A great idea just waiting to happen – has happened!
Cotton & Company, an Alexandria, VA-based public accounting firm, has a strong history of charitable giving and supporting the local community. They also have a number of staff members who enjoy participating in firm-sponsored fitness activities. How, the staff wondered, could these be further developed? And what could management do to help them? That’s when company partner Alan Rosenthal offered a solution: combine both by participating in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes!
Alan, who is preparing for his seventh Ride to Cure, gave a presentation at a staff meeting about the Ride program and what JDRF means to him. And from that grew a corporate commitment to support their colleague – and first-time JDRF rider – Brad Biondi, as he trains to participate in the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Saratoga Springs, NY this September.
It was Alan’s personal connection to JDRF that helped bring about his firm’s interest in the Ride. After their son Jason was diagnosed at age 15 in 2003, Alan and his wife, Karen, found support from JDRF for their family. Karen soon volunteered with the Capital Chapter and eventually served as a board member and treasurer. Her participation encouraged Alan to get involved in the Ride.
“Riding was a lot of fun, even when I struggled a little my first time out,” he says. “Our coach, James Grosser (whose son is T1D) advised me on the best bike and training methods, and I was hooked.” It’s become a family affair. “Karen has now completed two rides and our daughter Lindsay will participate in her second ride this year.”
Brad, who is a senior manager at Cotton & Company, was moved to participate when he heard Alan discuss the Ride and his family’s personal fight against T1D. “I felt inspired listening to Alan speak about the important work JDRF is doing and had already done for him and his family,” he says. “His portrayal of those in the JDRF community was much like that of a family, and I was touched.”
The Ride, which has raised over $47 million to date for T1D research, gives cyclists of all skill levels the opportunity to help support breakthroughs that transform the lives of people with T1D. This year there will be six destination JDRF Rides across the country, a truly unforgettable event for the participants, who cycle up to 100 miles in a single day to help raise funds towards a cure.
When Brad decided to train, his colleagues were quick to support him. Cotton & Company’s giving committee has organized fundraising events and social gatherings to lend their support. The company has already raised over $1,100.00 for Brad. “With their help,” he says, “I’m already halfway to my fundraising goal and have had flexibility to get out on the bike to train for this great cause.”
Alan’s involvement with JDRF extends beyond his commitment to the Ride. He’s also serving as a board member and treasurer, following in Karen’s steps. And he’s delighted to have Cotton & Company support the chapter’s Ride team. “Tapping your network of friends and family is important,” Alan says of his own fundraising efforts. “Don’t feel guilty to ask, it doesn’t hurt!”
To learn more about riding and opportunities for corporate support, contact JDRF Development Manager Emily Boynton at – firstname.lastname@example.org or 202. 465.4118.