December 2012) — We love Walgreens! And it’s not just because it’s our favorite neighborhood stop for prescriptions, photos and a whole lot more. It’s not simply that the company is a trusted partner of the DRI Foundation that, in the past three years, has helped raise in excess of $750,000 for our cure-focused work – good reasons, yes…but that’s not it.
It’s about people. We love the people at Walgreens who have personally joined with us to fight diabetes with everything they’ve got. It’s Roy Ripak, market vice president, whose hands-on leadership approach has ignited a movement throughout stores in the state of Florida and beyond. It’s Georgia Lehoczky, market pharmacy director, whose passion and enthusiasm incites action in their upper management team. It’s store managers like Victor Lehoczky, Tom Lehoczky, Clint Smethurst, Dan Espinosa and Sal Sastre, plus service clerks, pharmacy staff and photo techs, who mirror that same dedication and drive.
These are the people who organize the Walk with Walgreens Family Fun Day & Health Fair in support of the DRI – even though they work long hours running a cadre of 24-hour stores; plus they have personal lives, families, hobbies and dreams. They devote long hours, afterhours, signing on sponsors, getting vendors, securing entertainment, locating venues, and so on; and they do it for one reason. Just like you – they want a cure for diabetes. And just like us, they’re “in it to end it,” as DRIF Vice President Tom Karlya would say!
What’s most exciting is that the third annual event, which is slated for Saturday, April 20, 2013, is going to be bigger and better than ever! They’re going so big that the parks that have hosted the events in the past just won’t cut it. The new location is Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, home of the Miami Dolphins – so cool! Think balloons, face-painting, family activities, heart-thumping music, free giveaways, refreshments, health booths and more…plus the camaraderie of being part of a community-wide effort. For those a little farther north, there will be a simultaneous event in Port St. Lucie at Tradition Square.
Do you love Walgreens as much as we do? Then, get involved! Organize a family or office team and join us at the walk. Last year, – families like Tacher, Ferris, Greenwald and Schechter helped raise thousands of dollars. They wore group T-shirts to set themselves apart from the crowd, held up signs and pictures of the person with diabetes that they were walking for, and made this Walgreens-organized event a “DRI Family” event. If you’re not there, you’re missing! Can we count on you? Let us know by emailing Nicole Otto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are so excited about this year’s Walk with Walgreens,” said Jenn Tacher, who has organized Team Jace for the past three years in honor of her son who has type 1 diabetes. “DRI scientists are doing everything to find a cure for Jace. So, I’m doing my part by helping to raise money so they have the resources they need to make that happen sooner. I encourage everyone to come out to the walk to support this effort.”