In my job, I get to see first-hand how our family and corporate fundraising teams contribute to our success. Their commitment and passion remains a profound inspiration to me and my colleagues. So much so that ever since I started working at the CF Foundation, I have walked in the Bethesda, Md., Great Strides walk with the national office and helped raise money. This year, I had the pleasure of serving as the national office team leader, which made this walk extra special for me.
Since I took on this new role, I have found myself in complete awe of my co-workers. They are so passionate and generous in sharing their time, talent and money, continuously giving to the organization where they spend the majority of their time.
This generosity got me thinking about the reasons why any of us volunteer. With busy lives filled with work, family and many commitments and choices, what drives us to muster extra motivation and energy to participate in an event like Great Strides? I found, in part, my answer in a quote from Gandhi. He said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
I couldn't agree more. I know that this applies to my wonderful colleagues and so accurately describes every single person working here. Our commitment to fighting CF does not stop at the end of the workday. It is our personal passion and choice. Like so many wonderful family and corporate teams from around the country, we truly walk the walk!
As an office, we raised money in many different ways. While some staffers fundraised on their own, each department hosted a passion fundraising event. From a chili cook-off to a bake-off, from a cornhole tournament to a rock concert-themed rally, we hosted an array of competitions and activities to raise money and awareness. We had a lot of fun along the way and raised a heck of lot of money for CF, too.
And we got to walk the walk on May 11. Although it rained and rained the entire day, as the start time for our walk approached, the clouds finally parted and we ended up with a packed attendance filled with love and enthusiasm. It felt good. And besides, a little rain could never dampen our spirits.
I had the distinct pleasure of delivering opening remarks alongside our fearless leader Dr. Preston Campbell and introducing Milton Koch -- father to a child with CF and a long-time and dedicated CF champion. I told the crowd of walkers, “Almost 30 years ago, when there was less hope and little money, we started Great Strides to change all of that. Now look at what we are all doing with the money raised through this inspiring event.”
Leading the national office was an awesome responsibility -- I even got to dress up as Elton John during our Great Strides kickoff event -- for which I will be forever grateful. It truly was a gift to lead this great group of colleagues and contribute even more to the CF community.