DECEMBER 31, 2019

3rd Annual GRACE New Year’s Eve Gala!


Start off your New Year’s Eve with an Open-Select Cocktail Hour while you mingle, bid on Silent Auction items, and try your luck in the Wine Pull! Then, enjoy an exquisite 3-course Dinner while you are entertained by local celebrity couples in the Dancing Competition! Vote for your favorites to win the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy! The night is only beginning with the post-dinner Casino, live DJ, and Dancing! Ring in the New Year with a Midnight champagne toast & favors! Come support the GRACE Cancer Foundation and positively impact the lives of cancer patients and their families in the Grand Island area!

TICKETS: $100/person, $1000/Table of 10, or $1250/Red Carpet Table of 10 {includes dance floor side seating, 2 bottles of wine, and priority service. Limited availability.}


Or, contact the GRACE Office at 308-675-0889 or email for more information about tickets or tables.

6:30 pm Cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres, select complimentary beverages
Silent Auction opens, Wine Pull
7:45 pm Dinner & Dancing with the Stars Competition
Mirror Ball Trophy Presentation
Casino & DJ following
10:30 pm Silent Auction closes
11:30 Casino closes, Evening Snacks
12:00 am Midnight Toast & Happy New Year!
1:00 am Good Night!


Appetizers: Proscuitto Cream Cheese Mushroom Caps and Small Triangle Smoked Salmon Dill Cream Cheese on Rye Bread

Salad: Spring Salad, Black Berries, Peaches, Feta, Brown Sugar Vinaigrette

Entree: Bacon Wrapped Filet with Imperial Shrimp, Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Bacon & Onions, Rolls and Butter

Attire is semi-formal/formal. 21 & over event.

MC: Spencer Schubert, Local4 News Anchor

DJ: Dave Hulinsky, Complete Music

Event Photographer: Sonya Schultz Photography


2019 Gala event sponsor:

2019 Gala Sponsors

Cocktail Hour Sponsor: Bosselman Enterprises, NRG Media

Dance Floor Sponsor: AGI-MFS York, Copycat Printing

2019 Gala Dancers


stan & karisa halpine

Stan is a Vice-President of Production at Beaver Creek Marketing and has been with them for 26 years. Karisa is a Dr. Sears Health Coach and works with the Juice Plus Company, with one of her passions being empowering people to be well and to realize how nutrition impacts disease - especially in a cancerous state.

The Halpines have been married for four years and have three sons: Brock who is 11, Boden who is 8 and Baylor who is 3!

Stan and Karisa truly feel honored to have been asked to be a part of this amazing opportunity to give back to the community, supporting this amazing cause!

"People are way more alive when they are a part of something bigger then themselves.”

The Halpines are being instructed by Nicole Hicken.


Phil & Kelly hranac

Phil is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones. Kelly is the Executive Director/LPN at Edgewood Memory Care Assisted Living. Phil and Kelly have 2 beautiful German Shepherd dogs, Piper and Rocky, who are their babies, for now. In their free time, they enjoy assisting at Dog Stars, basic obedience dog class, supporting the community and traveling. Phil and Kelly work and reside in Grand Island.

Kelly was asked first to be a dancing couple for the Gala and she was all onboard. Phil, on the other hand, was not so much onboard. His quote ended up with, “whatever you want, babe!”

Phil and Kelly have known about the GRACE Foundation for several years and have participated in the Race for GRACE several times. This past year, the GRACE Foundation has become very near and dear to their hearts. Kelly was diagnosed with the black beast, Melanoma, in November 2018. She has been undergoing Immunotherapy treatments since. Fortunately, they have not had to utilize the financial assistance from the GRACE Foundation up unto this point but they are so grateful knowing it is available to them. They have learned the many ways that GRACE helps local cancer patients, like Kelly, fight through one of the toughest journeys one may ever face and knowing there’s available support to help take some burden off their back. Every treatment, there is always snacks, mints (for that awful port flush taste - only those cancer patients will understand!), lunch, etc. available at the Cancer Treatment Center, for the patients and guests, all donated by the GRACE Foundation. It’s not just the BIG things that the GRACE Foundation does but it’s also the little things that matter, as well! “Your illness does not define you. Your STRENGTH and COURAGE does.” Unknown
Let’s Dance!

The Hranacs are being instructed by Nicole Hicken.


steve & colleen kunzman

Steve & Colleen have been married for 26 years and have three daughters. Gabriella will graduate from Bryan Nursing Program in December, Courtney is a Pharmacy student at UNMC, and MacKenzie is at Texas Women’s University, majoring in Business and competing in gymnastics.

Steve is the President/CEO of Home Federal Bank and has been at the bank for over 30 years. Colleen works at CHI Health St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center as a Radiation Therapist and she has also been with St. Francis for almost 30 years.

Steve and Colleen have had friends, as well as family members including parents and grandparents who have battled cancer. Some successfully and some not, but all of them were courageous in their fight. Colleen sees firsthand the courage cancer patients show each day and the support they receive from the Grace Cancer Foundation. While every individual’s battle with cancer is different, the support they need is not. The assistance provided by the Grace Cancer Foundation helps lessen the stress and anxiety associated with the financial burden so they can focus more on fighting their disease.

GRACE Cancer Foundation has made such an impact on our community and patients’ lives that dancing for them is a no brainer for us!!

The Kunzmans are being instructed by Jessica Hancock.


Neil & Courteney wardyn

Neil works at Lutz as a VCTO for Tech. Courteney is an Executive Officer at Grand Island Board of REALTORS. Together they have four beautiful children: Sydnee, Krae, Brody and Brooklyn...the light of their lives!

Courteney’s mother is a cancer survivor. The Wardyns have lost many loved ones including grandparents to cancer or to the side effects of the treatment they had to go through. “We love the GRACE Cancer Foundation because when you hear the word cancer your entire world stops. To have such a strong support system in our local community is amazing! We are so blessed by the foundation and would do anything we could to help!”

The Wardyns are being instructed by Erin Neuhaus.

2019 Gala dance instructors


Nicole hicken

Nicole is a dance teacher, choreographer, and owner at Studio N Dance Center. Along with her four teachers, the studio offers a variety of classes Monday through Thursday each week. During the early weekday mornings, she coaches the Dance Team at Grand Island Central Catholic. Nicole and her husband Josh have two sons, Brennan and Camden.

"My family has had many different impacts with cancer, including: pancreatic, lung, thyroid and cervical," Nicole says. "As a child I lost one grandfather to lung cancer and as an adult, I lost a grandmother to cancer. My mom’s twin sister had pre-cancer cells in her thyroid and my dad’s sister fought pancreatic cancer for almost three years. My sister-in-law had scares of cervical cancer after giving birth to her four children. This disease affects every family in different ways and several families go through very difficult times emotionally and physically when they are battling cancer."

On participating in the Gala event, Nicole says, "I am excited to be a part of this amazing foundation and to help raise money to help fund the mission and purpose for GRACE."


Jessica hancock

Jessica grew up in Grand Island, She had moved to Tucson after graduating where she taught American Standard Ballroom for five years until returning to Nebraska to teach in Omaha. She and her husband Ben live in St. Paul and have two children, Emily and Carter. Jessica teaches Ballroom classes in Grand Island at Studio N Dance Center.

About being a part of the GRACE Gala, she says, "I am helping in hopes that I can share my love of dance while helping earn funds to help some of these families affected by this terrible disease. I’ve seen the stress involved in fighting this disease emotionally, and financially so anything to help ease the strain is a true blessing to these families."



Erin has been dancing since the age of three. She grew up in Columbus, Nebraska, dancing studio and competitively throughout high school. She continued formal dance classes throughout college. Erin graduated with her Master’s in Neonatal Nursing and has a minor in dance. She is a stay at home mom, has coached the GICC varsity dance team for 6 years and is an instructor/choreographer at Studio N. Erin and her husband, John, have four children.

Erin’s passion for healthcare, helping people, and the art of dance made this a perfect combination. She is honored to work with the GRACE Cancer Foundation and the Gala!

2018: 2nd Annual GRACE New Year’s Eve Gala, Black & White - Winners: Dr. Philip & Diana Cahoy - Dancers: Dan & Mandy McBride; Ryan & Venus King

2017: 1st Annual GRACE New Year's Eve Gala, The GRACE Gatsby - Winners: Tom & Cari Cobler - Dancers: Matthew & Janelle Armstrong; Ed & Karen Hannon