Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Giving back, being kind, helping others and generosity are all qualities that have a positive, double effect. It makes the giver and the receiver feel good. This is a win-win situation.
This year we had another opportunity to develop a win-win situation with our annual fundraising drive for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. Over 30,000 Americans have CF. When we help others who are less fortunate, we can find comfort knowing that children with this disease will live longer. Life is so precious. The donations we raised for research will no doubt contribute to eradicating this disease once and for all.
The Great Strides walk is the main vehicle for raising donations for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Last year, over 125,000 people participated in walks across the country including IST. This year, due to COVID, we had virtual walks to raise donations. We had 91 registered teams. A huge thanks to Lori Mitchum, Vice President of Administration, who does an amazing job every year in orchestrating this annual campaign.
Our Top Five Fundraisers this year are Sydney Ayers (Atlanta, GA) who raised $515, Chimeco Biles (Augusta, GA) who raised $635, Stuart Schwartz (Monroe, CT) who raised $725, Joe Turner (Boston, MA) who raised $1,050 and Dale McKee (Atlanta, GA) who raised $1,600! The Top Five get to choose one of four prizes including an iPad, Beats Wireless Headphones, a Playstation 4 and a $300 Amex gift card, plus they each get 2 extra days of PTO! Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to all of the teams who helped raise over $23,000 this year!
I do not doubt that someday we will find a cure for this disease and many other diseases that exist. Approximately 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. More than 45% of the CF population is age 18 or older. We have conquered smallpox, malaria, diphtheria, and typhoid fever. We will also conquer cystic fibrosis. Somebody once said, “The sun never quits shining. Sometimes, clouds just get in the way.” So let’s keep the sun shining until we find a cure!
While we had a huge success in fundraising for CF, we also had a huge success in celebrating FunDay at IST! FunDay at IST is held around Halloween every year for our employees to compete for best costumes, photos and demonstrating the most fun! This year however, FunDay was transformed into FunWeek!
The various videos and the incredible creativity made it quite memorable this year. Our team at Fowler White Burnett won the $500 prize for the most fun, smiles, and creativity prize. It included a Powerpoint and a dancing video! The $500 Best Costume prize when to our team at Falbo, Levy & Moresi in Sacramento. They created a fabulous video and had a great theme focusing on Mr. Empowerment and AWESOME group costumes. The $500 prize for Best Photo went to our team at Nissan in Franklin, TN. They had an impressive Mr. E and their Scream Team was hilarious!
Fun is a big part of the success formula at IST. We work hard and play hard. Thank you for all that you do and especially for your enormous generosity.