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Corporations Create Rewarding Partnerships Through GREAT STRIDES

After Lemstone Books owners Jan and Vic Sneed (left) offered to help raise money for the CF Foundation, its employees, including Julie Martinez, Betsy Williams and Carol Nielson, and its customers were quick to support the cause.

With a single phone call, speech or meeting with potential CF corporate partners, dedicated Foundation volunteers are proving that just one effort can rally hundreds to join the fight against cystic fibrosis. Always looking for opportunities to raise CF awareness, volunteers have logged countless hours creating relationships with both local and national businesses across the country. Their efforts are paying off. Chapters across the nation are having great success with many corporations, who have already signed up to create GREAT STRIDES walk teams and organize office fund-raisers.

In Holmes County, Ohio, CF dad Tony Mullet aimed to increase the number of walkers participating in the Rainbow Chapter’s local GREAT STRIDES walk. In addition to his successful letter-writing campaign, Mullet launched the “Holmes County Business Challenge” and invited local businesses and vendors of his company, Dutchland Construction, to attend a luncheon. The event, covered in the local paper, Bargin Hunter, challenged companies to form walk teams and raise at least $1,000. At stake during the challenge was a full-page ad in the paper for the company that raised the most money. Mullet’s colleagues embraced the effort, making contributions and joining the walk. With 11 new corporate teams, the Holmes County GREAT STRIDES walk raised 28 percent more money than in 2005.

Pin-ups were the name of the game for Stephanie Davis, who serves on the Sacramento Chapter’s 2007 Committee and is a CF mother of 1-year-old Faith. Pursuing all possible connections to local businesses, Davis contacted grocery stores, restaurants and national retail chains to participate in the chapter’s pin-up program. As a regular customer of Lemstone Books, Davis attended a staff meeting and easily persuaded the owner and staff to become involved. During the annual anniversary sale, Lemstone Books sold pin-ups and specially made porcelain ornaments named Faith Angels, and donated a portion of their sales to the CF Foundation. Posters with “Faith’s story” adorned the walls and an informational booth was set up outdoors. In one weekend, the small bookstore raised more than $1,200.

Stephen Lee, president of Wagener-Lee, LLC, in Columbia, Md., held two corporate recruitment events at his office. Impressed by Lee’s passion for the cause, Tim Evankovich, owner of the Cleaning Authority, and John Keeney, of Keeney Financial Group, called on their employees to support the Foundation. At the Cleaning Authority, employees formed three teams, competing to raise the most money and win a paid day off. Both companies initiated online letter-writing campaigns. 

“It’s a real win-win opportunity for both the Foundation and the company. Corporations are happy to participate when they realize that it’s a fun, teambuilding activity for their employees that also benefits the community,” Lee noted. “I am committed to increasing corporate involvement by leaps and bounds to help raise money to find a cure for CF.”