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At the beginning of this month, we had the privilege of hosting a special breakfast event at our Richmond location, where we invited friends, clients, organizations, and leaders from the neighboring area to join us. The purpose of this gathering was to kickstart the preparations for the 10th SpeakUp 5k race, scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 9th. Our guests had the opportunity to listen to Dave and Grace Gallagher, who shared their heartfelt insights about the mission behind the SpeakUp 5k, its personal significance to them, and the importance of community involvement.
The inspiration behind the SpeakUp 5k stems from Dave and Grace’s daughter, Cameron, who dealt with the challenges of depression and anxiety while growing up. Recognizing that she was not alone in her struggle, Cameron aspired to organize a 5k race in her community to raise awareness about teenage depression. She aptly named the race the SpeakUp 5k, intending to draw attention to the issue of teen depression and empower those affected to openly share their battles. Alongside planning her own 5k event, Cameron embarked on training for the Shamrock Half Marathon. Shortly after crossing the finish line on March 16, 2014, Cameron passed away suddenly due to an undiagnosed heart condition. Following her passing, Cameron’s family discovered her inspiring plans for the race she dreamed of creating. Dave and Grace made the courageous decision to honor their daughter’s dream by organizing the inaugural SpeakUp 5k. In May 2014, the launch party saw an impressive turnout of over 100,000 participants, followed by over 3,500 individuals taking part in the first official SpeakUp 5k. Since then, the SpeakUp 5k race series has experienced remarkable growth, attracting an increasing number of participants across various locations and spreading Cameron’s powerful message nationwide.
As we embark on the journey towards the 10th SpeakUp 5k, it is vital to reflect on the importance of purpose, both at an individual level and as an organization. At the tender age of 16, Cameron recognized the prevailing stigma surrounding mental health in our society and felt compelled to bring about change. Despite being told by her parents that she was too young to take on such a cause, Cameron persisted in her mission. By aligning with the SpeakUp 5k, your organization and team can carry forward Cameron’s legacy and actively contribute to driving meaningful change.
Companies that actively engage in philanthropic causes reap numerous benefits. By standing for something beyond mere profits and demonstrating support for social initiatives, businesses tend to cultivate a more positive reputation. This, in turn, attracts customers who share similar values and principles, fostering increased brand loyalty and trust. Furthermore, it fosters higher employee engagement and retention rates. When a company clearly defines its mission and displays a genuine commitment to social causes, it inspires and engages employees on a profound level. When employees feel that their work contributes to a greater purpose, it enhances their job satisfaction and fulfillment. Additionally, aligning with a cause can attract like-minded individuals who are passionate about making a positive impact, thereby elevating employee retention rates and enabling the attraction of top talent.
When your company aligns itself with the SpeakUp 5k, it becomes a catalyst for important conversations about mental health and the mission’s significance. We encourage you to check in with your coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family who may appear to be struggling or withdrawn. We often underestimate the profound impact a single message can have on someone’s life, and by seeing one person reach out it may cause others to do the same creating a ripple effect and continuing on Cameron’s mission to Speak Up.
The SpeakUp 5k will be held on Saturday, September 9th. Click here to learn more about creating a team and registering today!
Click here to hear Dave and Grace speak at our CKG Breakfast.