FUNDING INNOVATIVE PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH

Key for a Cure



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Our Board

Key For A Cure Board of Directors include:

Elizabeth Grijalva

President

Elizabeth (Liz) Grijalva has dedicated her time to raising funds for pediatric cancer research, currently conducted at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is co-founder of and serves as President of Key for a Cure Foundation. The foundation began in 2015, after the passing of her nephew, Baby Matthew from infantile leukemia.

The foundation has successfully raised more than $910,000.00 for pediatric cancer research and $40,000.00 to local non-profits, like Coastal Kids Home Care and Jacobs Heart Children’s Cancer Services.

“This year we’re hoping to achieve our $1 million fundraising mark to fund this crucial research.” She says, “Monterey County residents give so generously! I’m constantly amazed and in awe of where we live and the people who embrace our dream to find a cure!”

Liz is a local girl; she grew up in Castroville. She attended North Monterey County High School “Go Condors!” She has been a loan mortgage originator for 23 years and currently is the Senior Loan Advisor with C2 Financial Corporation. Liz loves being a member of the Rotary of Salinas “Downtown” and her local church community choir. She is also a dog lover; she has 3 Jack Russel Hunt terriers who don’t listen. Liz loves spending time in Colorado, snowboarding, music and most of all Jesus.

Sara Phelps

Secretary

Initially, Sara was drawn to become a member of the board for Key for A Cure because of her longtime friendship with Aimee and Liz Grijalva. 

“I wanted to do something to help all the pain their family had endured for years. Something positive had to come out of Baby Matthew’s passing,” she says. “So I decided to join, Key for a Cure Foundations mission, to aid in ending the pain and suffering of children and families.”   

Sara has a diverse background in real estate that began over 20 years ago in the title and escrow industry. This experience made her very familiar with the communities and city officials of Monterey County and allowed her to build lasting relationships with key landowners and developers throughout the state. 

A Broker and Realtor since 2004, her tenacity and persistence enables her to help her clients achieve their goals and win awards such as the Silver Award and Top 10 Producing Agent. Sara’s mission is to provide the very best service for her clients. She does this by assessing their needs and desires, and then guiding them through the process with honesty, integrity, and professionalism every step of the way. Her clients’ happiness is how she measures her success.

When she’s not helping her clients, Sara enjoys camping and spending time outdoors with her family and friends.  

Janel Flook

Treasurer

Janel Flook, owner of Running F Quarter Horses, where she raises and trains barrel-racing horses, has been on the board for three years. Meeting and working with Amy and Liz side by side on an event for Key for a Cure inspired her to join the board.

“I want to help make a difference and find a cure for pediatric cancer,” she says. “My best friend lost her battle with cancer and helping her get through therapy drove me to want to do more for others fighting the battle!”

Her favorite part of being involved with Key for a Cure is “coming together with a group that all had the same purpose and wants to make a change!”

Aimee Grijalva Pierce

Research Advisor

Aimee Grijalva, is President and Broker at Seraph Rates, a local mortgage company that originates millions of dollars in real loans throughout the state of California. Aimee a lifelong resident of Monterey County received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from California State University Monterey Bay, graduating cum laude with honors. In 2007 she passed the California Real Estate Broker Exam and then intermingled her education and skills to bring Seraph Rates into fruition. 

Aimee is also very passionate about advocating for pediatric cancer. She and her family have been deeply affected by the disease when her son Baby Matthew was born with a rare form of cancer called infantile leukemia. Aimee diligently journaled and blogged about their cancer journey and has been published on various publications like The Mighty and American Nurse Today 

Aimee also serves on the board at Jacob’s Heart Pediatric Cancer Services and Key for a Cure Foundation with the desire to create positive change and awareness for children diagnosed with cancer. 

Glenna Datta

Member

Glenna Datta, Executive Vice President Chief Banking Officer at 1st Capital Bank, has been on the board for three years. She joined the board because she believes strongly in the cause.

“The fact that we raise funds to support a specific type of research to help children battle cancer in the best way possible, is everything,” she says. “Every child deserves the chance to receive less non-toxic treatments that could potentially save their life.”

Her favorite part of being involved in Key for a Cure is working with the wonderful board (“We have great people”), the community and working with St Jude’s. She says Key for a Cure is a true example of a grassroots nonprofit organization in our community. “We are lucky to also partner with St Jude’s, which has a wonderful reputation as well,” she says.

The one thing she values most is spending time with her family. She says she loves to shop and although she’s not a sports enthusiast, she has a lot of fun watching her son play basketball and football.

Bill Hastie

Member

Bill Hastie, Managing Partner of Hastie Financial Group in Salinas, has been on the board for five years and became a board member because of the purpose and mission of Key for a Cure.

“I joined because of the purpose of Key for a Cure,” he says, “I don’t think you can do anything better than improving the life of a child who is living with cancer. It’s the most meaningful nonprofit work you can do.”

While he doesn’t have a personal connection with cancer or cancer patients, his then-10-year-old son was once a “miracle child” who had spinal meningitis and was helped by the Children’s Miracle Network. That son, now an adult, works with him at Hastie Financial Group.

His favorite part of working on the board is the personal interactions he has with the other board members.

“You get to collaborate with really talented people who are dedicated to raising funds for kids with cancer,” he says. “It’s probably one of the most amazing boards I’ve ever been on, and I’m on four boards right now.”

As for his time away from work and public service, he says he tries to go to the gym to work out as often as he can and to play golf with his wife and family. He also loves fishing for trout.

Hon. Jonathan Price

Member

Judge Price, who is a retired Monterey County Superior Court Judge and former Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court, has previously served as a Board of Director member for: The Door to Hope, Palma High School, The Boys and Girls Club of Monterey County, Read to Me Project, Boy Scouts of America, Hospice Giving Foundation, United Way of Monterey County, Children’s Council, Veteran’s Transition Center, Monterey County Sheriff’s Advisory Council, and The Salvation Army Advisory Board, Monterey Peninsula Corps.

He currently serves as a Vice President for the Salinas Valley Leadership Group, Board member of the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation, Founding Board member of the Salinas Police Foundation, Sabu’s Safari Committee, (a fundraiser for The Salvation Army of the Monterey Peninsula), and Board Member Key for a Cure (a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Hospital Pediatric Cancer Research.)                       

Judge Price is a licensed pilot, a certified scuba diver, and is a certified wine educator. His hobbies include wine education, culinary arts, bird watching and genealogy. He and his wife of 40-plus years, Holly, live in Toro Park Estates. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.   

Sandy Storm

Member Emeritus

Sue Storm

Member

Sue Storm, Market President at Pacific Valley Bank, has been a Commercial Lender in the market for over 25 years providing loans to small business owners.  Sue has been with the bank for 13 years and it is worth noting it is the only truly local Monterey County bank.  Sue is a 5th generation Salinas native.  She moved back to the area after working in San Francisco for many years and earning her BA form the University of California at Berkeley.  Additionally, she obtained an MBA while working full time in the banking industry.

Sue’s longstanding commitment to this Community is evident in her numerous boards she has served on over the years.  She believes and is passionate about advocating for children and families. Key for a Cure Foundation is exactly the type of organization that Sue believes is critical for families in our area battling pediatric cancer.  She is excited to join the board as her mother becomes an Emeritus Member. 

Sue is extremely passionate about travel and ventures to a new place every year.  Without exposure to the different cultures, she doubts she would be the person she is today.  She finds time for hiking, skiing and learning new cooking recipes when she is not traveling with family and friends.  Most recently, golf has become a new favorite weekend activity.

Sue is extremely excited and honored to be part of the Key for a Cure Foundation!

Darcy Bikle

Member

Darcy Bikle, a lifelong Central Coast resident, homemaker, wife and mother of two, joined the Key for a Cause board 6 months ago. She loves to read, exercise, enjoys hiking, and traveling with her family. She graduated with a Bachelors degree from California State University Monterey Bay. Her high school sweet heart and husband own a local Construction company, Seatec Underground Utilities. Her youngest child is a passionate Equestrian and her oldest child graduates’ high school this May. He enjoys flying and just received his Pilot’s license. 

Darcy stays active in nonprofit and community groups. She has been a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children) volunteer for the last several years.  She is on the Lagunita Elementary School Board, and on a Golf Committee for SNIPbus, a mobile, low-cost spay and neuter clinic which serves Monterey County and several other counties throughout California. Darcy’s favorite part of being on Key for a Cure is to work on fundraising and collaboratively work together with everyone to raise money.

Darcy was initially excited to join Key for a Cause because of its origination with “Baby Mathew.”  “I love the cause. When my son was a baby, I followed Baby Matthew’s story.  I love the fact that his name and memory are still alive through this board.  I was honored when I was asked to be on it,”. She says, “I’ve never done anything like this before, so this is all very new to me.”

Susie Boutonnet

Member

Susie Boutonnet, COO of Village 5, LLC, is in her first year on the board. She has, like many other members, a personal reason for joining the board.

“Cancer has had a significant impact on my life via family and friends,” she says. “I was so appreciative to be presented with an opportunity to help raise funds for advancements in the treatments for the most vulnerable — children.”

Her favorite part of working on the board is advancing the cause and being involved with such a passionate and dedicated group of individuals. 

Susie is a writer, owns a property development company in the Central Valley with her sisters, is partners in an ag equipment Leasing company in Salinas, and is involved with some local nonprofits that benefit our community.

She loves nature and spends her free time running or hiking. 

“My children are my true passion and I look for every opportunity to spend time with them…especially planning our next big travel adventure,” she says.

Michelle Balestreri

Member

I have lived on the Monterey Peninsula my whole life and married my high school sweetheart, John in 1992. Shortly after we started our family and became a family of six. On April 12, 2004, my husband John and I never thought our family would be affected by pediatric cancer. Unfortunately, our 3rd child,John John, at the age of 6 was was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia(ALL). After three and a half years of daily chemo medications, hospitalizations, surgeries, lumbar punctures and numerous doctor visits, John John was in remission. At the time John John was given a 5 year survival rate of 70%. I asked “what about after five years?” I was given the response that they could not guarantee him from developing a relapse or a secondary cancer from treatments after five years.Fortunately, John John is 26 year old healthy adult but does suffer side effects from chemo. Although I volunteer for numerous other organizations my heart will always hold a special place for St. Judes, and finding a cure for pediatric cancer! I currently work as a Realtor with Agency One in Salinas and have also worked in the Interior Design field for over 25 years. 

Dr. Rolando Cabrera

Member

La Gloria Medical Clinic, under the leadership of Dr. Rolando Cabrera the owner, has set a new standard when it comes to a small Salinas Valley healthcare business that gives back humbly with no intention of recognition. La Gloria Medical Clinic is more famously known for their ongoing free care for the homeless and those who cannot otherwise afford to see a doctor. La Gloria Medical Clinic serves a huge percentage of COVID patients, especially those in the Hispanic community. Dr. Cabrera has served and continues to serve the community in other areas as well: Founder and Chair of the Salinas Police Foundation dedicating time and resources in support of the Salinas Police Department serving the community, board member of the Key For a Cure Foundation , raising money to fund pediatric cancer research. Dr. Cabrera is very active in the Alisal Rotary Club and serves on the Board for Pinnacle Bank, the Salinas Mariachi Festival, Monterey County Saint Jude’s and Downtown Streets Team. Dr. Cabrera is also a registered Friesian horse breeder in Monterey County and has a weekly Spanish radio preventative health program.  

Molly Frick

Member

Molly Frick, Board Member since 2022, brings a wealth of experience and a warm heart to our organization. Born and raised amidst the lakes of Northern Minnesota, Molly’s journey took her to the University of Kansas, where she graduated with a degree in Psychology. In 2012, she ventured westward to California, where she has since carved a successful career path in Private Aviation and Estate Management.

In her free time, she finds joy and creativity in the kitchen, indulging her passion for cooking, hosting and baking. The Sierra Mountains holds a special place in her heart, where she can be found skiing the slopes in winter or enjoying the tranquility of the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. A devoted pet parent, Molly shares a home with two cherished dog children and longtime boyfriend, Wesley.

She is thrilled to be a part of Key for a Cure and excited to see what the future holds for such a wonderful organization!

Nicole Rodriguez

Member

Meet Nicole Rodriguez, a dedicated mother and community leader with a passion for supporting families affected by pediatric cancer.  As a board member of the Key For A Cure Foundation, Nicole brings a unique perspective, compassion, and energy to the organization.

Nicole has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by families dealing with a pediatric cancer diagnosis.  Her commitment to the cause stems from experiencing the pain of a close family friends’ son, Baby Matthew, bravely battle the disease. The Key For a Cure Foundation was later created in Baby Mathew’s memory. Through this journey, Nicole has seen first-hand the impact that a supportive community can have on families facing pediatric cancer.

Nicole, was born and raised on the central coast and enjoys spending time with her family, camping and playing golf. She is an animal lover and an energetic and devoted member of the community, always willing to contribute and support community events.   Nicole, AKA “Nikki” is a REALTOR® on The Scott Craig team at KW Coastal Estates and is an active member of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Monterey Peninsula.

“I am honored to serve on the Key For a Cure Foundation and pledge my heartfelt dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of families affected by pediatric cancer.” -Nicole