Ten years ago, I brought an idea to our CEO, Adam Bruckman, about how we as a company could help make a difference and be more involved in supporting our community.
This has always been an important part of our culture, and the interest from all of our employees was very high. At the time, I was an active runner and training for my first Marathon. To prepare, I participated in many local races.
Each event supported great causes and I thought, “We could do this! We could sponsor our own race and raise funds to help others in need.”
I ran the idea past Adam and his response was a quick and definitive, “YES! Go make it happen.”
From that was born The Digital Dash, our annual 5k and 1k Fun Run that supports Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Bert’s Big Adventure. Children’s is one of the top rated children’s hospitals in the country servicing not only Metro Atlanta, but the entire Southeast. Bert’s takes critically and terminally ill children on an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World.
At the inaugural race in August 2009 we had 275 runners and raised $25,000. Since then, we’ve grown to 700 runners in 2017 and have raised a total of $390,000 over the past nine years.
In addition to the Atlanta race, two other OneDigital offices in Farmington, CT and Needham, MA held their own DASH 5K for their communities.
As the event has grown, so has our involvement in new activities.For the past two years, we’ve celebrated with a Digital Dash Pep-Rally the day before the race.
We invite the kids from Bert’s Big Adventure who have chronic or terminal illnesses into our offices for lunch and activities. As employees of OneDigital, we start to build a personal connection with those amazing children and get a better understanding of how the race impacts them.
This year, we all cheered on Lily who not only completed the 5K but also placed in her age group.
Lily was born with Apert's Syndrome, causing distortions in her head and face along with webbed hands and toes. Lily’s mom said, “Due to the unique nature of the syndrome, Lily has fought her way through 15 surgeries by the age of 11. In the future, Lily will need more surgeries, but she is a warrior. I believe in miracles, and Lily is one of them. Now I see her more independent and happy and my heart beats with so much happiness. I thank God for all the blessings and all the challenges because Lily is the fruit of this crazy mix.” Lily is such an inspiration to all of us.
One of the seven principles of The OneDigital Way is: Invest time, respect and care for your co-workers, customers and community. We want to always “walk the walk” (or “run the run” in this case) and we love that our employees are so invested.