Our Mission

It is our mission to enhance the quality of life for children with cancer and their families by providing financial assistance and compassionate support programs, all while advocating for increased research funds and raising public awareness.

About Us

The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation (NNCCF) has provided help, hope, and courage to local families affected by childhood cancer since 2000. NNCCF is a nonprofit located in Reno, Nevada, providing services to all of northern Nevada including Carson City, Winnemucca, Elko, Incline Village, Tonopah, etc. It is the only nonprofit in the region solely dedicated to childhood cancer.

NNCCF is dedicated to serving each family individually and strives to alleviate the financial and emotional strain that follows a cancer diagnosis. Since inception, the foundation has helped northern Nevada families with $5.6 million in direct financial assistance.

Each year, NNCCF helps approximately 120 local children for needs such as medical, household, educational and travel expenses related to treatment. All programs and services are provided at no cost to the families, and there is not an income requirement to receive services. Northern Nevada families are encouraged to apply for assistance if: the child is 0-21, has a confirmed cancer diagnosis, and is a resident of northern Nevada.

Our Goals

  1. Alleviate the financial burden and emotional strain that comes with childhood cancer.
  2. Enhance and expand public awareness of childhood cancer.
  3. Promote research to find a cure.
  4. Be proactive in assisting families throughout the treatment journey by connecting them with other local, regional, and national resources.

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Our History

keaton and jarryd

The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation has served the community for twenty years. We celebrate our roots for the two foundations that merged in 2009 to create who we are today. Angel Kiss Foundation was founded in 2000, in memory of a five-year-old boy named Jarryd who passed away from leukemia, and the Keaton Raphael Memorial, Reno office, was founded in 2004 in memory of a five-year-old boy named Keaton who passed away from neuroblastoma. These two foundations worked side-by-side with a common goal, to help families battling childhood cancer. They joined forces to create NNCCF, which expanded their reach and services to help more local children. Many of the founding members, board, staff, and families are still involved with the foundation to this day, and we are grateful for their continued support.

Why Kites?

NNCCF uses kites to serve as a symbol of hope and childhood innocence.

Kites help signify that children will persevere through cancer, like a kite against strong winds, with joy, innocence, and imagination.

Meet Our Team

 

 

Shirley Folkins-Roberts

  • Position: Executive Director

Shirley has been a dedicated advocate for children with cancer since 2003. After knowing a family personally impacted by childhood cancer, she became one of the co-founders of NNCCF and served on the Board of Directors for 15 years. As an advocate for the organization, she led the creation of a bill to submit to the Nevada State Legislature which sought money for childhood cancer and submitted testimony before the committee, resulting in $60,000 in funding in the 2007 session. During the formation of the organization, Shirley provided oversight of daily operations, establishment and management of operating budgets, and development and implementation of fundraising events annually. Shirley has led teams of Nevada families to Washington D.C. to advocate for childhood cancer research funds, is a member of the Rotary Club of Reno, the Board of Directors for REMSA, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Rare Disease Advisory Council, and is the Nevada Team Leader and Childhood Cancer Advocate for CureSearch. As Executive Director, Shirley oversees direct family assistance, programs and services, events and day to day operations of the organization.

Shirley earned her Juris Doctor from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. Shirley became a member of the California Bar in 1993 and the Nevada Bar in 2010 and has practiced with private firms in both states.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

As a co-founder of the Keaton Raphael Memorial in 2004 (one of the organizations that merged to become NNCCF), my passion has been to serve our community’s children and families during their cancer journey.  It is an honor to jump back in as the Executive Director and work daily with this wonderful organization.

About me:

 I love to spend time with my family, whether it's working together, volunteering together or some of our favorite hobbies, skiing, boating, wakeboarding, and exploring history and the world through travel.

Ask me about:

My kids and my dog.

What I think is amazing:

The generosity of the Reno community.  When we moved here 20 years ago, we truly feel in love with the area and the people. Love this place!

Something quirky about me:

I love movies and theater– always up to go to a movie theater.

My Role Model:

My husband, Doug Roberts – incredible person…nothing else needs to be said.

My Favorite Quote:

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” – Dalai Lama

Holly Aycock

  • Position: Director of Programs and Services

Why I started working at NNCCF and a little bit more about me:
After retiring from the University of Nevada, where I spent the last 20 years working in the Athletic Department as the Assistant Athletics Director of Marketing and Promotions, I knew that my next stage in life was working in the Northern Nevada community that I love helping to make a difference.

Ask me about:
Ask me about my husband and children, they are my everything. When I am not working I love to spend time with them on the golf course, working out, traveling, or even just barbequing in our backyard.

What I think is Amazing:
Laughing till it hurts.

Something quirky about me:
I love a project. I really think if I can Youtube it then I can do it.

My Role Model:
My parents are my role models. My Dad was such a hard worker, he took a night job to support the family when this was the only job he could find and my mom was the glue that held the family together. Their influence have molded my life.

My Favorite Quote:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” - Anaïs Nin

Lizzie Dalton

  • Position: Director of Grants

Born and raised in Reno, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dalton graduated from Galena High School and received her B.S. degree in conservation biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. Before working at NNCCF, Lizzie was the executive director at the Keaton Raphael Memorial. Here she served as a childhood cancer advocate, focusing on family assistance and fundraising for support and research. In 2012, Lizzie was recognized as the University of Nevada’s Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year for her dedication and efforts in the fight against childhood cancer.

Lizzie lives in Reno with her husband, Patrick, and their two children.  When not working, Lizzie loves skiing, backpacking, road trips, the beach, watching Chicago Cubs games and spending time with friends and family.

As the director of grants at NNCCF, Lizzie is responsible for conducting the full range of activities required to research, prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals to private and corporate foundations.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

I was ready for something new, something unique and something that would make a positive difference on the lives of local families. I was born in Reno, love this community and want to make it a better place to live.

About me:

When I was a kid, I wanted to be the first female Major League Baseball player or Jane Goodall’s protégé.

Ask me about:

Childhood cancer support services, raising twins, backpacking, car camping and info about skiing around Lake Tahoe.

What I think is amazing:

Nature and the human body.

Something quirky about me:

I can list all 50 US states in alphabetical order. Thank you Mr. Mobley my 5th grade teacher!

My role model:

My awesome mom! She is a fun-loving, beautiful and strong woman who has always been there for my family and me. She has taught me the importance of family, friends, independence, adventure, education, helping others and so much more.

My favorite quote:

“Live Happy” – Kristin Katich Sumbot

Kelly Stoll

  • Position: Programs and Services Manager

Kelly was born and raised in Reno, NV, and grew up on a ten-acre ranch in Red Rock with a zoo of animals – loving every minute of it. She had many hobbies and kept busy babysitting the local kids, rounding up ferrets, making local short films with her sister and acting in the high school theater program. While Kelly obtained her BS in Human Development and Families Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, she lead teaching at Purple Door preschool, served and bartended at Great Basin Brewery, volunteered as a “Big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters and fell in love with giving back to the community.

Now she is making an impact in the lives of children with cancer as the Programs and Services Coordinator for NNCCF. As the Programs and Services Coordinator she assists in the implementation of NNCCF’s programs, including planning family events and “No More Chemo” celebrations. She still happily resides in Reno with her sweet, hunting-obsessed boyfriend and her silly beagle, Bella.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

I dedicated myself to this job because it allowed me to serve many children and families who need a little extra love, laughs, and support in their life. In the same vein, it also allowed me to work alongside other genuinely kind, fun individuals who only wish to help others as well. NNCCF truly is one big family.

About me:

I’m an old soul with an inner nerd, who believes in true love, embarks on many adventures, throws a wicked Frisbee, jigs to bluegrass, enjoys a good beer, and most importantly loves spending much of her time with friends, family, and her doggo.

Ask me about:

Movies, music, beer, and travel. And go! 🙂

What I think is amazing:

Human strength, resilience, and compassion.

Something quirky about me:

I am a Disney obsessed, theater geek. I was voted most likely to win an Oscar in High School and starred in a few short films in college.

My Role Model:

My parents. No doubt. They are my best friends. They are the most forgiving, supportive, compassionate people I know. They surprise and inspire me daily.

My Favorite Quote:

“We will run and scream, you will dance with me, we’ll fulfill our dreams, and we’ll be free, we will be who we are, and we’ll he’ll our scars, sadness will be far away.” – Mumford & Sons

Briley Brewer

  • Position: Events Manager

Briley was born and raised in Washington State, and moved to the Biggest Little City in 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has since dedicated her time and talent in the community to local nonprofits. As the Events Coordinator, she specializes in NNCCF’s signature, community partner, and family events. You will find Briley out in the community representing NNCCF and she may be the first person you’ll meet after walking through our office door.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

The opportunity I was given to work for such an amazing organization will be one I will be grateful for my entire life.

About me:

I can talk about my dog and traveling for hours. I love being outside and enjoying everything Reno has to offer.

Ask me about:

Traveling

What I think is amazing:

How many beautiful places there are in this world.

Something quirky about me:

I do not like green olives. But I'll eat the green olive in a Bloody Mary to try and train my tastebuds to like them.

My Role Model:

Hands down my parents

My Favorite Quote:

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee.

Alicia Rasmussen

  • Position: Development Manager

Alicia was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and relocated to Reno in 2019 with her husband and “fur-babies”. With a background in sales and community events, she enjoys getting to know a community and encouraging people to get involved in a cause they care about. She calls herself a “textbook extrovert” and loves to meet people and learn something new. Alicia is NNCCF’s Community Engagement Coordinator; catch her at your local bake sale, lemonade stand, or toy drive. If you and your family, friends, or colleagues are looking to host an exciting fundraiser, reach out and say hello!

Why I started working at NNCCF:

Working so closely with the generous Reno community for such an amazing nonprofit is the opportunity of a lifetime!

About me:

I’m an adventure seeker, a foodie, a dedicated wife, and aspiring home decorator!

Ask me about:

My furkids! They’re pretty adorable.

What I think is amazing:

I’m amazed every day at how generous people can be and seeing people helping others is so uplifting!

Something quirky about me:

I’ve never tasted a food I didn’t like, and my rule is to try anything new at least twice!

My Role Model:

My mom. She’s basically wonder woman.

My Favorite Quote:

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.” – John Muir

Stacy Rowan

  • Position: Finance Coordinator

Stacy was born and raised in Southern California.  She attended Santa Monica College and the Community College of Southern Nevada and worked as an Administrative Assistant for many years. She married her husband Ron and moved to Las Vegas where they lived for ten years, started a family, and moved to Reno in 2006 where they’ve had a blast raising their three sons.

Why I started working at NNCCF:

After volunteering for this amazing foundation over the years, and seeing the incredible impact they make on our community and the families they serve, I wanted to be a part of the wonderful team at NNCCF on a regular basis.

About me:

I love to spend time with my family, cooking, attending sporting events, traveling and walking with our rescue pitbull, Macie and Labrador Retriever, Ruby.

Ask me about:

How it’s possible for a full-time mom of 22 years to go back to work

What’s amazing to me:

The continuous support of our northern Nevada community and the impact they make on the families we support

Something quirky about me:

My friends know me as a kidder who loves everything about the 70’s (no kidding!).

Joan Carpenter

  • Position: Volunteer Receptionist

Joan and her twin sister were born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a BA in education with a Major in Physical Education and minor in Art. She continued at UNR earning a MEd in Secondary Education and an MA in Counseling and Guidance. Joan taught a year at Herlong High School in California and taught 35 years at Procter R. Hug High School, retiring in 2006.

Joan retired from teaching and began volunteering with NNCCF in 2009. Though she's technically "not on the payroll" we consider her staff. At NNCCF, Joan inputs all donor transactions into our database, produces donor receipts and thank yous and helps at events when she can. She is a staple to our team and we don't know what we'd do without her!

Why I started volunteering (working) at NNCCF:

After a couple years of retirement, I realized I missed having a routine, helping others, and just being in a social atmosphere. I was lucky when a friend of mine suggested I apply to volunteer at NNCCF. Truly, my lucky day. In my 10 years, NNCCF has more than doubled in staff and office space. I am the oldest member of the staff but the others make me feel young. What a warm, caring, and generous group I get to be a part of.

About me:

When I'm not at NNCCF you can find me painting with my Botanical Buddies, making snuggle buddies for care packages, or trying to keep up with our grandson. I am a short, little tenacious person. If there is a problem or something is broken I won’t stop until I solve or fix it.
Helping others is rewarding to me.

Ask me about:

What an older person can add or offer to a group of young professionals.

What is amazing to me:

When our children, clients, come to the office almost always smiling and laughing, and my knowing what they have or will be going through in treatment.

Something quirky about me:

I like to vacuum. Yes, it gives me time to exercise, think, and accomplish something all at once.

My role model:

My parents.

My favorite quote:

"A friend is a gift you give yourself." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Cheyenne Walker

  • Position: Development Coordinator

Cheyenne was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon. She relocated to Reno, Nevada in 2009 to attend The University of Nevada, Reno. Her nieces are her passion and definitely influenced her love of children. While Oregon still has her heart, she finally identifies as a Nevadan and is excited to strengthen her northern Nevada roots.

Why I started working at NNCCF :

With previous experience in fundraising NNCCF feels like the right home and opportunity for a new career path. The possibility of making a difference in anyone’s life is incredible, but I am excited to have the opportunity to positively affect the community that has welcomed me so warmly.

About me:

I am a proud dog momma and love sports, especially hockey! When I’m not at work you can catch me at a local brewery or out in nature probably hiking. I am a sucker for live music and good vibes.

Ask me about:

craft beer and my daschund!

What I think is amazing:

Our planet will always surprise me. Along with its beauty, no two places are the same and there is still so much to discover.

Something quirky about me:

I am obsessed with all things Harry Potter. It was the first series that made me realize reading can be fun. I even have a tattoo on my foot to represent my love of the series.

My role model:

Definitely my parents. They are the most resilient and reliable people in my life.

My favorite quote:

“You’re not necessarily supposed to believe it…You’re just supposed to believe in it.”
― Daniel Wallace, Big Fish

See all Staff Members

Volunteer

Our volunteers are the heart of every fundraising event and we are lucky to have such passionate volunteers helping us make a difference for local children battling cancer. Our volunteer program is growing and actively changing! Even if you applied in the past, we encourage you to fill out our new application.
Volunteer Application

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is comprised of talented professionals from a variety of backgrounds and industries. If you are interested in joining our board or would like more information, please connect with our team via the contact form.

2021 Board of Directors

 

 Annual Impact Report

NNCCF KidsLearn about our 2020 accomplishments and the donors who made them possible.

2020 Annual Impact Report
2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report
NNCCF GuideStar Profile

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