Thank you for taking an interest in The White Cane Foundation. We started this foundation because we felt inspired to do more. We knew kids were attending school and not able to do their very best because they were worried about their hygiene and proper clothing. With a little effort and passion, we are confident we can bridge the gap for these students and be a source of positive light in their lives.
People often ask us, why the name “The White Cane Foundation”. In 2013 our family watched the music video “Lover of the Light” by Mumford & Sons. In it, a blind man leaves his white cane at home and goes out into the world with only his senses and the light guiding him. It inspired our family to think about a way to challenge each other to go out into the world and share the light. For us, that inspiration is an actual white cane that rotates between family members and symbolizes the importance of being the very best person we each can be.
We encourage you to watch the Mumford & Sons, featuring Idris Elba, - Lover of the Light official music video here.
Be the light,
Dave and Kelly Lauer
David Lauer, President
Deb Gokie, President-Elect
Stacy Gutschenritter, Vice President
Doreen Friehauf, Treasurer
Katie Rhone, Secretary
Quentin Brown, Board Member
Kara Bunde-Dunn, Board Member
Paige Gade, Board Member
Gary Kebbel, Board Member
Ronesha Love, Board Member
Kim Rosenthal, Board Member
Jenny Schroeder, Board Member
Cindy Schwaninger, Board Member
Crystal Wichita, Board Member
Kelly Lauer, Executive Director
Samantha Jacobi, Volunteer& Inventory Manager
Kate Gutschenritter, Social Media & Website Manager
David serves as the Board President, and is married to Kelly, co-founder of The White Cane Foundation. David is the owner and still practices full-time at Havelock Chiropractic Center, P.C., established in 1985. David attended the University of Nebraska and Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis. He has a passion for giving back to his community, and has had prior non-profit board roles with the Alzheimer’s Association Lincoln Chapter and the JDRF Heartland Chapter. In addition to co-founding The White Cane Foundation, David currently serves as Vice President SecureCare Corporation board of directors Omaha Nebraska and board member for the Board of Chiropractic State of Nebraska.
Deb brings more than 20 years of non profit management experience with expertise in corporate partnerships, program development, fundraising, leadership and strategic planning. Early in her career, she was the Lincoln Executive Director for JDRF and spent more than 10 years with a team of staff and volunteers developing JDRF as a trusted charity of choice in the Lincoln Community. Deb has spent the past 10 years at national non profits developing cause campaigns, corporate partnerships and collaborative programs with corporations, agencies and trade associations. She travels a great deal for her work and loves to find new restaurants, museums and boutique shops while on her travels. Deb raised her family in Lincoln where both of her children received a wonderful education from Lincoln Public Schools. Deb is a certified yoga instructor, grandmother, gardener and stays fit with her Peloton and exercising outdoors as much as possible. She is very humbled and excited to serve on the White Cane Foundation Board.
Stacy brings wide-ranging passion and expertise to The White Cane Foundation. She is graduate from the University of Nebraska - College of Business and has spent most of her professional career in several divisions at Union Bank & Trust in Lincoln. She is currently the AVP/Relationship Manager for the Retirement Plan Service Department and is a Certified Plan Sponsor Professional. Stacy has shown exceptional nonprofit activism in Lincoln over her lifetime. She is a former JDRF Board President and her current nonprofit positions include Chairwomen of the Education and Communication Committee with Plan Sponsor Council of America as well as Treasurer of Southwest Toastmasters, a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills worldwide. She is passionate about spending time with her husband and two children and practicing their faith together. Her favorite hobbies include exercising, wellness and playing golf.
Doreen is a graduate of UNL - College of Business. She has spent her career as a CPA and currently has her own practice, Doreen K. Friehauf CPA, P.C. in Lincoln. Prior non-profit board experience includes Lincoln Children's Zoo, Nebraska Cattleman's Ball and Lincoln Child Guidence Center. This opportunity to serve will help in fulfilling the basic everyday needs of all children providing them the opportunity to have a much more successful education experience. Doreen and her husband Brent, who is a CPA, reside in Lincoln. They enjoy spending time with their son Gavin, two daughters, Crystal and Heather and two grandchildren Kailyn and Colin. Doreen's free time is spent reading, traveling, Husker football and golfing.
Katie has spent the last 15 years of her professional career helping organizations reach the next level of growth through people. Her expertise lies within talent strategy, recruiting, organizational development, employment branding and leadership development. Katie is excited to be a part of growing The White Cane Foundation and further our mission and bringing joy to children in Lincoln. She is a native of Lincoln, NE and graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology/Anthropology where she met her husband, Jasa. After starting her career in human resources, she graduated with a Master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Katie is currently the VP of HERO Development at KARE. She is passionate about building the future talent in the Lincoln community serving on the Talent Advisory Board for the Lincoln Chamber of Economic Development and has served in a variety of mentor roles to students interested in human resources. Katie and Jasa have two elementary school aged children, Adrian & Juliette, who keep them busy with sports and activities, camping and boating. In her free time she enjoys cooking, wine and after being expats in Manchester, England traveling back to see friends.
We are happy to have Quentin in our Lincoln community. Quentin is a recent Lincolnite who relocated from Virginia. He is currently the Executive Director at Educare Lincoln, an early learning program that supports Lincoln's most vulnerable children and their families. Quentin brings over 15 years of experience in child-centered nonprofits making him a more than perfect fit for the White Cane Foundation. He earned his BS in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed his Master's degree in Public Administration from Strayer University. Quentin enjoys learning and trying new things. He has loved meeting new friends and colleagues in Lincoln.
Kara has spent the last 20 years of her professional career leading people and organizations through significant times of change. She applies her experience in service excellence, talent development, market positioning and sales growth to help organizations grow. Kara serves as the Executive Vice President of Sales for Slingshot. Kara is married to Alex Dunn, together they raise their spunky and adorable daughter Zara. Kara is passionate about giving back to her community; serving on boards for the JDRF Heartland Chapter and Woven Charm. Fulfilling the mission of The White Cane Foundation hits very close to home for Kara, as she started her career as a public School teacher.
Paige is native Lincolnite who has recently returned to Lincoln to build her career as an attorney. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Business and the College of Law and currently practices law Koley Jessen, P.C., L.L.O. She is a participant in Leadership Lincoln Fellows 36, has been a long-time volunteer with the Junior Leagues of Wichita, Omaha, and Lincoln, is a member of Women Investing in Nebraska, serves on the Scholarship and Awards Committee for the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, and serves on the leadership counsel for the Lincoln Young Professionals Group. In her free time, Paige loves spending time with friends and family, golfing, cooking, reading, and traveling.
Gary has taught journalism at the University Of Nebraska for the past 10 years. Before coming to Lincoln, he was the journalism program director of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. He administered the $25 million Knight News Challenge fund to seek digital journalism and community information innovations. One of his roles at Knight Foundation was to support entrepreneurial community projects. He was a member of the teams that created and launched USATODAY.com and Newsweek.com and is a former director of AOL News. Gary is a two-time Fulbright grant winner who has worked on projects in South Africa and Ethiopia. He has a Master's degree in social work from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He enjoys reading, trying new restaurants in Lincoln and lives with his husband, Ken Mason, who keeps trying to teach him how to cook! We are honored to have Gary as a member of our board!
Ronesha was born and raised in Lincoln. She attended McPhee, Park, and Lincoln High School. She is currently the One-Stop Operator for the American Job Center, which is a place where individuals seeking job search and job readiness assistance can go. She also helps with networking to help agencies to come together and build relationships to better assist job seekers in the community. She has five years of experience working in workforce development and over eight years of experience working with families and youth. She earned her BS in Psychology from UNL, and her Master’s in Business Management and (recently) Doctorate of Education from Doane University. Her free time consists of spending time with her family and attending her children’s sporting events.
Kim grew up in central Nebraska where she met and married her high school sweetheart (Todd). They have 2 adult boys and a brand new daughter-in-law. She has worked for Lincoln Public Schools for more than 26 years where she has taught special education, third grade, and kindergarten and has been in a variety of administrative positions. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. She is starting her fifth year as the principal at Belmont. She is a member of the Lincoln West Optimist Club.
Jenny grew up in small town Nebraska and pursued a career in culinary arts early in my career. After working for multiple years in the restaurant industry she transitioned into the software world and fell in love with software as a service. She currently works for PrismRBS as the Vice President of Customer Success. Her passion in her career is process improvement while building strong teams and organizations. She currently lives in Cortland, Nebraska with her amazing husband and son, Nolan.
Cindy enjoyed 40 years as an educator, with 37 of those years in Lincoln Public Schools as a teacher, curriculum specialist for primary education, and a principal at two schools (Hawthorne Elementary and Adams Elementary). Her last position as director of elementary education provided the opportunity to support and supervise the 40 LPS elementary principals. She retired from LPS in June, 2021. Cindy continues as a Teammate with LPS, trains local substitutes, and provides professional learning and coaching for Lincoln Catholic Schools. She is an active member at Trinity United Methodist Church and chairs the Childcare Board governing the church’s two childcare centers. She’s been married to Greg for 40 years and loves spending time with their three energetic grandsons; Ezra, Holden and Finn.
Crystal has spent the last 20 years of her career in the financial services industry focused on leading individuals, managing process and leveraging technology. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Cornhusker Bank which serves the Lincoln Community and is expanding into Sarpy and Douglass County. Crystal is married to Erik Wichita and they have two teenage boys. Crystal serves her community in many different capacities. She is a member of Southwood Lutheran church where her family has delivered meals on wheels for over 17 years and she sits on the Care Board. She also serves on the Friendship Home Board as well as the Teammates of Lincoln Advisory Board. Crystal loves being outdoors and spending time with her family and friends.
Kelly is the co-founder and Executive Director of The White Cane Foundation. Kelly was born in Virginia and raised in Lincoln, NE. She attended Prescott, Irving, Southeast and UNL with a degree in Elementary Education and Human Development. She met her husband Dave at Tico's and they've been together ever since; raising Josh, Jared, Jameson & Jackson who now all reside in 4 different states. Dave and Kelly have welcomed an extended family who now include Pam (Josh) who have blessed us with our two grandchildren Michael & Alex, Alex (Jared) and Jenn (Jameson). Kelly is currently involved with The Teammates Program and enjoys Bookkeeping for several clients. Hobbies include painting, writing and spending time traveling to see her family!
Samantha grew up in the small town of Shelby, Nebraska and has had a variety of careers such as restaurant manager, photography studio owner and most recently stay at home Mom. Samantha and her husband, Jason, have a 6-year old son Royce. She has volunteered for the Red Cross coordinating and hosting several blood drives along with her family. She is also a huge advocate for Live On Nebraska & Donate Life.
Kate is currently a junior majoring in Marketing and Management and is getting an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relationships at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and has gone to school here her whole life. Kate is involved in Greek life on campus and holds a position in her Delta Gamma sorority. She enjoys hanging out with her roommates and spending her free time with her family at the pool or golf course!