Run and Remember: Corporate Challenge
Most members of our TAPS family are familiar with our Run and Remember Team, and many of our survivors are participants, running a grueling marathon or walking a 5K “race” to honor their loved ones who died in service to America. But not everyone knows about the special Corporate/Company Challenge program that TAPS instituted in 2010, three years ago.
The Corporate Challenge program was designed by Run and Remember Team Director Marie Campbell to allow companies to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by our loved ones while creating awareness and raising funds to support the TAPS mission.
One of the first participating teams in 2010 was Telos, a company that provides cybersecurity for military, intelligence, and federal agencies.
“Being a government contractor with many DoD customers, Telos employees work day in and day out with our nation’s military members,” said Renate Neely of Telos. “What greater respect could we pay them than to support their loved ones in need?”
In addition to paying respect and raising funds, Corporate Challenge team members are privileged to learn more about our fallen heroes in a personal way. They are connected to surviving families by running in memory of their loved ones.
“Having the photo (of the fallen hero) on your back is very a very powerful reminder of how precious life is,” said Kristen Kelly, who ran with Ray Group International (RGI) last year. “In my race experience, this provided the motivation to push through the pain when the race got tough. I felt proud to share such a monumental life accomplishment with my TAPS family, the TAPS community, and my coworkers.”
Companies also benefit from the challenge. By participating with TAPS Run and Remember Team, companies create an environment where employees can be part of a meaningful team while training to become more fit and healthy.
“Becoming involved with the TAPS Corporate Challenge was a fun, yet challenging, way to get involved with a charity that we all believe in,” said Kelly. “It was also a great way to build our wellness program and an opportunity for us to bond as coworkers. The whole experience has left us with many wonderful memories through our months of training together.” Since RGI was acquired recently by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the team this year will have a new name, and possibly some new runners.
After running the MCM in 2012 as part of the Corporate Challenge, Tony R. Jimenez, Executive Vice President JRC Integrated Systems, said, “At JRC, we are committed to giving back to the community. We consider it an honor to be able to run for TAPS, and I would encourage other companies to give back in any way to those who have sacrificed for our country. There is no better way than to help their families.”
JRC is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, and more than half of its employees are veterans. Yet they still feel compelled to go the extra mile to support others.
If you work for or represent a company that would like to support TAPS’ mission, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. You can choose any race in any location to launch your team. Meanwhile, see David Easley’s account of his 2010 experience running the MCM as part of the Telos Corporate Challenge Team.