Community is at the core of Team Roswell, and maybe you’ll find it’s at the core of your workplace, too. Buffalo Rehab Group (BRG) serves as a prime example that when we come together with our colleagues, we can make a substantial difference in the mission to end cancer.
BRG’s second annual event wrapped up at the end of November 2023. Organizers say that their inaugural, one-day event in 2022 saw a lot of engagement and made a strong impact, but they wanted to make it bigger and better in 2023.
Ramping Up for 2023
Buffalo Rehab Group, a physical and occupational therapy provider with 13 locations across Western New York, aims to help community members not only during recovery from injury or illness but also in prevention.
That means providing individuals with the tools and education they need to live a healthy lifestyle.
When deciding how to ramp up their initial event, organizers
leaned into what BRG does best.
They expanded their Fall Flex event to a 30-day fitness
challenge with an in-person event at the end.
“It’s really a way to get our community together, help them to build routine, destress and reenergize during the hectic holiday season,” said Carly Kennedy, corporate wellness liaison at BRG.
Participants took part in the challenge through a newly
created wellness app, with an option to take sessions ranging from flexibility and mobility to golf and even programs for certain body regions like neck and shoulders.
Carly said, “Even though the goal was to complete 12 sessions, many actually did something every single day throughout the 30 days, which was awesome.”
Upon registration and throughout the 30 days, participants were given the opportunity to donate to the fundraiser. Coordinators planned several different reminders encouraging people to donate, including throughout the final event. They also held a raffle and offered different incentives to contribute to the cause.
The 2023 Fall Flex raised $7,000 for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Stephanie Loveless, the vice president of growth and strategy, said the extra work put into expanding the event was well worth it.
“It was finding what it is that we are strong in and we’re passionate about and then positioning it in a way that really benefits the community,” said Stephanie.
Commitment to the Cause
BRG has shown up for cancer patients continuously over the last few years. The partnership began with IceCycle, a unique fundraising event where participants cycle on the ice to raise funds for cancer research and patient care programs.
“We got involved in IceCycle a couple of years ago, and we were overwhelmed by the amount of team members who wanted to be a part of it at every level,” said Stephanie. “It really resonated for us how many people and lives are touched by cancer.”
The cause hits close to home for so many individuals, including Carly. She lost her brother to cancer.
“My brother was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma in 2004, and then he passed in 2006. He spent quite a bit of time at Roswell Park. He did two stem cell transplants there. He was a part of different trials. We always felt like family there,” Carly explained with tears in her eyes. “It was always such a supportive environment, even though you were there for a difficult time and to see someone going through something really hard. My family and I are always appreciative of everything Roswell Park did.”
Knowing the funds raised through events like Fall Flex and IceCycle are supporting patients and their families right now is what keeps BRG motivated to push forward and keep raising funds for cancer care and research.
Hosting a Team Roswell Event
Both Stephanie and Carly agree that many people want to support the mission to end cancer, but they might not know how. By holding an event at your workplace, you’re giving people an opportunity to get involved.
“My best advice would be to take the first step,” said Stephanie. “I think people would be surprised how much support and momentum will come just from people wanting to make a difference and have an impact.”
Carly added, “At the core, people do want to help others and give back. Buffalo is such a tight-knit community. When you think of Buffalo and what our community is, you do also think of Roswell Park.”
BRG plans to continue hosting an annual event or many years, and they’re already evaluating what possible changes could come for 2024.
Stephanie said, “The nature of our organization is, if we’re going to do something, we want to do it right and we want to have as big of an impact as possible.”
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