Lease Crutcher Lewis was the top fundraising team for Obliteride the inaugural bike ride fundraising event recently organized by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Lewis was an early and major supporter of the event. In the end Lewis donated $126000 raised by employees partner firms friends and family. Lewis and partners also fielded the largest team with 91 riders and volunteers. Overall the event raised $1900000 — a record for a bike fundraiser benefiting a local organization in the Northwest.
In early 2013 Lewis leaders were approached by Fred Hutch to support their bold idea to hold a bike ride fundraiser to help “obliterate cancer. This was a great fit given Lewis’ bicycling culture and charitable focus on cancer. It was also a chance to support a longtime client in Fred Hutch. Lewis broad network of relationships provided a great opportunity to encourage others to participate.
Lewis immediately signed on and committed $40000 to be the Volunteer Program sponsor (this was before the additional $126000 in donations). The company helped promote the event through blog contributions signage at jobsites and contacts in the construction community. Employees were offered an additional $500 each in matching funds (beyond the standard $500 each employee can use annually) for donations to Obliteride. Lewis worked with Hornall Anderson to make a custom-designed bike jersey that sported the company logos of client and subcontractor partners who donated at certain levels. Dozens of Lewis employees volunteered from staffing the 180- 100- 50- and 25-mile courses to working at the beer gardens during the event weekend.
Several people played major roles. Project Manager Linda Helm was the team captain and day-to-day lead of the Lewis team driving participation inside and outside the company. She was happy to devote more than 200 hours. It was a pleasure not like work at all! said Linda. Senior Project Manager Patrick McQueen played a similar role particularly toward the end. Chairman Bill Lewis personally led the design of the jersey and recruited many of the partner firms. Bill noted that the ride and its fundraising goals give his employees something to bond over and a common goal outside of work. We have a strong history of participating in the community Bill said. I am always looking for opportunities that the entire organization is excited about. Once in a while something comes along and this is one of those events.
Lewis employees were enthusiastic. Justin Egge helped organize substantial involvement from the Portland office and rode in the event. He wrote to the staff Hi Team; I just wanted to reach out and let you know how proud I am to be participating with all of you in this great cause! The fundraising effort is going extremely well and I applaud you for all of your effort so far! …I personally challenge each one of you to hit the fundraising effort hard these remaining four weeks so that we OBLITERATE our goal of $48000 and reach the illustrious milestone of $50000! Who’s with me?”