DEARBORN - Each year, Ford Motor Company partners with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
to raise money and awareness toward finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes and its complications. Ford is the largest global partner of JDRF and in 1998, established the employee-driven Ford Global Walk Team, with Edsel B. Ford II as the corporate team chair. This dynamic group raises money through year-round grassroots efforts, including golf and bowling events, jeans days, paper sneaker sales, raffles, candy and nut sales and auctions.
Over the years, the team has expanded, including national partners like the UAW, Mazda and WPP. Ford
has generously supported fundraising efforts through the donation of vehicles for auction, as well as opportunities with many Ford programs, such as Ford Motorcraft and Quick Lane racing contests, Drive One and Operation Goodwill.
To date, Ford connected organizations have committed more than $35 million to the cause. No other company has made a greater investment in JDRF fundraising.
Each fall, there are two Southeastern Michigan Walks in which Ford employees participate in Warren and Ann Arbor. In 2011, facilities that fall within the Warren Walk area raised $278,820 and the Ann Arbor Walk area raised $357,518. The Ford Global Walk teams in Warren and Ann Arbor were both the top fundraising teams in those areas and achieved JDRF Diamond status for raising more than $50,000.
The Dearborn Building Challenge raised $501,761 and the SEMI Plant Challenge raised $134,577. For the first time ever, all buildings in the Dearborn Building Challenge achieved 100 percent (or more) of the goal set.
Below are testimonies from Ford employees who have been impacted through their experience with JDRF fundraising efforts:
“This year I was provided the privilege to co-lead the JDRF Fundraising Campaign at the Rawsonville Plant. Although Juvenile Diabetes does not personally affect me or my family, my involvement with JDRF has created in me a deeper respect and appreciation for those who have been directly affected by this disease. Being able to participate in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes was such a powerful event! Being surrounded by hundreds of children who live with this disease every day and then to realize what a small representation this number really is compared to the millions that are affected by this disease around the world was astonishing. I'm proud to be a part of the largest Global campaign effort for JDRF. To recognize the impact that Ford Motor Company has made to help find a cure is amazing and my hope is that I will be able to remain a part of this effort each year! This year I'm happy to report that the Rawsonville Components Plant raised over $15,000 (159 percent above their initial goal of $10,000).”
-Heather Miskerik, FPS supervisor, Rawsonville Plant
“I I have had minimal complications from the disease thanks to my awareness of the disease and the generosity of those who have donated to JDRF. I am now 41 and have two wonderful little boys. Donations make it possible for research; research helps dreams come true. My niece also has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. I want her to have the ability to follow her dreams, as I did, and more. Some diabetics haven't been as fortunate as I have, but your donations can turn that around.”
-Ann Bartos, FNA Warehouse team lead, Ford Customer Service Division
“It has been 14 years since my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Over those years we have seen such great improvements in the treatment of diabetes due to the research sponsored by JDRF. One of the great things about working for Ford is the great support that is given each year by the company, the employees and suppliers as part of the annual JDRF campaign."
-Eric Karsten, Enterprise engineer, Ford Credit
To find out how you can get involved with JDRF fundraising in your building or plant, please contact Gael Sandoval (gsandov7) or Rebecca Rudnicki (rrudnic7).
(from left) Angela Hoffman, Cathy Herc, Maddy Lassing and Marisa Hickson of Sterling Axle Plant; Wayne Conner from Van Dyke Transmission Plant; Jim Slaughter, Executive Director of the JDRF Metro Detroit Chapter; Don Smolenski, Board Member, JDRF Metro Detroit Chapter