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
Kelly Lauer, Executive Director, Vice President and Treasurer
Kara Bunde-Dunn, Secretary
Doreen Friehauf, Board Member
Jill Simonson, Board Member
Nancy Arter Gade, Board Member
Rita Parris, Board Member
Stacy Gutschenritter, Board Member
Alexa Wright, Social Media Director
Maria Cardona, Community Relations Director
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.
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!
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 Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Success for Nebraska Book Company in Lincoln, Nebraska. 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.
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.
Jill Simonson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned a B.A. in Human Development and the Family from UNL and a B.S. in Nursing from the Creighton University Accelerated Nursing Program. She worked as a registered nurse in Lincoln for 24 years. Before that she worked for at-risk youth in Minneapolis and served as a CASA volunteer, here in Lincoln, for several years. Jill is currently the owner of Prairie Earth Gardening. She lives in Lincoln with her husband Steve, a mathematics professor at UNL, their two cats and a collie. She has a son, Cale, currently residing in NYC. Jill enjoys cooking, Scrabble, gardening and all things pet related.
After a chance conversation about the vision for this foundation, Nancy was ‘in’. Meeting the basic needs of a child so they can focus on learning is compelling. Nancy’s experiences in business at Olsson and The Arter Group, and previous service on non-profit boards, including Lincoln Children’s Zoo and Bright Lights, will be valuable in supporting The White Cane Foundation’s mission. Nancy’s husband, Steve Gade, and her children are all graduates of Lincoln Public Schools. She is grateful for the opportunity to support this incredible public school system’s students in this way.
After graduating from UNL with a BS in Public Health, Rita spent most of her career working for non-profits. She was the Executive Director of the Public Health Association of Nebraska for over 18 years which included being liaison between the Nebraska DHHS and the 19 local health departments across the state. Currently she is the part time Executive Director of a non-profit which connects people with primary care providers in 21 Southeast Nebraska counties. The White Cane Foundation is the perfect place for her to share her skills in the world of non-profits. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and camping.
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.
Alexa is a former student-athlete and graduate of UNL. After graduating from the College of Business and competing four years as a Husker soccer player she spent time working for the President of the Houston Texans NFL Team. She then moved onto Oasis Petroleum where she worked as a Sales and Marketing Analyst. Alexa currently lives in Plano, Texas with her husband Rob and is a stay at home mother to her two children, Raleigh and Ripp. Prior to The White Cane Foundation, Alexa volunteered throughout her professional career for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo where she raised money for college scholarship funds for children who were FFA members. Alexa enjoys spending time with her family, fitness, health and traveling.
Maria moved to the United States from Cuba as a small girl and has called Lincoln her home for over 30 years. She has been privileged to raise three children with her husband, Rene, while being self-employed at Marblelous Studio, a provider of remodeling, paint and design management services. Maria has a B.S. in Communications from Georgia State, is a certified yoga instructor and certified Spanish interpreter. She has used these certifications in Lincoln while volunteering at St. Monica’s Recovery Center (as a yoga and meditation teacher) and teaching Spanish to elementary school kids in after school programs. Her hobbies include painting (both on canvas and walls) and gardening. She is pleased to be joining the White Cane Foundation Team as she believes in the empowerment of children. The Foundation’s mission is also close to her heart because she was once a school girl that arrived in America without basic needs. She and her family were blessed to receive what they needed to create a bright future for themselves.