Mspark has been partnering with the Dear Jack Foundation (DJF) for the past few years, with a goal of raising awareness and funds for the DJF. The DJF supports adolescents and young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer, and their annual Raise Your Voice Challenge works to raise funds supporting their programs. The associates of Mspark have been successful in raising more than $40,000 over the past two years with a $30,000 goal this year.
Last week, we held our third annual Dear Jack Fundraiser day at our home office, in Helena, Alabama, as part of the Raise Your Voice $300k Challenge. While this marked our third consecutive year we’ve joined in the Raise Your Voice Challenge (read more about last year’s events here and 2017’s events here), we made this year even bigger and better. Last week’s event even featured a visit from Andrea Schwartz, DJF Executive Director, and Andrew McMahon, DJF Founder and musician. Andrew is also a 12-year leukemia survivor, pianist, frontman, and singer-songwriter for the band Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and formerly of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate.
Our event last week offered associates opportunities to support DJF through participation in activities throughout the day for a donation to DJF. These included relays, a lip sync battle, a raffle and more. Earlier this year, Mspark hosted a DJF Bowling Tournament and Golf Scramble, both benefitting DJF, and a second DJF Day is planned in the fall featuring a silent auction and other activities.
Here are a few highlights from an incredible day of DJF support from our Mspark team:
Relay races were our first event of the day, channeling our competitive side. Fun was had by all participating and watching, but in the end, the winners were:
Anna Marie Chapman
It’s no secret around the Mspark home office that food brings us all together. We enjoyed a team lunch and some photo booth opportunities with Andrew and the Mspark team after all the relaying.
A first for Mspark, we had a lip sync battle, stirring up all kinds of creativity from teams across the company. Andrew, Andrea and Mspark Chief Executive Officer Steve Mitzel played the role of judges. We are still laughing about all the costumes and performances. It’s always fun to see a different side of your co-workers! Our winners were:
1st place: The Spice (Alex Wigfield, Angela Hundley, David Grier, Jay Nesmith, Jessica Miller, Mary Grace Staples, Sami Mendoza, Sarah Kidd, Spence Latimer and Will McInnish)
2nd place: Tone Down for What (Amber Bradshaw, Amy Owens, Beau Genelin, Callie Finney, Claire Connolly, Janet Sapp, Laura Horton, Patrick Sharpton, Rachel Shrewsbury, Rebecca Chase, Ryan Carey, Shannon Vann, Stacy Blackman and Trenaye Bailey)
3rd place: William Scott
4th place: Straight Cash Homies (Briana Smith, Mandy Roberts and Morgan Myers)
5th place: Tina and the Troublemakers (Audrey Thomas, Jessica Swindle, Meaghan Horton and Ron Sereika)
6th place: John Edwards
Last but certainly not least, with founder and musician Andrew McMahon in the building, our Mspark team enjoyed a special private concert. We had a blast singing along with Andrew and learning more about the efforts DJF is making to support adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer. It was an experience we won’t soon forget!
After the day was over, Andrew and Andrea shared their thoughts with us and we could not be more honored to play a part in supporting the foundation.
Andrew McMahon had this to say about the event, “What an incredible team you’ve got. I cannot begin to express how beautiful it was to see in person the support you have rallied for Dear Jack and the AYA patients and survivors we serve. I’m so glad I was able to be there with you all yesterday. It was a truly inspiring event to be a part of.”
And DJF Executive Director Andrea Schwartz said, “Your passion for and your support of Dear Jack and our mission means the world to us. Mspark has set the bar high for corporate involvement and we couldn’t be more grateful. Your team feels like family to us and we are honored to have you as part of the Dear Jack community. Our vision is to live in a world where cancer is no longer in our vocabulary. Until then, Mspark’s support directly provides the opportunity for the 70,000 adolescent and young adults diagnosed with cancer every year and the 600,000 survivors in the US today to gain hope, guidance, resources, and community through Dear Jack’s quality of life programs.”
It was a lot of fun for a worthy cause, and was amazing to see our team come together and go all in to support the Dear Jack Foundation. Mspark Chief Executive Officer Steve Mitzel has been a DJF board member since 2016 and is the Board Chair this year. Steve summed up the day with these thoughts, “I really cannot put into words how grateful I am to work for such an amazing company, leading people that have rallied around a passion of mine and an organization like the Dear Jack Foundation. The event and participation was simply amazing.”
More About The Dear Jack Foundation
Dear Jack Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in July 2006 by musician and leukemia survivor Andrew McMahon. Supporting the most underserved group within the cancer community — adolescents and young adults aged 15-39 — the DJF provides advocacy and funding of initiatives that target their unique set of needs and works to create more positive health outcomes and improved quality of life from diagnosis through survivorship. For more information about DJF’s work in the fight against young adult cancer, including corporate sponsorship and volunteer opportunities as well as how to donate, visit www.dearjackfoundation.org.