Monday, October 24, 2011

Memorial Run

Jonathan doing what he loved!
The business.  That was my late husband's passion, his purpose, his life.  He started the business in 1995 and it has continued to grow each year since.  He was the heart and soul of that company.  Now he's gone, but the business goes on.  And I want to keep his memory alive in that place.  Those who knew him and worked with him probably see him in every corner of the office, hear his voice when they work, and miss him like crazy.  But with the amount of turnover we have in entry level positions, many of the staff never knew him.  So yesterday we started a new annual company event- "Run for the Boss".  It is our memorial run in Jonathan's honor.

We joined a local 5K race, and as a team honored the "boss".  We had teach shirts made that said "run for the boss" on the front and on the back said "In memory of Jon 11-24-10".  We had prizes and awards.  I set a "bounty" on myself as the boss- and gave special prizes for anyone who beats me.  I am thrilled to say that we had almost 100% participation with staff, plus wives and children joining.  We had 14 runners total! 

Staff and family ready to run the 5k!
Not only was this event a great team building experience, but we were able to make an impact in our community at several different levels.On top of supporting the good cause set forth by the race (feeding the hungry in our local community), we donated money to Teen Challenge in Jonathan's memory. Teen Challenge is an outstanding Christian residential 12 month rehab, for people of all ages who are struggling with addictions.  It is now our company charity.   It is a way that we can help others overcome the sickness that took away someone whom we all loved and admired!

I created the memorial run to honor Jonathan, but I wasn't anticipating all the benefits that came from it.  Several employees have been challenging each other for weeks over who would win.  Another employee started working out. As a company there has been general enthusiasm.  And when we got together at the park to start the race, everyone was excited.  We had wives, and daughters joining us.  We enjoyed reliving the race, sharing the funny parts, and recapping who we each beat. 

After the run, we celebrated with a pizza dinner at a local restaurant.  Prizes were given out, and stories were shared about Jonathan. I was honored to see my team members gathered together of their own free will for a good cause. I know that today we made a difference.  We touched lives we will never meet, effected destinies we will never encounter, and shared a moment of victory together!

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