My girlfriend was the picture of health. She worked out every day and ate the right things. In her mid-50’s she had a major stroke.
At first, I was mad. She had just been to the doctor for a physical checkup and was given a clean bill of health. She was far too young and her health was far too strong for her to have a stroke.
It was a long road back. She was forced to relearn simple things that we take for granted. Although she’s still partially paralyzed and unable to drive, I’ll always be grateful for one thing.
This November, seven years after her stroke, I look forward to flying down to Florida to see my friend and going on a road trip through Savannah, Charleston and other places throughout the South. I don’t know if she would be here to enjoy this trip with me if it wasn’t for the incredible work of the American Heart Association.
Each year, I participate in the Greater Mercer County Heart Walk for the American Heart Association. This year, Melissa Kidd, regional director for the AHA and organizer of the walk, encouraged me to participate in the Executive Challenge. I’m always looking for more ways to get involved, so I accepted.
Then I saw who else was involved.
Presidents of major hospitals, colleges, financial institutions… and little ol’ Ann Laurie from Time Well Spent. That was more than a little intimidating.
Each week leading up to the Heart Walk, there was an Executive Challenge, and the winner would be inducted into the Court. At the end of the challenge, an overall winner would be crowned the King or Queen of the Court. It was just a fun way to motivate and inspire people to raise money.
For example, the challenge for the first week was to design your page with a photo and story, and American Heart Association volunteers would choose the best page. The challenge for the second week was to see who could send the most emails from their fundraising page.
I won the week two challenge! How cool is that? I have to say that I got a kick out of being inducted into the Court.
The challenge for the third week was to get the most donations from your fundraising page. I won again! Double inductee into the Court. Doubly cool!
The challenge for the fourth week was to see who could raise the most money that week.
The final challenge was to see who could raise the most money overall. I won! Not bad when you consider the major companies and organizations involved, right?
I ended up raising more than anyone in the Executive Challenge, and now I’m looking forward to my official “crowning” as Queen of the Court coming up in November.
I have two reasons for sharing this story.
First, you still have time to donate. As of this writing, I’m on the doorstep of $2,000. If you can help me get over the hump, I will have more than doubled my original goal of $1,000!
I’m also number seven on the list of top fundraisers for this year, and I need you to help me crack the top five!
Donations are being accepted through October 10. Please consider donating and helping the American Heart Association reach its goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.
My second reason for sharing this story is to prove that you don’t have to be an executive of a major corporation to make a difference with these types of fundraisers. Everyone can help, and everyone needs to help if we’re going to do something about heart disease and stroke.
After all, heart disease and stroke don’t care about your job title or your salary. They don’t care about your race, gender or age. They’re equal opportunity killers.
Let’s all do our part to help as much as we can, when we can. That truly is Time Well Spent.