Meet Chris Blum, CFRE, Executive Director at Heartland Cancer Foundation (heartlandcancerfoundation.org).
Tell us a little about your business. – The Heartland Cancer Foundation believes that no cancer patient should fall behind on treatment because they struggle to afford their everyday expenses. Our mission is to provide practical and immediate financial assistance to eligible cancer patients in our community so they can focus on healing. We provide compassion and hope and remove barriers to care by providing housing and transportation grants to patients who are struggling with both a cancer diagnosis and financial hardship.
Our three largest fundraisers are the Mardi Gras Gala, Oncology Symposium and Heartland Golf Classic, for which we are always seeking sponsors and business partners. And with Giving Tuesday right around the corner and 2023 coming to a close, the foundation is currently focused on outreach. We know many individuals are passionate about supporting cancer patients, especially during the holiday season, and financial gifts are a great way to forward our mission. Plus, many employers will match donations this time of year!
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife Lori and I are both Nebraska natives (Wahoo-Lori, Omaha- me) and have been married for 23 years. Lori teaches math at Mickle Middle School and is an active runner (marathons and half marathons). Our son CJ is a seventh grader at Mickle (different math class). CJ plays the trumpet, plays baseball, basketball and runs cross country. Lori and I both coach Junior High Cross Country at Mickle and St. John’s Catholic School.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – Get a workout in, play some golf, go out for lunch or dinner.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I have been to all 50 states and have played golf in 49 of them. I need to play golf in Rhode Island.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – The best advice I’ve received is to trust your instincts. My favorite quote from a former co-worker is, “Shut up and do stuff.”
If you had a theme song, what would it be? – “Authority Song” by John Mellencamp.
If you could have a super power, what would it be? – Super Speed like The Flash.
What local nonprofit organizations are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – Obviously, I am passionate about the Heartland Cancer Foundation because of how much our grant support means to patients. Lori, CJ and I also sponsor an Adopt A Trail and support St. John’s and other organizations where our friends volunteer and ask us to help.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In by Louis Zamperini.
What is your favorite movie? – One that comes to mind is Trouble with the Curve.
What is your favorite TV show? – Blue Bloods.
What is your favorite local Lincoln restaurant? – Lazlo’s.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Jack Nicklaus.