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Great Strides Going Strong in Georgia

July 15, 2008

Family Team Haley’s Hope was led by Haley Gordon, age 12, who has cystic fibrosis. Haley’s parents, Stephen and Robin Gordon, are co-chairs of the Middle Georgia walk.
Family Team Haley’s Hope was led by Haley Gordon, age 12, who has CF. Haley’s parents, Stephen and Robin Gordon, are co-chairs of the Middle Georgia walk.

Dedicated corporate sponsors, big ambition and a whole lot of ingenuity yielded tremendous results for the Georgia Chapter’s Middle Georgia Great Strides walk.

More than 280 participants on both corporate and family teams walked, celebrated and sang their way to $68,000 in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The June 7 walk really got started back in March when GEICO Regional Vice President and Honorary Great Strides Chair John Izzo kicked things off by hosting a corporate breakfast and posing a challenge to his company’s departments to raise funds for the cause.

The company ended up more than doubling their goal. GEICO also provided a matching gift, a two-week sponsorship of the CF Foundation’s Jeans for Genes initiative and use of the GEICO company courtyard for the post-walk celebration.

For their part, family teams went above and beyond the call of duty. The returning Team Haley’s Hope branched out into three teams this year and even sponsored a garage sale to raise additional funds. Morton’s Family Team showed its “Team CF” spirit by participating in and winning the event’s karaoke contest. 

New this year, Team Luke was led by the entrepreneurial efforts of 11-year-old Luke Nelson, who has CF, who bravely approached CEOs of local businesses for donations. Team Luke far surpassed its goal by raising $14,000, and Luke has already set his goal for next year’s Great Strides effort at $20,000. 

“I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to be a part of this team and the success of this year’s Middle Georgia walk,” said GEICO’s Izzo. “In the end, our hard work is going to help find a cure for CF, and that’s what really keeps us motivated.”

Thanks go to Great Strides co-chairs Stephen and Robin Gordon, and to GEICO team leader coordinators Annie Bloodworth and Bobbie Smith.  A round of applause for corporate sponsors Security Bank, Aramark, Secure Health Plans of Georgia, and Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLC for sponsoring stations set up along the walk route.

And, a special thank you to the school band from Gray Station Middle School, in Gray, Ga., which provided a festive send-off as participants began the two-mile walk. 


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.