Reading4Research raises $145K at NIGHT 2 SHINE gala

The second annual Reading4Research NIGHT 2 SHINE took place on Saturday, raising more than $145,000. 

FOX 9's Lori Fisher emceed the event at Northern Stacks Event Center and Forgotten Star Brewery in Fridley. University of Minnesota Head Football Coach P.J. Fleck was the guest speaker, as well as professional wake boarder and cancer survivor Alexa Score. Local musician Cisco Skanson performed for guests.  

The event was dedicated to 10-year-old Gianna McKeon of Bemidji, who died from osteosarcoma in January 2021. 

Reading 4 Research is a nonprofit and was formed by Megan and Andrea Wagner of Maple Grove in 2019, highlighting the need for safer, less toxic chemotherapy. In 2018, when she was just 8-years-old, the now 12-year-old Megan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. While she beat cancer, the chemotherapy damaged her heart. Megan had a heart transplant in October 2022. 

FOX 9 has followed Megan’s health journey at M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital since 2019. Megan is the definition of a warrior for conquering health challenges with a smile on her face, all while trying to rewrite the narrative of how sarcomas are treated. 

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Lori Fisher with Jordan and Kyle Rudolph at NIGHT 2 SHINE.

All the money raised will be donated to the University of Minnesota for pediatric cancer research and development. Due to last year’s gala success, Reading4Research donated a $100,000 grant to Dr. Jamie Modiano’s research laboratory at the University of Minnesota. The organization’s goal is to support the U’s canine and pediatric osteosarcoma comparison research study each year. 

Gopher head football coach P.J. Fleck and his wife Heather have rowed the boat for Megan and the cause since day one. Megan considers Heather like a second mother. P.J. believes Megan is an example for everyone.  

"You look at her, two-time cancer survivor, she just got her new heart, she’s an example for all of us, what row the boat is really all about, overcoming adversity and she’s such a breath of fresh air to so many people.  This is her team. She’s the head coach of this entire team and we are all in it together," Fleck said.

If you are interested in being a sponsor, please connect with Andrea Wagner at  You may always donate at Instagram & Twitter @read4research.