In honor of Mary Kay’s Global Month of Service, the North Central branch in Chicago was looking for an extra special project to do for Mary Kay’s 50th Anniversary. While we brainstormed ideas, tragedy struck. We heard the sad news that Jennifer Buckles, the Wellness Manager at Mary Kay had lost her battle with cancer. She had been so positive she would beat it. We were devastated. Although we would never know the hardship she endured, we knew she would want us to honor her by doing something healthy. She inspired us to host a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser.
The morning of the walk brought a beautiful blue sky to Chicago. Employees, family, friends and independent sales force members joined us to celebrate Mary Kay and all the women, past and present who have made this company great, especially Jennifer.
There was a wishing tree where people could write a note of encouragement or a prayer for someone. There was music, games, faces being painted and baked goods being sold. As an extra special tribute to say “thank you and good bye” to a lady who helped us focus on our health, a local fitness instructor led the group in warm-up stretches.
Both young and old gathered on for a one mile walk. It was heartwarming to see so many people taking the time to walk and to remember. With so many 5k races, half marathons, and full marathons going on, a one -mile walk may seem humble. But, for us, it was a magnificent and wonderful mile. As we walked this memorable mile, we could feel how each step had meaning. This one mile was 4,224 steps of health, happiness and gratitude to our friend, Jennifer.
As the last walker reached the finish line, everyone gathered for a moment of silence and then a release of bubbles and balloons. It was a beautiful site and helped us celebrate sweet, positive, motivating Jennifer.
Fundraisers always bring out the best of humanity. This event raised $1,000 for Jennifer’s family and $1,000 for The Mary Kay Foundation. But far more important than the money, is the support and love we have for each other. Here’s to good health!
Today's blog post is from Naomi Buerkle. Naomi is the Vice President and General Manager of Mary Kay’s North Central Distribution Center.
tagged: Mary Kay, Mary Kay Ash, The Mary Kay Foundation, 50th Anniversary, fundraising, volunteerism, Fund Raiser, 10K, Fun Run, 5K, tribute, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, Charity, Fitness, TMKF, Jenniffer Buckles, Charitable Walk, volunteering, fundraiser, Wellness