In tribute to the life of Fran Tobin

Fran Tobin lost her valiant struggle against pancreatic cancer on October 24, 2018. She attacked this terrible disease the only way she knew how with determination, courage and spirit. Her humor and spunk amazed all those around her up until the end. 

Both the Flyers organization and The Wistar Institute have been truly blessed to have Fran Tobin as their champion. In honor of all she did to advance our missions, Wistar and the Flyers have partnered to continue Fran’s legacy of finding treatments and cures that impact our loved ones. The Flyers Charities will be matching every dollar given to The Wistar Institute in memory of Fran Tobin, up to $50,000.

Wistar and Fran a Winning Combo

More than a decade ago, Fran became involved with Wistar by co-chairing the Albert R. Taxin Golf Classic. She not only raised significant funds for brain tumor research, but introduced a new group of friends and supporters to the Institute. When Wistar’s Robert and Penny Fox Tower was being built, Fran and Sylvan were leaders in the effort and our sweeping atrium will forever be named the Tobin Family Foundation Atrium. Fran touched all who met her with her spark for life, wonderful sense of humor and dedication to change the world. All of us at Wistar who had the pleasure of calling Fran a friend will never forget her.

The Flyers and Fran's Partnership

Fran Tobin and her husband Sylvan were first-year season ticket holders for the Philadelphia Flyers and later became minority owners of the team. However, Mrs. Tobin’s signature contribution to Flyers history started when she helped lead an effort that is still part of the fabric of the franchise to this day. Mrs. Tobin helped form the foundation for what was then known as the Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival, which made its debut on Feb. 1, 1977. The event was a rousing success in its very first season, and led to more than 40 years of Flyers Wives Carnivals that have raised millions for local charities.

Mrs. Tobin was the unofficial chief organizer of the Carnival for its first ten years before being formally appointed as the event’s Executive Director in 1987. Under Mrs. Tobin’s leadership, the Carnival became one of the best-known and most successful events of its kind in professional sports, and inspired several similar fundraisers by teams across North America. Here in Philadelphia, the Carnival’s efforts grew into Flyers Charities, which used the Carnival as its centerpiece but also undertook many other projects to improve the lives of people in the greater Philadelphia region. Mrs. Tobin continued to oversee the Carnival and Flyers Charities until her retirement in 2006.

There is no doubt that Mrs. Tobin’s tireless work over her 29 years at the helm of the Flyers Wives Carnival helped change the lives of thousands of Flyers fans and others throughout the Philadelphia region. 

Donor Roll

  • Ruth and Rick Horowitz We will always remember Fran - she defined one in a million! January 2019
  • Anonymous So sorry for your great loss- I and all our friends will remember and miss Fran dearly. Our family's sincerest condolences. December 2018
  • Lynne Tobin November 2018
  • The Do Gooders C/O Bonnie Young Dear Shaton In memory of the fabulous Fran Tobin, her energy, kindness and philanthropy are qualities we should all aspire to possess. With Sympathy, Sandra Blumberg and Bonnie Young and all The Do Gooders November 2018
  • Ronald Schrager In memory of Fran Tobin with our condolences to the family. Love Ron Schrager and Wendy Hart November 2018
  • Marc and Amy Brownstein So sorry for your loss. We will miss seeing her at the shore. May her memories comfort you at this sad time. Marc and Amy Brownstein November 2018
  • Anonymous In Loving Memory of Fran Tobin From the Comisky Family November 2018
  • Nancy Ford Grossman To Sharon and Family - We are deeply saddened by the passing of your mother, Fran. May her memory be for a blessing. Our heartfelt condolences, Nancy and Michael Grossman November 2018
  • Ashley Buonanno So very sorry for your loss, thinking of you through this difficult time. Love, Debbie and Ashley November 2018
  • Laura Sibson Please accept our condolences for such a huge loss. November 2018
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