In 2007, an extensive letter-writing campaign helped Sean’s SuperStriders—led by Katrina and Michele Young—raise $20,000 for the Carlsbad, Calif., GREAT STRIDES walk.
In its 19th year, GREAT STRIDES continues to be the CF Foundation’s most successful national fund-raising program. In 2007, hundreds of thousands of walkers took to the sidewalks at more than 560 locations across the country, including 55 new walk sites. Two key strategies—veteran volunteers bringing in new volunteers, and established teams branching off into new teams—helped participants raise close to $35 million!
Spreading the Word
Proving once again that passionate volunteers are the best recruiters, GREAT STRIDES volunteers shared their enthusiasm for this event and for the Foundation with their extended family, friends and colleagues, and added a significant number of new volunteers to TEAM CF.
Last year, volunteer Chris Meacham of the San Diego Chapter agreed to chair the first-ever Corporate Recruitment Committee for the San Diego GREAT STRIDES walk. As president and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management, Meacham is a well-known leader in the San Diego business community. Reaching out to his professional contacts, he recruited 12 new volunteers, challenging them to recruit new corporate teams. To date, 20 new teams have formed from Meacham’s outreach efforts.
In Indiana, Bruce Cox already had an established family team, but this year, he wanted to branch out and get his company, Transworks, and his corporate contacts involved. He held a corporate recruitment luncheon in downtown Fort Wayne. Talk about power lunches—five businesses formed teams, with several creating multiple teams.
As a member of an online group for first-time moms, Amy Paule introduced her virtual community to GREAT STRIDES. When Paule’s daughter Maddie was diagnosed with CF at four months, her online friends rallied around her. Following her lead, they too, created walk teams in their local communities. In the past three years, six Miles for Maddie teams in six states, have raised nearly $100,000!
Meanwhile, Mary Michaels from Syracuse has shown that she is a cut above the rest when it comes to spreading the word the old-fashioned way. As the mother of 7-year-old Tess, who has CF, Michaels knew she had to find every way to help extend her daughter’s life. Within four short weeks after learning about GREAT STRIDES in 2002, she had formed Team Tess, recruited 30 walkers and raised $8,000 for the Central New York Chapter. The next year, Michaels’ two best friends had each added a new team to the Team Tess family, and together they recruited more than 100 new walkers. By 2007, two more “branches” had grown on the Team Tess tree.
Corporations Grow Their Efforts Too…
Corporations, too, have increased their commitment to the Foundation’s mission. Under the leadership of Michael Ziomek, Team Lockheed Martin formed 11 sub-teams, each tasked with the goal of creating a team that was comprised of at least 10 percent of fund-raising walkers. Their plan was a success. Team Lockheed Martin raised more than $40,000 for the Florida Chapter’s Central Florida Office in Orlando.
In Hollywood, Fla., the corporate competitive spirit took hold of its city employees. Known for his deep commitment to CF fund-raising, City Manager Cameron Benson was an obvious choice to help boost the Florida Chapter - South Florida Office’s GREAT STRIDES walk. Excited to help, Benson encouraged his employees to get involved. His enthusiasm was contagious. The City of Hollywood formed one of the chapter’s largest teams, with departmental teams competing to raise the most money for GREAT STRIDES. Together they brought in more than $11,000.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ commitment to CF extends much farther than the laboratory. Having generously partnered with local chapters throughout the last decade, Novartis opted this year to become a new National Corporate Partner. Gilead Sciences, Inc., also stepped up its commitment to become a National Corporate Partner after supporting the walk regionally in 2006.
Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines®—known for its dependability in the sky—again took its commitment to the nation’s sidewalks to provide tremendous support of GREAT STRIDES. In addition, the continued commitment of National Corporate Partners Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Airgas Puritan Medical and Foresters were key to the ongoing success of GREAT STRIDES.
“GREAT STRIDES is crucial to our lifesaving efforts, and every walker who joins us makes a difference for people with cystic fibrosis,” says Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., the CF Foundation’s president and CEO. “We are making tremendous progress in fighting this disease, and we are grateful for our volunteers and sponsors, who are a vital part of this effort.”
Save the date, spread the word, start brainstorming... It's time to think GREAT STRIDES 2008!
Mark the weekend of May 17-18, 2008 on your calendars today. It's not too early to begin thinking about new ways to rev up your GREAT STRIDES events and ensure that 2008 is another record-breaking year for fund-raising on behalf of CF research.
The CF Foundation is proud to thank all who participated in GREAT STRIDES 2007. Your tremendous efforts take us closer to a cure. Special thanks to Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines® and National Corporate Partners Novartis, Gilead Sciences, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Airgas Puritan Medical and Foresters for their support.