During its inaugural year, the SEI Cares committee participated in several events to support our house charities!
In total, the committee raised over $75,000 and donated countless volunteer hours to assist these four very important causes in 2014! Here is a recap of some of our achievements and highlights from 2014.
A total of 15 SEI employees rode in the 2014 Wheel to Survive event, an indoor cycling fundraiser that supports programs for women battling ovarian cancer. Some of the team breezed through the ride, and for some of us it was a definite challenge, but the experience was so uplifting and inspiring!
We also raised contributions for BTDF at two sample sales, one in the spring and one in the fall.
September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and the official color for ovarian cancer awareness is teal. The team helped to raise awareness by painting their toes teal and sharing pedi pics with the hashtag #SEITealToes through social media. We also participated in Ring in the Cure, an awareness campaign where the team wore flashing teal rings to encourage others to ask what they were for – a perfect opportunity to spread awareness to our community about ovarian cancer.
SEI’s CEO Michael Horowitz, aka “Ironman Mike”, competed in the Ironman Arizona: a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run. He raised several thousand dollars for his Ironman in support of the Be The Difference Foundation! Click here for more information on Mike’s Journey to the Ironman.
This was the third year that SEI employees were able to attend the A Chance to Soar Luncheon, an event that benefits Jonathan’s Place and its mission to help the abused and neglected children of North Texas. Former Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker (now a defensive end for the Denver Broncos) DeMarcus Ware spoke about the ways he’s been involved with the Jonathan’s Place organization, and keynote speaker Nia Vardalos gave a touching speech detailing her experiences fostering and adopting her daughter.
We took a group of the JP Kids to Main Event for bowling, arcade games and a bit of laser tag! The kids had a great time, and committee members Jamie and Christi managed to sneak into the giant claw machine game!
Other ways that the committee and SEI contributed were with a summer barbecue for the kids, trick or treat bags at Halloween, a clothing drive and funds from our sample sales.
We were all eager to support one of our favorite coworkers, Talor Milstein, in his Buddy Walk campaign. Talor has worked with our accounting team since 2001, and has consistently raised several thousands of dollars per year for the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas through their Buddy Walk event.
The event is a one-mile walk around Victory Plaza in Dallas and also includes live music, food trucks and fun activities such as rock climbing and bounce houses! We had a huge turnout this year of SEI employees and their family members and Talor raised over $20,000! The DSG of Dallas was founded in 1978 in support of providing accurate and current information, resources, and support for people with Down syndrome, their families and the community.
At the end of 2014, SEI Cares decided to support a fourth non-profit organization – the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance. Our photographer, Adam, has volunteered with FARA for many years now, so when it was suggested that we allocate some of our sample sale funds to them, it was a natural next-step to add them to our official group of house charities. FARA was founded in 1998 to raise research funds to find a cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia, a debilitating, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. We have the Ride Ataxia event coming up in April, and are excited to seek out other opportunities to further support FARA in 2015!
We cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for SEI Cares – stay tuned for more posts on what we’re up to!