Hartline to Serve as Great Strides’ Honorary Chair

Events, News

By Merritt Jenkins

Cleveland community leader Steve Hartline will serve as honorary chairman of 2022 Great Strides, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event for those with cystic fibrosis. The 21st annual Great Strides Walk and 19th annual 65 Roses 5Kwill be held Saturday, March 26, on Lee University’s campus.

“We are thrilled that Steve has agreed to serve as honorary chair for this event. He is the voice of Cleveland and Bradley County and has been a long-term champion for this cause,” said Vanessa Hammond, event co-chair and a CF parent.

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 have been asked to be the chairman for what I feel is one of the great community 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 for awareness, and for 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. To date, Great Strides has raised more than $42 million with over 125,000 participants at events all across the nation. The Cleveland event has reached over $1.1 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.

Serving with Hartline to lead the effort are Lee administrators Hammond, who also directs the school’s office of grants, Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development, and Dr. Brad Moffett, vice president for university relations. The 65 Roses 5K road race will be directed by Dr. Bill Estes, dean of the Helen DeVos College of Education at Lee.

“Great Strides is a deeply meaningful way for Lee University, our students, and our community partners to impact the lives of people fighting this disease,” said Hayes, co-chair of Great Strides. “The event is a campus highlight of each spring and has given us a way to show the heart of Lee for over two decades now.”

The route for the 2022 walk and 5K run (3.1 miles) will begin and end on the Lee campus and will travel throughout Cleveland’s historic downtown area. The walk/race will begin at 9 a.m.

“Great Strides is our largest national fundraising event with nearly 300 walks across the country and offers hope to those with cystic fibrosis,” said Jolly Johnson, senior development director for the CF Foundation. “The 65 Roses 5K hosted by Lee University is a huge part of Cleveland’s Great Strides walk, and 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 sponsorship opportunities, contact Hammond at

For more information about the race or to register, visit

PHOTO: The members of the 2022 Great Strides leadership team are pictured here (left to right): Dr. Brad Moffett, Dr. Bill Estes, Steve Hartline, Dr. Mike Hayes, and Vanessa Hammond.

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