The local Wear Yellow Ride was organized by Mike and Stacy Buckley in 2003 as a way to rally the Omaha community in riding for a good cause: their entry into the prestigious Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge.
As passion for the cause grew and more people wanted to get involved, the group’s focus started to shift inwards, and they made the decision to form a nonprofit organization and keep the funds from the annual event in Nebraska to support cancer survivors in our own community.
Wear Yellow Nebraska officially became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2009 with a clear focus on niche initiatives that offered cancer survivors support in ways that weren’t being addressed and for people who would otherwise fall through the cracks, truly caring for an individual’s special circumstances.
To sustain our mission, we network with local donors, corporate sponsors, riders, walkers and runners, survivors, business partners, and volunteers to continue growing our events to fund our initiatives.
The Wear Yellow Cab Ride
As a cancer survivor, co-founder and past president Mike Buckley had the idea to start funding cab rides for cancer patients in Omaha who were without access to transportation, a need he discovered during his own treatment journey.
Access to rides to and from treatment are essential because patients are in a weakened state and often times left unable to drive themselves, which also leaves them vulnerable to lapses in vital medical care. Even if patients do have family and friends who can help, they aren’t always available.
The annual Wear Yellow Ride turned into a way to fund vital transportation by providing free cab rides to cancer patients in need, and the cab rides remain our primary program to date. A Ride for a Ride.
Since launching our free cab ride program in 2012, Wear Yellow Nebraska has funded more than $49,000 dollars providing more than 2,900 cab rides to Nebraska cancer patients in need.
In addition to our signature event, the Wear Yellow Ride, we organize smaller events throughout the rest of the year that help support cancer survivors in other ways.
For example, we have offered financial aid to those in treatment to help offset costs and purchased iTunes gift cards for pediatric patients in hospitals that offer access to tablets so they can buy games and apps for entertainment. We’ve provided meal and gas cards for the parents of pediatric patients so that they can be closer to their children through treatment, and to treat themselves to a good meal once in a while. We provided luggage and a camera for a young cancer patient who won a trip to Disney World through Make A Wish, but she and her family did not have some of those simple things to make the trip a great memory. We want to help our Nebraska Cancer patients in meaningful ways.
The Inaugural Wear Yellow Ride
2003 marked the very first Wear Yellow Ride, which was started by Mike & Stacey Buckley as a fundraising initiative for the Lance Armstrong Foundation as a part of their Livestrong Challenge event series. The first sponsors were the Trek Store and Nebraska Cancer Specialists. The rest is history!
Wear Yellow Nebraska Becomes Official Nonprofit
We were initially organized as Livestrong Army Omaha (LAO), registered through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, with an underlying 501(c)3 nonprofit Wear Yellow Nebraska. The Wear Yellow Ride was adopted as the signature fundraising event.
Founding Board Members
- Michael Buckley
- Stacey Buckley
- Andrew Hallock
- Kelli Sweet
- Nicole Flatowicz
- Regina English
- Started the WYNE Nite Event!
- Amanda Troutman joined the Board of Directors
Wear Yellow Nebraska Branches Off
In May 201o, Wear Yellow Nebraska separated from the Lance Armstrong Foundation as our own vision evolved to keep funds raised in Nebraska. All events, fundraising and marketing moving forward was now under the name of Wear Yellow Nebraska.
- We hosted our first Annual Kick Off event in March, awarding grants in the amount of $4500 from our 2009 fundraising efforts
- First WYNE Nite Fundraiser held that August
- Craig Kelley joined the Board of Directors
The Wear Yellow Ride Moves to Chalco
With 160 riders registered in 2011, it was time to move the Wear Yellow Ride to a bigger space, and that space was the Chalco Hills Recreation Area. We would, however, quickly become too big for our britches and outgrow the route, moving to the Strategic Air and Space Museum just two years later.
American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Pledge
Hope Lodge Nebraska addresses the need for affordable, supportive lodging by providing 24-hour, temporary housing free of charge to cancer patients and their families traveling 50 or more miles to receive treatment. In 2012 we made a $25,000 pledge to support the local Hope Lodge to be paid off in 2016, and surprised them by fulfilling our pledge early at the end of 2015!
- Added new board member
- Launched the pilot program for the Wear Yellow Cab Ride at Nebraska Cancer Specialists at Bergan Mercy
The Wear Yellow Ride Moves to SAC
In 2013 we moved the Wear Yellow Ride to the Stratetic Air and Space Museum in Ashland, Nebraska because of our growing force! There were 480 participants.
- We also added 3 new board members this year!
The Fun Run & Walk Are Added to the Wear Yellow Ride!
In 2014 we made the decision to include a larger variety of athletes by adding a run and walk to the annual cycling event. With 515 participants, it was a huge success!
- Added 1 new board member
- Started to formalize board roles and our plans to grow the board
Our Best Year Yet!
2015 was a great year for growth. We expanded the Board of Directors, saw our biggest year yet for the Wear Yellow Ride, Fun Run, & Walk with 601 participants, and added a bunch of new features to the event (including the gravel ride, fundraising, and team options to make it even more exciting for participants).
- Added 4 board members
- Started the process of revisiting and polishing our brand identity and strategy
A New Wear Yellow Nebraska
With all the growth we saw in 2015, it was time to update our brand identity so our marketing communications would reflect our enhanced internal strategies. We partnered with an outside firm to polish our logo, create new marketing materials, craft our brand story, and launch our new website!
We also launched the Cab Ride Program in Lincoln, NE and a food delivery program in Omaha, partnering with Fast Guys Delivery.
Our All-Volunteer Board of Directors
We Want You to Join Our Board!
Open Board Opportunities:
- President Elect
- Director Finance
- VP Programs
- VP Marketing
- Social Media Coordinator
- Director Print/Graphics