Great Strides 2006
Subscribe Free! Click here to sign up now and receive Commitment by e-mail free!

Families and Corporations Team Up to Make Great Strides

Family and corporate GREAT STRIDES teams continue to develop creative new ways to inspire greater participation throughout their communities and increase their fund-raising power. Thanks to their spirited efforts, GREAT STRIDES 2006 included more walk sites and more walkers than ever before. The CF Foundation proudly congratulates and thanks everyone who participated in GREAT STRIDES 2006. Following are highlights from some of the top teams across the country.

Team Jenny | $74,714 | Washington Chapter
Jenny Adams, a 39-year-old adult with CF, has never been one to sit on the sidelines. Dedicated to actively raising funds for CF research, Adams founded the Tacoma GREAT STRIDES walk in 1997 with her employer Rush Companies, Inc. This year, the company became even more involved by hosting the walk at its main office in Gig Harbor and holding a corporate breakfast recruitment event and letter-writing campaign. As a result, Team Jenny grew to more than 160 walkers and raised more than $75,000. “Money raised means new therapies, medication and quality of life for those who have CF,” Adams recently noted. “It’s because of events like GREAT STRIDES that I will be celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary with my husband Jeff. I am already looking forward to our 30th.”

National GREAT STRIDES sponsor Solvay Pharmaceuticals formed multiple walk teams across the United States, increasing their national sponsorship to $250,000. Solvay’s walkers for the Georgia Chapter pictured.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals | $250,000 | National Sponsorship
$50,792 | Multiple Chapters
Solvay Pharmaceuticals, which is dedicated to advancing CF research, also challenges its employees to participate in CF Foundation chapter events throughout the year. This year, Solvay’s commitment to GREAT STRIDES grew even stronger, as they increased their national sponsorship to $250,000 and recruited a huge team for their hometown walk at the Atlanta Zoo. To spark support for the walk, the team held an internal kick-off party, which featured a special talk by a CF family, who shared their reflections on an average day in their life. Through these efforts, Solvay increased their team to 230 walkers. Now that’s the way to make your presence known!

Mighty Magners | $71,245 | Greater Illinois Chapter
Jackie and Casey Magner know what it means to be busy. They have four children under the age of eight, two of whom were recently diagnosed with CF. Their response to the challenges of CF? Dive in and volunteer. As first-time volunteers, they decided to build the largest team at the new walk site in Chicago’s North Shore community. To get ideas on how to build a large team, Jackie and her good friend, Margaret Lake, attended the North Shore walk’s kick-off and the Chicago walk. They quickly realized that the most successful teams recruited many fund-raising walkers and engaged family, friends and colleagues from all branches of their lives. So that’s what they set out to do—they enlisted all their brothers and sisters, neighbors and college friends who work for area companies and let them know why it was important that they get involved. Growing to more than 70 walkers, each team member focused their fund-raising efforts on letter-writing campaigns. Some took advantage of the easy online campaign, while others preferred the traditional letter-writing campaigns. Their efforts resulted in their team raising more than $70,000! They are looking forward to getting their friends even more involved in 2007.

Airgas Puritan Medical | $150,000 | National Corporate Partner
In their second year as a GREAT STRIDES national corporate partner, Airgas knocked the fund-raising ball out of the park by raising more than $150,000—and that number is still growing! This year, Airgas, a supplier of welding and other materials for Orange County Choppers (OCC), harnessed the power of two choppers built and designed by OCC to raise money for GREAT STRIDES. At 12 of its regions, Airgas invited guests at its open houses to be photographed with the legendary OCC “hogs” and make a contribution to the CF effort. Airgas teams also contacted other company vendors for contributions, conducted letter-writing campaigns, sold pin-ups, held raffles and organized competitions between departments. Many regional vice presidents pledged to match all of the money raised by the company’s walkers in their area. Jerry McNamara, market development manager for Airgas Intermountain, said, “This has been a great opportunity for Airgas. Not only is it getting our name out there, but it is also providing a catalyst for our own employees to give back to the community.”

Team Maya

Team Maya | $52,019 | Carolinas Chapter—Charlotte Office
For the past eight years, Lucy and Eric Nizinski have worked hard to one-up themselves when it comes to raising money. This year, Team Maya, named for their daughter who has CF, raised the bar by adding an auction night, which helped bring in more than $17,000 of support for CF research. They also expanded their letter-writing campaign and vendor solicitation. Overall, their efforts helped them raise nearly $30,000 more than last year! “By telling Maya’s story,” her mom, Lucy, noted, “we have been able to inspire others to get involved with GREAT STRIDES and the CF Foundation.”

Foulger-Pratt Companies | $107,885 | Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
Cameron Pratt, father of two children with CF and vice president of Foulger-Pratt Companies, saw the opportunity to turn his passion for raising money for CF into a team-building experience. After holding an internal kick-off for GREAT STRIDES, the company formed three walk teams. The employees’ natural competitive spirit was sparked and the fund-raising began! A traveling trophy, known as THE CUP, is given to the top fund-raising team each year and has become a coveted status symbol within the company. Seeing the corporate unity and pride that comes from participating, Pratt believes that GREAT STRIDES has been a huge win for his company, as well as the CF Foundation.

Walkers put their best foot forward at the Arizona Chapter’s Phoenix walk site.

Sean’s Pals | $49,668 | Greater New Jersey Chapter
Jodi and Bill Squires, CF parents, could hold seminars on how to network effectively. Bill, a consultant for the New York Giants, and Jodi, a marketing consultant for CNBC during Olympic years, reach out to all of their contacts over the years asking for their support for their son, Sean, and all those with CF. They then ask each of those people to reach out to their own network of friends, family and co-workers for donations. This networking approach has helped Sean’s Pals raise close to $50,000 this year!

BB&T Corporation | $59,754 | Multiple Chapters
Raising money is something that BB&T knows how to do. This company continues to lend its time and talents to help raise funds for multiple CF Foundation chapters through GREAT STRIDES. In the Washington, D.C. area, Brant Standridge, a regional BB&T vice president, challenged his colleague Caren Asher, a branch manager, to raise $50,000, and that is exactly what she did. She rallied 53 branches to participate in a spirited competition to see who could raise the most money. Each week, the branch earning the top fund-raising spot received a prize for their achievement. Throughout the competition, employees became more and more enthusiastic about their fund-raising, organizing events from bake sales to holding happy hours. BB&T also involved vendors and employee families. Their methods paid off and BB&T raised more than $50,000 for the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Chapter.

9-year-old Maria Znidarsic (R) with her sisters Ellie, 2, and Katie, 8.

Maria’s Marchers | $30,000 | Rainbow Chapter
To many, Robin Znidarsic appears to truly be Wonder Woman. In addition to being a well-respected family physician, she is the mother of three children, Katie, Ellie and Maria, who has CF. An active volunteer with the Rainbow Chapter, Znidarsic serves as board president and is a former Volunteer Leadership Initiative chair. She also serves as chair of the Lake County, Ohio, walk! She loves hearing how others figure out ways to raise more money for CF and then apply it to her own chapter’s events. After hearing about the Baker Boys Battalion, a national family team started in Georgia, Znidarsic wanted to make Maria’s Marchers a statewide team. This year, there were a total of 14 separate Maria’s Marchers teams throughout Ohio. Getting others to help form additional teams has helped increase their fund-raising 12 percent in 2006!

The Greater NY Chapter-Long Island Office Kohl’s Department Stores team.

Kohl’s Department Stores | $23,251 | Multiple Chapters
Kohl’s “A” Team was mobilized in multiple areas across the country this year to help with GREAT STRIDES. The largest team to participate was in Long Island, N.Y., which included employees from 15 stores and two regions. While the Kohl’s team held several pre-walk activities to raise money, they primarily concentrated on recruiting fund-raising walkers. Each walker then reached out to those in their own circle of friends and family. Through this networking approach, Kohl’s raised more than $18,000 for the Greater New York Chapter-Long Island Office.

The CF Foundation is looking for additional regional and national partners. If you would like to get your company more involved, please contact Chris Krouse at

Mark Your Calendars Now for Great Strides 2007

Save the date, spread the word, start brainstorming... It's time to think GREAT STRIDES 2007!

Mark the weekend of May 19-20, 2007 on your calendar today. It's not too early to begin thinking about new ways to rev up your GREAT STRIDES events and ensure that 2007 is another record-breaking year for fund-raising on behalf of CF research.

Thank You

The CF Foundation is proud to thank all who participated in GREAT STRIDES 2006. Your tremendous efforts take us closer to a cure. Special thanks to Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines® and National Corporate Partner Solvay Pharmaceuticals for their longstanding support.