My first involvement with the American Cancer Society (ACS) took place when they held their once annual "Lock Up" campaign. Nearly 10 years ago, I was "locked up" at the Farmington Holiday Inn (it was as close to a jail cell as possible) and had to raise money to get released.
Luckily I had some good friends and contacts and I raised more than anyone expected. And sure enough, ACS wasn't going to let this fund raiser sneak through their grasp. I got recruited.
Unlike many other charities I have been involved with, ACS runs a tight ship and takes care of everyone involved. Their full time staff actually works and our head ACS cheerleader, Voncile Brown-Miller, comes by every quarter to rally our troops.
Specifically, we raise money for breast cancer research. In the past we have even funded scientists that focus exclusively on specific lab test to help find a cure (formally called a TIF). In the 10 or so years we have been involved with ACS, we have raised more than $1.3 million.
STRIDES is a national event and we are proud to be a national sponsor. The Detroit event is coming up in October held at Belle Isle. Over the years, about 10,000 walkers show up and brave the weather. One year it snowed. One year it poured. One year the sun came out. Heck, you never know what you're going to get but in the end, everyone comes out for a reason.
It's a great event and one that inspires others to give back to ACS. The walk is only 5 miles although you can take the short cut (2 miles). But take the long way as you stroll around the perimeter of the island. You'll pass such fascinating sights like the golf course, zoo, slide, yacht club and Windsor across the river.
This Wednesday is the annual breakfast (they even have cereal and skim milk) where some 700 or so show up and get motivated to raise money. This will be a tough year no doubt. But in the end, cancer doesn't care about the economy or health care system. It lives and breathes on its own. That's why it's important to continue the fight. Just ask any survivor.