Thank you to everyone who rang in 2018 with us at The GRACE Gatsby, you helped raise over $50,000 for GRACE! Congratulations to our Dance winners, Tom & Cari Cobler!
Mark your calendars for December 31, 2018 to join us for the 2nd annual The GRACE Gatsby New Year's Eve Gala! Stay tuned to this page for details coming soon!
*Please note: Ticket, Vote, & Auction purchases made will appear on your statement under "Qtego", the system GRACE used to coordinate Gala purchases. Thank you!
Exclusive event sponsor
Thank you to Hornady for being the Exclusive Gala Sponsor for the 2017 Dancing for GRACE: A New Year’s Eve Gala – The GRACE Gatsby!
Tom & Cari Cobler
Tom is self-employed as a chiropractor with Cobler Chiropractic, and Cari teaches special education at Wasmer Elementary; they moved to Grand Island in 2005. They have three daughters: Sydney (14), Mariah (12), and Avery (9). On Christmas Eve, 2014, Cari was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 adenocarcinoma, a colorectal cancer. Over the past 3 years, she has endured three major surgeries, internal hot chemo, and 48 rounds of chemotherapy.
On Christmas Eve, 2014, Cari was diagnosed with advanced stage 4 adenocarcinoma, a colorectal cancer. Over the past 3 years, she has endured four major surgeries, three HIPECs (internal hot chemo), and 48 rounds of chemotherapy. In November they received the news that her cancer was back and they are continuing their fight. Cari is currently on her 4th out of 12 rounds of chemotherapy. She is currently enduring chemotherapy every other week with the support of family, friends, and the GRACE foundation. Cari will have additional scans in January to determine her next step towards winning her battle with this horrible disease. "We are participating in this glorious event because the GRACE Foundation has a very special place in my heart. GRACE was there for my family and me immediately when we were struck with the news and they continue to be to this day. It is my turn to give back to this amazing foundation and help in providing the means to those affected by this horrible disease. I will dance my heart out because I can! I am a fighter and want to help in any way possible to make this a reality for others too."
Tom & Cari are being instructed by Nicole Hicken.
Ed & Karen Hannon
Ed & Karen recently moved to Grand Island. Ed is originally from Rochester, NY and Karen is originally from Augusta, GA. Ed is the President for CHI Health St. Francis Hospital, and Karen is an Orthodontic Assistant for Dr. Butler, and an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. Together they have five children, and seven grandchildren, living in Florida and North Carolina.
Karen’s father died of Lung Cancer at age 49, and her Grandmother died from Breast Cancer. Both Ed & Karen have had very close friends who have dealt with cancer, and they have watched the impact on their lives, in their deaths, and on those left behind. Ed and Karen chose to participate as Dancers in The GRACE Gatsby as they are new to Grand Island, and have a great desire to meet people in the community and become involved in community activities. They know that GRACE serves a wonderful cause in the community and want to be a part of making a difference.
Ed & Karen are being instructed by Jessica Hancock.
Matthew & Janelle Armstrong
Matthew is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor; Janelle is Communications Director at Grand Island Central Catholic Schools, as well as a community volunteer. They have two sons, Charles and Thomas.
Janelle is a 6-year cancer survivor and has since become an advocate for early breast cancer detection and awareness. In an effort to make others' treatment more tolerable, Janelle founded Bumps Against Lumps (an adult recreational volleyball tournament that's raised funds for Breast Cancer Patient Care Packages, Support Books, Lymphedema Alert Bracelets, and celebratory Survivor Cookbooks). Matthew and Janelle know first-hand the emotional and psychological toll that comes with a cancer diagnosis, not to mention the financial strain it can place on many families. They admire the life-changing generosity the GRACE Foundation extends to those in need. For the past 6 years, the Armstrongs have garnered support for GRACE by rallying members to represent "Team Janelle" at the annual Race For Grace fundraiser. Now the couple is excited to lend another helping hand when they hit the dance floor at the GRACE Gatsby!
Matthew & Janelle are being instructed by Abby Miller.
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 works full time in the Howard County Sheriff Office as Office Manager, and has also taught American Standard Ballroom Dance in Tucson for 5 years until moving back to Nebraska, teaching at a studio in Omaha. After taking a break from dance after her children were born, she has recently started teaching again. She and her husband Ben have two children, Emily and Carter. About being a part of the GRACE Gala, she says, "I am helping in hopes that this organization can have a little fun in building up funds to help some of these families affected by this terrible disease. There is so much stress involved in fighting this disease emotionally, and financially so anything to help ease the strain is a true blessing to these families."
"Both of my grandfathers passed away from cancer," Jessica says. "A couple friends of mine are currently fighting breast cancer. My father in law passed away a few years ago from cancer. He was a strong man who worked hard to provide for his family, however, when he suddenly could not contribute and needed so much medical care, it was very hard on my mother in law. I watched my mother in law struggle with the financial, physical and emotional burden in taking care of him with little income and also looking at losing his health insurance due to his inability to keep working. She is an amazingly strong woman who was able to keep her chin up through the struggle, but I can see how people facing this illness without the support of family can have extremely devastating effects on them."
Abby is a Kindergarten teacher at Jefferson Elementary, and her grandpa died from cancer when she was seven. About being a part of the GRACE Gala, she says, "Dancing has been a passion of mine since I was three years old. I also believe that the GRACE foundation is such a great organization in our community, and being asked to be a part of this foundation is very rewarding."