On many occassions I hear and/or read about this company or that company and the ‘big bad’ machine that operates in the daily business pages. I want to share something today about a big company made up of……..well………people, many having a tie-in with diabetes, just like you and me.
Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, relatives, and/or friends that have been impacted by diabetes. They work for Walgreens in South Florida. If you have a loved one with diabetes and a cure interests you, so will this story.
This is year number three that the employees of Walgreens in South Florida, (south of Port St. Lucie to the Florida Keyes) have joined together to create the Walk with Walgreens to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). This year their combined totals will top 1 million dollars. For my loved ones and for yours.
This is not a DRI walk and Walgreens has a big presence; this is different than anything else out there. This is their walk. They organize it, they run it, they donate money to the DRI. They make the signs. They recruite their employees. They encourage families with diabetes, whether part of the Walgreens family or not, to be involved. They have 3,842 things on their plate in running their stores; yet they find the time, much of it THEIR OWN time, to make this walk a success.
Tomorrow approximatelt 8-10,000 people will be at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami and at Traditions Square in Port St. Lucie. In addition to those who will donate money, and in addition to the many wonderful family teams that will be participating; the work and the pride of the Walgreens employees to ‘get this right’ has been remarkable. I wish you could have attended the meetings or been on the countless calls for the last ten months and heard the dedication in the voices of all of those who have chipped in to make this walk successful.
We, as an organization, could have NEVER accomplished this feat alone. I know walks. I have been part of creating the biggest ones in existence for diabetes since our journey began, when Kaitlyn was diagnosed in 1992, and it is hugely labor intensive. It’s a lot of work. It’s A LOT OF WORK.
Tomorrow will be a fabulous day for people with diabetes. I have purposely not mentioned names because to do so, I know I would leave someone out, someone who was as fabulous as the next person. I do not want to do that because EVERYONE played a vital role from Walgreens, from the DRI, from families who formed teams, and from a whole list of incredible sponsors.
I need to mention one person though, he is the type of man who is the quickest on deflecting any credit to others. His name is Roy Ripak and he sits at the top of the Walgreens Corporate ladder for all of the Walgreens Stores in South Florida.
He has a business to run. He has a big business to run. Yet he finds the time to tackle this monumental job. Interesting thing about Mr. Ripak is that we are only one of many charities in the area who benefit from his nature of giving back. He is tireless in helping others.
Yet diabetes is personal to him, as it is to many others in the Walgreens world of employees, as it is to many of us. Diabetes does not care where you work or what you do; and it needs to be stopped. Now cynics can chime in and say Walgreens makes boatloads of money from people with diabetes and that is a true statement.
But I have come to know the PEOPLE at Walgreens in South Florida. I have seen them work hard, sweat, plan, organize, and even shed tears over what diabetes is about and what this Walk with Walgreens to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute has become. Walgreens is made up of people. People who care about people with diabetes; you, your kids, my kids, their associates, and all those who live with diabetes.
Tomorrow, walks will take place in two corners of South Florida; Miami and Port St. Lucie. Amazing events with fun, food, celebrities, health fairs, family teams, music, corporate teams, incredible sponsors like Neutrogena Sun Care, Listerine, Zyrtec, Pepsi, Coke, Clear Channel, Multirace, The Miami Dolphins, and so many, many more. And of course Walgreens will be there and so will the DRI. On this day we will all meet……..
……….at the corner of Happy and Healthy. Thank you Walgreens.
I am a diabetes dad.
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