale go toward the foundation, according to Bontrager and Riegsecker.

The foundation hasn’t yet received nonprofit status from the IRS, though they’re in the process of doing so, said Riegsecker. Donations aren’t tax-deductible at this point. They are working on establishing a website at tealfortera.com and an email address, tera@tealfortera.com, and there is a Facebook page for the foundation’s efforts.

Look for the “Teal for Tera” coupons at local merchants, or email Bontrager at bhbont@yahoo.com.

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