Salopek’s Run to Renew 10km charity run to support the Calgary Food Bank is this Saturday, and admittedly, I haven’t trained at all. For me it will likely be a gruelling run, completed in a time that won’t be announced, and I am half expecting my weimaraner Bluelle who is running with me to barf (at least I won’t be the only one). But, I am pumped!
Years ago my Partner, Janet Salopek and I talked about wanting to start a fundraising initiative that meant something to us, our company and the communities we work in that we could grow and develop along with our business. An initiative that gave back to the community and encompassed our corporate values of building relationships, teamwork, continuous improvement and balanced lifestyle. Held half way through the year, Run to Renew encourages participants to revisit resolutions made in January and get back on track working towards a healthy goal that might push them physically. The summer also coincides with a time of year when donations to the Calgary Food Bank are fewer and not at the forefront of peoples minds – the need is still strong, and funds from Run to Renew directly replenish food supplies available to Calgarians in need.
For our inaugural year, we are a small group running together – comprised of colleagues, family, friends and people from our professional network. Though our numbers are small, the impact we are making is real and valuable – not just for the Calgary Food Bank, but for each other, our business and the community. For us, why we run is clear:
We Run Because We Care – There is something in my heart that swells when I think of what $3,025 (raised to date) worth of food will mean to Calgarians who really need it. Caring about people in need is a big part of Run to Renew, but caring about ourselves and getting back on track with fitness goals heading into the summer was also a motivator for the Run. Caring about our colleauges was another big piece – we want members of our team to have time to be active, enjoy work life balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Everyone who is running with us or has donated is demonstrating that they care – thank you to our colleagues, peers, friends and family for supporting this initiative.
We Run to Cultivate Culture – Salopek’s corporate culture has a family feel, not only because my mother and I are Partners, but because all members of our team have helped to grow this business together, with many of the consultants who started with Salopek 10 years ago still working with us today. We are an active group that engage in FitBit challenges and cheer each other on through marathon training and fitness competitions. With a large portion of our work done virtually, the opportunities for us to come together are important, and while we regularly connect for coffee, after work drinks or team meetings, Run to Renew, with its focus on active lifestyle and giving back, truly encompasses the culture we try to cultivate at Salopek. To see members of our team running or supporting the Run through donations and spreading the word speaks volumes about the culture we have successfully built and actively work to maintain.
We Run to Support Calgarians – As a Calgary born and based business, we care deeply about the well-being of people who make our city so great. The past year has been very hard for Alberta – the economic downturn has left many professionals unemployed and the need for charitable donations is higher than ever with fewer people able to donate. The timing couldn’t be better to kick off our Run to Renew and make an effort to rally resources for the 170,000 Calgarians who are expected to have visited the Food Bank this year (with 43% being children last year). Our city is resilient, and we know that in coming years Calgary will rebound, but regardless of good or hard times, the Run will be held annually to provide an opportunity for our Salopek team and those who join us to give back to Calgary professionals, business owners, families, neighbors and peers who are experiencing tough times.
While I don’t expect to break any records on Saturday, I’m still very excited for Salopek’s first Run to Renew. I am proud that we have started this great initiative and excited about the potential it has to make an incredible impact on Calgarians, our team and company over the years. I can’t express how grateful I am for those who have registered or donated, and invite anyone else who is interested in coming out for some fun on Saturday to please register (it’s free) or consider donating if you are unable to attend. Raising awareness for the Calgary Food Bank and encouraging people to consider it as their charity of choice is a goal of Run to Renew, so please share the event page and help us spread the word.
Thank you for caring and helping us to support Calgarians in need. We look forward to sharing pictures of the Run to Renew with you and updates on the success of our event!