OCTOBER 2018 – Some partnerships are a match made in heaven, and that certainly seems to be the case with the long-standing and mutually rewarding partnership between Applied Connective Technologies and the Team Jack Foundation.
Ed Knott and Andrew Hoffman were originally introduced in 2006 when Applied Connective Technologies became the managed technology service provider (MTSP) for a law firm at which Andrew practiced. Ed and his team established great relationships with the firm’s partners and staff, so it came as little surprise when Hoffman hired Applied Connective when he established his own practice, Hoffman Law, PC, LLO, in Atkinson in 2015.
Having done business together for several years, Ed and Andrew’s business relationship graduated from friendly professionals to professional friends, so when Hoffman’s son, Jack, was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer in 2011, there was a strong desire to help in some way. Opportunities would soon find them.
As Andrew and Brianna Hoffman watched their son continually suffer from tumor-related seizures, attend an endless series of appointments, and undergo countless treatments and surgeries, they became determined to find better treatments and, ultimately, an effective cure for this awful disease.
For reference, only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget is allotted to pediatric brain cancer research. Identifying a huge need—and one that was obviously very close to their hearts—the Hoffmans went to work bridging the gap. Enter the Team Jack Foundation.
Andrew & Brianna began partnering with CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national non-profit foundation which funds children’s cancer research to raise money for their research fund, and in 2012, the Team Jack Foundation was born. Through dedicated fundraisers, hard work, and a blossoming friendship between Jack and then-Husker running back Rex Burkhead (who granted Jack’s wish of meeting ahead of one of his life-threatening brain surgeries), the Team Jack Foundation has gained national notoriety and raised millions of dollars to date to enable life-saving research.
The year of its inception, Team Jack had its first of what would become an annual event to raise crucial dollars for the cause. This is where Applied Connective gets involved.
A Tough Opponent: Taking On Pediatric Brain Cancer
The big idea was to put on a telethon that would engage radio stations from throughout Nebraska to reach the broadest audience possible. The Hoffmans needed a unique technology system to support such an event. So Hoffman approached Knott and his business partner, Tom Krings, and without hesitation, Applied Connective offered to donate time, services, and equipment to the event.
During the annual Team Jack Radiothon, more than 15 radio stations across the state dedicate the day to supporting the cause by raising awareness; collecting donations; and broadcasting interviews, testimonies, and stories from families affected by pediatric brain cancer as well as prominent Nebraska public figures, from government officials and oncologists to local celebrities like former Huskers and comedians. A percentage of the foundation’s yearly contributions are collected through this radiothon.
It’s a wonderful event that unifies businesses, families, and media outlets throughout the state—it showcases Nebraska values and the decency of humanity.
“The first Team Jack Radiothon took place in the Hoffmans’ hometown of Atkinson, Nebraska,” says Knott. “The following years, we set up shop in Lincoln’s Haymarket, the next few years on UNL’s campus, and most recently, the 2018 radiothon took place at South Pointe Mall in Lincoln. It grows substantially from year to year, and it’s neat to be a part of something that brings so many together in charity and hope.”
Applied Connective’s involvement, chiefly that of the company’s voice manager, Will Zoucha, is tantamount to this production. Their contributions (along with those of Tom Krings & Clearfly) include: supplying all necessary technologies, coordinating phone systems, establishing Internet connections, volunteering, and donating time and services throughout the day for the event each year. After setup is complete, Zoucha remains onsite throughout the day, accompanied by Tom and/or Ed, to lend a hand and oversee the day’s events.
“It requires a good amount of behind-the-scenes time, setup, and configuration to support an event of this caliber,” says Zoucha. “But this is a cause that Applied Connective is passionate about, that we believe in wholeheartedly, and that we are privileged to be able to contribute our skill set and services to.”
Knott adds, “We’re very proud to be involved in the Team Jack Foundation in this way. What started as a grass roots movement in Atkinson, Nebraska, by a loving family going through a parent’s worst nightmare has grown into something much bigger. We admire the Hoffmans’ resilience and ability to turn their trauma into triumph—channeling it into something that makes such an impact for so many.
“We’re very proud to stand beside the Hoffmans, the Team Jack Foundation, and all the brave children and their families in the valiant fight against pediatric brain cancer.”
The Team Jack Foundation has raised $65,000 for pediatric brain cancer research at this year’s radiothon (and more than $5 million and counting since its inception) and continues to lead the fight for improving treatment options for children with brain cancer—a wonderful testimony to the great things that can be accomplished through “team” work. Click here to donate or learn more about this incredible organization.