Connecticut-based UTC employees joined forces July 9 at Relay For Life of East Hartford to raise funds in solidarity with colleagues such as Jeanne Caplat of Pratt & Whitney, who lost her husband to cancer last year.
“We have to do what we can to fight back,” Caplat said. A total of 424 Relayers joined together to raise an estimated $167,000. However, the fight is not over – fundraising continues across UTC through August 31.
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) signature annual fundraising event, where more than 4 million people from various countries and communities come together to support ACS programs such as Hope Lodges, volunteer rides to cancer treatment and patient and caregiver resources.
UTC has been recognized as a leading National Team Partner since its initial commitment to Relay in 2009. Since then, UTC has raised more than $2.7 million for the ACS.
More than 750 enthusiastic employee, friend and family volunteers have joined 70 UTC teams in 2016, such as Team FLP (Finance Leadership Program) – the top fundraising team for this year’s East Hartford event. Team FLP has raised more than $26,000 to date through the determination and combined efforts of their 85 participants.
The FLP – with associates around the world – leverages its national and global presence to hold fundraisers of all types. Krispy Kreme doughnut sales brought in funds from Connecticut to North Carolina and beyond. The team’s efforts continued onsite at Relay of East Hartford, where therapy dogs from Tails of Joy relished attention and adoration as the team accepted donations to pet the dogs.
Team FLP wasn’t the only team to make a significant mark against cancer. The top five East Hartford fundraising teams brought in nearly $80,000 total. Congratulations to the top teams:
2. UTAS Windsor Locks Walking Warriors
3. P&W Hot Section Engineering
4. P&W Cold Section Engineering
5. UTC Tax Department
The day began with a Survivor Luncheon, where local community member Cristin Buckley touched the lives of everyone in attendance when she spoke about her treacherous battle with cancer. At 24 years old with a seven-week-old baby, Buckley was told she had cancer. "You either choose to survive and you choose to fight, or you choose to roll over," Buckley said.
"Rolling over wasn’t even an option for me," Buckley said. Her story, as well as the stories of the other survivors in attendance, are reminders of why Relay For Life is vital in the fight against cancer.
Despite the afternoon’s threatening clouds, participants walked dozens of laps and bonded over the common purpose of celebrating survivors and their caregivers. Guests were entertained with scores of activities, such as yoga and meditation exercises led by the UTC Fitness Center.
When the sun started to set and the lights were dimmed, glowing luminaria tributes shone bright in commemoration of the many loved ones who have been touched by cancer.