Hartline to Serve as Great Strides’ Community Chair for a Second Year

Alumni, Events, Featured, News

Cleveland community leader Steve Hartline will serve for the second year in a row as community chair of the Lee University 2023 Great Strides, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event for those with cystic fibrosis. The 22nd annual Great Strides Walk and 20th annual 65 Roses 5K will be held Saturday, March 25, on Lee’s campus.

“So many people have supported us for the past 20 years, and this year’s community chair is one who has been with us from the very beginning,” said Dr. Bill Estes, co-chair and dean of the Helen DeVos College of Education at Lee. “Steve Hartline and his work are integral to having a thriving community. I can’t think of anyone who unites this community more than Steve, and to have him give his time and efforts to this cause ups our game.”

Hartline, owner and operator of WCLE (Mix 104.1), graduated from Lee University in 2000 and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for the Department of Communication Arts in 2015. At 15 years old, he began working in radio doing play-by-plays of Cleveland High School baseball. Hartline bought WCLE in 2008 and launched “Talk 101.3 The Buzz” in 2012, Fiesta 99.1 in 2019, and Mix TV in 2020.

Hartline serves on the board of Tennessee Christian Preparatory School, on the board of Cleveland 100 (an organization that supports first responders), ATS The Bridge board, the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and hosts job shadowing students facilitated by the Chamber’s workforce development program.

Hartline and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Reagan and Holden.

“I am extremely honored to return as the community chair for what I feel is one of the great Cleveland events of the year,” said Hartline. “Our radio stations have been involved with Great Strides for almost the entirety of the event, and I am pleased to be involved on an annual basis. The work that Lee has done for cystic fibrosis awareness and fundraising cannot be overstated. I am a proud alumnus of Lee, and I’m glad to serve in this role.”

The Great Strides event will mobilize hundreds of community participants and Lee University students to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 2022, Great Strides raised over $30 million involving nearly 100,000 participants across the country.

Cleveland Great Strides has reached over $1.2 million raised for CF research since the local event’s founding in 2001. Median life expectancy for those with cystic fibrosis has increased to over 50, double what it was when Great Strides began over 20 years ago.

“As a parent to a young adult with cystic fibrosis, I can’t adequately describe how much this event and the community support encourage the many local families affected by CF,” said Vanessa Hammond, event co-chair and a CF parent. “We know that the funds and awareness raised will result in a healthier future for our loved ones!”

Serving with Hartline to lead the effort are Lee administrators Hammond, who also directs the school’s office of grants, and Dr. Brad Moffett, vice president for university relations. The 65 Roses 5K road race will be directed by Estes.

The route for the 2023 walk and 5K run (3.1 miles) will begin in front of Lee’s Humanities Center, travel throughout Cleveland’s historic downtown area, and end in front of Lee’s Paul Conn Student Union. The walk/race will begin at 9 a.m., and a 1K Fun Run (0.6 miles) will take place at 9:30 a.m. and will also start in front of the Humanities Center.

Chick-Fil-A has already signed on as lead sponsor for this year’s event. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Hammond at

Great Strides, the CF Foundation’s largest national fundraising event with nearly 300 walks across the country, offers hope to those with cystic fibrosis. Between the Great Strides Walk and the 65 Roses 5K, over 1,000 community members come together to walk or run and take great strides toward making CF stand for “Cure Found.”

For more information about the CF Foundation, visit

For more information about the race or to register, visit or the event’s Facebook page at

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