Each month through the end of the year, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the 2011 Great Strides walks. We hope you’ll find this story to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!
Walk: Crestwood, Ky., Louisville Slugger Field Great Strides held May 21
Julie and Roy Ice lead Julie’s Dream Team, which has 1,700 supporters at nine Great Strides walks across the United States. “Never miss an opportunity to tell someone about CF,” Roy says.
Team: "Julie's Dream Team” is represented at nine Great Strides walks across the nation and is led by Roy Ice in support of his wife Julie, 40, who has CF.
Impact: Raised more than $70,000 so far in 2011
Why I Walk
We learned that my wife, Julie, has cystic fibrosis eight months into our marriage. She was 23. She inspires me every day. On Julie’s Dream Team, we want to realize her dream of a cure for CF. Our team also walks for the thousands that share her dream.
What Makes Me Proud
Last year, when we started Julie’s Dream Team, there were just a few of us. Now it’s a team of 1,700 amazing people.
We make agreements with businesses, including a few national chains like Buffalo Wild Wings, that will give a portion of their earnings to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We ask people to live life — to have a meal, have a drink at a participating business — and in turn we hope that will make a difference in the lives of those with CF.
My Biggest Fundraising Challenge
The growth of Julie's Dream Team comes with some hurdles. Now we have to be a little more careful and adjust our approach, because no restaurant can handle several hundred people just showing up and having dinner at a single location.
We’re structuring agreements with national chains, so that team members living in different states can purchase from the participating businesses — at their own time, as part of their own lives.
Tips for New Great Strides Teams
Never miss an opportunity to tell someone about CF. Social media broadens your audience, and it doesn't cost a dime. We share our family’s story on www.juliesdreamteam.com.
Your local chapter is staffed with professionals who will assist your team to be as successful as possible. Utilize your resources. Julie's Dream Team would not have reached the level we have without the continued support of our Kentucky/West Virginia Chapter.
Try to increase your team’s size each year. In 2009, with 6 walkers, we raised $600. In 2010, we had 40 walkers attend Great Strides and the donation amount grew to around $6,000. In 2011, we fielded 9 teams across America, and we raised $70,000.
Lastly, have fun! People love doing things that make them happy. And if it isn't fun, it's work.
A special thanks to my partner in life, Julie. You unleashed the passion to allow me to do all that I can to help find a cure for you and others with CF, and I love you.
I’m also so grateful to Troy Colon, whose heart led him to our fight and whose knowledge of the hospitality industry has yielded donations that will ultimately buy the science that will lead to a cure. The friendship of Chris and Sherri Cooper, Angela and Courtney Woods — and so many others — has been indispensible.
Over the course of our 17-year marriage, Julie and I have lost friends to this disease. The pain of loss associated with CF must be eliminated. My dream is that others will benefit from our work, that there will be a cure for cystic fibrosis, and that we never lose another soul to this disease.