Funding Research for Pediatric Brain Cancer


2018 Team Jack Gala



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2018 RECAP
Fat Brain Toys, Mark & Karen Carson, Seth Ostrander, Lexi Christensen & Ava Hoffman
Husker Alumni Chapter & Brain Tumor Children
The Westerkamp Family - Teammate of the Year Award 2017
Caleb Gulizia Spotlight Store sponsored by The Baldonado Family & The Home Agency
Tom Jensen & Verna Mae & Kenneth Jessen Family donation $500,000
Farmers Mutual of Nebraska Championship Sponsor
High Plains Enterprises Silent Auction Sponsor
It Starts Right Here
Green Plains, Inc.
Keynote speaker Mark Herzlich
Husker Alumni Chapter
Hannah Huston from NBC's The Voice
Jim Baldonado & Caleb Gulizia
Emcee Rick Allen from Nascar on NBC
High Plains Silent Auction Memorabilia Section
Bill Moos & Rex Burkhead
Embassy Suites Ballroom
Dr. Kari Galyen & Izabella
Seth Ostrander Maddie Hellwig & Nick Herringer
University of Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos
Izabella, Kenny Bell & Dr. Kari Galyen
2018 RECAP



Lincoln, Nebr. (March 5, 2018) –On Saturday, February 24, more than 750 people attended the sold-out fifth annual Team Jack Foundation Gala at Lincoln’s downtown Embassy Suites raising over $440,000 for pediatric brain cancer research.

Guests from all over the state, and even nation, attended the annual event in Downtown Lincoln.  In addition to the keynote speaker, Mark Herzlich, current New York Giant, Super Bowl Champion, ESPY Winner and Cancer Survivor, special guests from across the country came together to show their support.

Rex Burkhead, New England Patriot and current Team Jack Board Member, has played a vital role in supporting the cause and getting other former Huskers and current NFL players to join.  Amongst Burkhead, other special guests included: Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Jeremiah Sirles, Will Compton, Spencer Long, Chris Kelsay, Nate Gerry, Barrett Ruud, Brent Qvale, Zach Sterup, Jordan Westerkamp, Brandon Reilly, Lavonte David and many more

In addition, Rick Allen, NBC NASCAR commentator emceed the event.  There was also a special address from UNL Athletic Director Bill Moos.  Moos reminded fans that the East Side of Memorial Stadium “has a sign that says Through These Gates Are the Greatest Fans in College Football.”

“Husker fans are special in the way they support their teams,” he said. “They really do stick together in all kinds of weather. I am not surprised at all to see Husker fans get behind a cause like this one. There is no bigger need and no tougher battle than the fight against pediatric brain cancer. I am so honored to have this opportunity to spend very special time with amazing children who are battling this terrible disease,” Moos said. “I congratulate the Hoffman family and the Team Jack Foundation for this amazing benefit to celebrate the fifth anniversary in a quest to find a cure for pediatric brain cancer. They are doing amazing things with Dr. (Jeff) Gold at the University of Nebraska Medical Center,” Moos said.

Since its inception in 2013, the Team Jack Foundation has raised over $5 million in five years for pediatric brain cancer research.  Currently, the Foundation has funded two projects to completion and has earmarked dollars for four additional, ongoing projects nation-wide, including a new brain tumor program in Nebraska.  During the Gala, the Foundation announced that as part of the new program and with the help of Team Jack funds, the University of Nebraska Medical Center has hired Nebraska’s first pediatric neuro-oncologist, Dr. Jonathan Schwartz.

“On average, since inception, 87 percent of the expenses go directly to program services, which translates to $0.87 of every dollar goes to where it needs to go.  Team Jack spends less than 10 percent on management expenses. Currently, they have one full-time employee and one-part time employee.  Annually, Team Jack utilizes over 200 volunteers.  Hearing the stories one on one and knowing the battles these kids have and the hoops they have to jump through only motivates the team of Fat Brain to be more committed,” said Karen Carson, Co-Founder of Fat Brain Toys and Team Jack Board Member.

The Foundation also announced they would be making another $5 million commitment to UNMC for clinical and laboratory research, pain management in cancer and education.  Recently, they received a $500,000 donation specifically for this program called the POWER5 Pediatric Brain Cancer Initiative.

"It means a lot because we're helping so many people," said 12-year-old Jack Hoffman.

The 5th Annual Team Jack Gala was broadcasted live on News Channel Nebraska.  To watch the replay, visit

For more information on The Team Jack Foundation, please visit the website:   Follow The Team Jack Foundation on and on Twitter: @TeamJack.



With the help of many generous patrons this event raised $440,000!

For 2019 sponsorship opportunities email or call 855-RUN-JACK

A special thank you to our sponsors: 

Food & Beverage Sponsors: 




For 2019 sponsorship inquiries, please contact or 855-RUN-JACK.

The Team Jack Foundation offers various sponsorship opportunities at its annual Gala.  From an exclusive sponsorships to table sponsorships, there is a level of participation fit for every company and/or individual.  Please contact to learn more.

Thank you to our 2018 sponsors:

Meal Sponsor:

Food & Beverage Sponsors:

Media Sponsors:

Table Sponsors:

Packaging Corporation of America - 360 | Mark Burch Family | Hampton Enterprises  |  Exchange Bank

Husker Rehabilitation and Wellness Center  |  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska | Nelson Vandenberg & Campbell  

Circle BK Farms-Kelly Family  |  Raising Canes Chicken Fingers  | Children's Hospital & Medical Center  |  Nebraska Football

Oriental Trading Company  |  Selden Trucking  |  Galyen Family  |  Gaylen Auto Sales  |  Glow Family  |  Michelle Mapes

Hoffman/Stiner Family  |  Husker Parents Alumni Chapter  |  Foundation One Bank  |  Midwest Medical Partners

Gary & Karen Hoffman  |  Ameritas  |  Laurie Petty Family  |  Tredas  |  Tim Hager  |  St. Anthony Foundation

Were you unable attend, but still want to make a donation?

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Special Guests Include:

Mark Herzlich

  • Superbowl Champion
  • Cancer Survivor
  • New York Giants Linebacker

Rick Allen- 2018 Gala Emcee

  • NBC Sportscaster
  • NASCAR Commentator

Hannah Huston

  • Singer-Songwriter
  • Season 10 "The Voice" on Team Pharrell

Rex Burkhead

  • New England Patriots Running Back
  • Team Jack Foundation Board Member
  • Left Huskers as school's No. 5 all-time rusher, scoring 35 total TDs

Chris Kelsay

  • Former Buffalo Bill Defensive End
  • Former Nebraska Husker Left Rush End

Jordan Westerkamp

  • Former Husker
  • Active advocate for The Team Jack Foundation
  • Miami Dolphin

Kenny Bell

  • Denver Broncos

Jeremiah Sirles

  • Minnesota Vikings Offensive Lineman

Spencer Long

  • Washington Redskins Center
  • Active advocate for The Team Jack Foundation
  • Started 49 of 53 games at Nebraska