For the past three years, the Farm Bureau Insurance Relay for Life team has won the “Top Team Fundraiser Overall” at the Relay for Life, the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.
Given the economic events of the past year – the financial meltdown, the stock market plunge, the shrinking 401k plans – just raising the minimum suggested amount for each team member, $100, would have been an accomplishment for this year’s Relay team.
Despite the palpable economic gloom, the team remained optimistic and resolved to move forward with its fundraising efforts. Last week, the fundraising results were announced for the 2009 Relay for Life. For the fifth consecutive year, the Farm Bureau Insurance team won the “Top Team Fundraiser Overall.” This year’s team raised $8,667.79, more money than it’s ever raised before and more than twice the amount raised by this year’s second place team.
But taking first place isn’t what motivates the team. Each team member has been touched in some way by cancer. “I lost my mother to cancer when I was two,” says team member Jamie Hess. “If I can help one person live one day longer to spend with their family, it’s worth every penny spent.”
Team co-captain Cara Dyer initially didn’t want to participate in the relay this year because of the work involved and the time it took her to recover from the all-night event. Then she thought of the Survivors Lap. “To look at those survivors… and those still living with cancer, all ages and races… That’s what motivates me. My little bit of discomfort is nothing compared to what they are going through fighting for their lives.”
Another team co-captain, Michelle Coffin, participates every year because she lost one of her best friends to cancer. “I don’t want to lose more,” she says.
Brenda Swindle, a third co-captain, has also seen first-hand too many people who have suffered from cancer, and this makes her want to “help however I can to stop the suffering.”
The credit for their fundraising success, according to the team, belongs to the agents and employees at Farm Bureau Insurance. “The fundraising at Farm Bureau Insurance shows just how much everyone feels about this cause,” says Dyer. “The Farm Bureau family is amazing and generous with their donations.”
Melinda Johnson, a fourth team co-captain, agrees. “I’m very thankful I work at a company with so many people who are willing to give their time and money.”
The 2009 Farm Bureau Insurance “Wonder Women” Team:
- Jamie Hess
- Loni Chacon
- Michelle Coffin – Team Co-Captain
- Cara Dyer – Team Co-Captain
- Marci Hamman
- Melinda Johnson – Team Co-Captain
- Lindsay Kopp
- Tiffany Lopez
- Denise McGovern
- Brock Nichols
- Linda Peterson
- Brenda Swindle – Team Co-Captain
- Tari Wells
- Jamie Wilson