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ACS and Sleep Number bring home a Gold Halo Award

​On May 15, the American Cancer Society and Sleep Number Corporation were awarded the 2024 Gold Halo Award for Best Intersectional Initiative. The Engage for Good Halo Awards are one of the highest honors in corporate social responsibility and social impact initiatives. This year, more than 120 submissions across 15 categories from some of the biggest nationally recognized brands and nonprofit partners were up for consideration.  

The Halo Award celebrates an incredible partnership with Sleep Number and our joint efforts to advance sleep-focused cancer research, cancer prevention, and patient support. What makes this honor even more special is being one of the very first winners in the category of Best Intersectional Initiative. As a brand-new category for 2024, ACS and Sleep Number are proud to set the standard for innovative partnerships that make a real impact.

Since 2020, ACS and Sleep Number have worked tirelessly to push boundaries, innovate, and grow -- from revolutionizing cancer care through sleep-focused research to supporting our Hope Lodge communities with sleep solutions. This win also marks a special moment for both Sleep Number and ACS. It's Sleep Number's first Halo award, highlighting their commitment to social impact, while ACS enjoys its first win in over a decade. 

Representatives from ACS and Sleep Number were honored to attend the Engage for Good Conference and the first-ever 'The Halos' Gala in Minneapolis. Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sleep Number, Shelley Ibach, and ACS EVP, ​North Region, Dave Benson, were on hand to accept the award, pictured above and at right.

For more information on the partnership and its impact, visit cancer.org.

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  • Fit2BeCancerFree Employee Challenge surpasses 1.2M miles logged

    Step challenge winners are announced for 2024 campaign.​

    The ACS Fit2BeCancerFree Employee Challenge concluded May 9 with more than 2.7 billion steps tracked and more than $898,000 in donations. More than 21,000 participants joined the virtual step tracking challenge this year, which was open to all companies and CEOs and encouraged employers to rally colleagues, friends, and communities to get active in support of our work to end cancer.

    Through the MoveSpring app, the employee challenge participants experienced a virtual journey that encouraged steps each day, engaged employees with ACS through motivational milestones, and helped to raise funds for our mission. Congratulations and many thanks to the 2024 challenge winners in the following categories: 

    • National Employee Challenge Winner (most distance accrued): McKesson with a total of 237,718 miles.
    • Mission Impact Winner (most dollars raised): State Compensation Insurance Fund with $100,100 raised.
    • Highest Average Participation (highest average distance per participant): Acquis Consulting, pictured at right, with an average of 6.16 miles per participant per day.

    Fit2BeCancerFree kicked off on April 18 with the 24-hour CEO challenge, followed by the three-week Employee Challenge that concluded on May 9. The final leaderboard for all participating CEOs and organizations, including Team ACS, can be found at cancer.org/fit2be.

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  • ACS and NFL Crucial Catch partnership amplified at NFL Draft in Detroit

    A week of exciting events demonstrated shared commitment to health equity.

    Since 2009, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to fight cancer and save lives through the Crucial Catch initiative, which helps more people catch cancer early, and addresses the unequal burden of cancer in under-resourced communities. 

    During the 2024 NFL Draft week in Detroit, the league and ACS collaborated on a series of events to amplify the partnership and the shared commitment to health equity.

    NFL Draft Week Pre-events

    On April 22, the NFL, Detroit Lions, American Cancer Society, Henry Ford Health, and local community health center The Wellness Plan, hosted a healing arts activity for cancer patients and mammogram recipients. Research suggests art therapy helps relieve the emotional concerns of a cancer diagnosis. The visit was meant to demonstrate the partnership commitment to health equity during Minority Health Month and highlight the importance of early detection and effective follow-up care for improving breast cancer outcomes.  Henry Ford Health and The Wellness Plan are recent recipients of an American Cancer Society Links to Care grant funded and made possible by the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative.

    On April 23, ACS team members in Southeast Michigan hosted the Game Changer panel event at the Detroit Pistons practice facility to bring together 75 influential members of the community for a closed “friend-making” event. The panel featured NFL retired players and future draftees who provided insights from their NFL Draft experiences and shared their personal connections to cancer. 

    ACS Senior Executive Director of Michigan Jenni Beamer provided insight on cancer progress and needs in the market, encouraging attendees to keep conversations going to find solutions together. As an extension of the NFL’s partnership, the panel was moderated by our NFL partner, Communications Coordinator A’maiya Allen. 

    NFL Draft Days, April 26 -27 

    The NFL leveraged its draft stage platform, in front of a record-breaking number of attendees in Detroit, to highlight the causes it supports. The league invited a mother daughter duo, both breast cancer survivors, to join the event for a truly memorable experience that included backstage access to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and one of their sports heroes, Detroit Lions running back legend Barry Sanders, both pictured at right. The survivors also had the opportunity to share their story and highlight the importance of early detection, a key component of the NFL Crucial Catch.

    On the final day of the draft festivities, ACS was proudly represented on the stage by a pediatric cancer survivor who lost his leg and went on to play college football. He had the opportunity to announce the Denver Broncos pick during round 5.

    Crucial Catch

    Since 2009, Crucial Catch has raised more than $30 million and impacted more than 1 million people in communities that need it most. Money raised through Crucial Catch supports the ACS Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program. The program promotes health equity and addresses cancer early detection disparities through community-based cancer prevention programs that increase access to necessary cancer screenings.   

     


  • Delta Jet Drag and Corporate Relay For Life raises $1.3 million

    Teams of 25 competed to pull a 255,000-pound Boeing 757 in the fastest time.

    On Friday, April 26, thousands of Delta Air Lines employees descended on Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to participate in the organization’s highly anticipated fundraising event of the year – the Delta Air Lines Jet Drag and Corporate Relay For Life.

    Now celebrating its 13th year, the Jet Drag consisted of more than 180 teams competing to see who can move a 255,000-pound Boeing 757 a total of 25 feet in the shortest amount of time. This year, more than 180 teams participated and even retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady got in on the action.

    ACS Chief Patient Officer Dr. Arif Kamal spoke at the opening ceremonies and team members from across the country, representing a broad cross-section of departments, were nominated to join the pull team this year on behalf of ACS. #TeamACSPull ranked eighth in fundraising, bringing in more than $19,000 for the mission. Congratulations to Linda Phillips, ACS accountant with the Finance & Strategic Operations team, for being the top ACS fundraiser this year!

    The day also included Delta’s corporate Relay For Life event, held at the same location, which is one of the largest corporate Relay For Life events in the U.S. This year, the Delta Jet Drag and corporate Relay For Life event raised more than $1.3 million for the American Cancer Society. Congratulations and many thanks to our friends at Delta, and all the ACS team members, who supported the event this year.

    A sample of the event media coverage includes:


  • Fit2Be Cancer Free CEO challenge winners named

    The 2024 ACS Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge is gaining momentum! CEOs and their employees are using the MoveSpring app to compete in a virtual race through May 9. More than 18,700 are registered for the three-week employee challenge.​​​ ​To kick off the three-week virtual step competition, the Fit2Be CEOs Challenge took place on April 18 and 74 registered CEOs hit the pavement to log as many steps as possible during the challenge. Collectively, the CEOs totaled an amazing 3,131,916 steps during the 24-hour window.

    Congratulations to the top three finishers, and to the CEO most active on social media, during the 24-hour CEO Challenge:

    • 1st place: Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat, pictured above, at left - 189,914 steps, which is a new record!
    • 2nd place: Juan Diddi, Bristol Myers Squibb, pictured above, top right - 161,205 steps 
    • 3rd place: Craig Robinson (COO), FlowPlay, pictured above, middle right - 115,884 steps
    • Most Socially Active: Steve O’Loughlin, LHM, pictured above, bottom right - for the fourth consecutive year!

    “I am honored to be a champion for the battle to end cancer, a cause I care deeply about,” said CEO Challenge winner Ethan Brown. “As a member of CEOs Against Cancer, it is critical to use our influence for good. Through raising funds or supporting research and awareness on diet and cancer, the entire team at Beyond Meat hopes to make a contribution to the global effort to make cancer history!”

    The employee challenge began on April 19 and will run through May 9 for anyone who is still interested in joining. To date, more than 19,000 participants have already taken more than 450 million steps and raised nearly $500,000. Visit www.cancer.org/fit2be to track the Challenge leaderboard or to donate.



  • Fit2Be Cancer Free kicks off on April 18 with 24-hour CEO challenge

    ​​ Fit2Be Cancer Free is a virtual activity challenge that rallies CEOs and employees to get active and promote cancer prevention in the workplace. Dozens of companies are ready to cheer on their CEO and other executives during the one-day CEO challenge on Thursday, April 18, that also kicks-off the three-week employee challenge that runs April 18 - May 9.

    CEOs will have a full 24 hours on April 18 to log as many steps as possible. Our own Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Bill Dahut will represent ACS in the challenge. The top three finishers and the CEO most active on social media on the day of the competition will be recognized the afternoon of April 19. You can track their progress at cancer.org/fit2be​.

    The three-week employee challenge will take participants through a virtual journey, encouraging steps each day, engaging them with ACS through motivational milestones, and raising funds for our work. The top companies will be recognized the afternoon of May 10 in the following categories:

    • 2024 National Employee Challenge Winner: for the company with the most distance accrued 
    • Mission Impact Winner: for the company with the most dollars raised 
    • Highest Average Participation for the company with the highest average distance per participants 

    Fit2Be Cancer Free has enjoyed significant growth since it was first launched and raised more than $850,000 just last year in support of the mission of ACS.

    Any organization can track the leaderboard at  cancer.org/fit2be​.​

  • Endurance athletes are ‘Crossing the Nation for Cancer Survivors’

    Distinctive run traversing the US benefits the Hope Lodge program.

    Two accomplished endurance athletes, Ramon Bermo and David Grier recently set out on a unique run across the United States with one starting on the West Coast and another on the East Coast. They aim to run a total of 3,000 miles until they meet in the center of the nation at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge center in Omaha, NE. This expedition, Crossing the Nation for Cancer Survivors, is an event meant to symbolize the cancer patient journey – from diagnosis to survivorship. 

    These DetermiNation Endurance Series athletes aim to raise $500,000 for the Hope Lodge program to recognize the 500,000 free night stays Hope Lodge communities offer to cancer patients and their families each year, saving them $50 million in out-of-pocket costs. During this eight-week journey Ramon and David each will cover on average 31 miles a day to represent the 31 Hope Lodge communities nationwide.

    ACS Director of Development, Endurance, Ramon kicked off the event on April 2 from the Hope Lodge Jerome L. Greene Family Center, in New York City, NY, pictured above, while David started his run from the San Francisco Bay area.

    Stops will include Hope Lodge communities in Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore, MD, Cleveland, OH, Salt Lake City, UT, Iowa City, IA, and Rochester, MN, and end with a celebration on or near Cancer Survivors’ Day at the Hope Lodge in Omaha.

    To amplify Crossing the Nation for Cancer Survivors, supporters are encouraged to join a virtual event and challenge themselves to reach 3.1 miles a day or 31 miles per week.   

    This endeavor is not about how fast they can go or how long it will take, rather it is a test of endurance and determination. Their goal is to bring awareness to the numerous Hope Lodges across the country and the crucial support they give to those receiving cancer treatment.

    Meet the athletes – including David’s running partner Andy Stuart – read their daily dedications to cancer survivors, track their routes, follow them on social media, sign up to join them for a few miles or join a virtual challenge, buy swag, and lend your support at https://runsignup.com/crossingthenation.


  • Doubles Dink for Cancer partnership launches pilot in Florida

    ​Pickleball fundraising program marries popular sport with cancer prevention.​​​

    The Association of Pickleball Players (APP), the American Cancer Society, and UTR Sports are teaming up to fight cancer through Doubles Dink for Cancer, a first-of-its-kind community-based fundraising program. The year-round program is designed to unite communities around the beloved sport of pickleball and in support of a single mission: to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. And 70% of proceeds from registration fees will be donated to further the American Cancer Society’s mission.

    With nearly 50 million adult Americans playing pickleball, Doubles Dink for Cancer invites players of all levels to play pickleball or organize an event to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer and raise funds to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families. Hosted on UTR Sports’ innovative software, these volunteer-led, round robin doubles tournaments can happen anytime and anywhere—from a local pickleball or tennis club, to community courts or even homemade, temporary courts lined with chalk. Events are designed to be fun and open to everyone, including the most experienced pickleball players and people picking up a paddle for the first time. Doubles Dink for Cancer also will showcase how pickleball can help reduce your risk of cancer; a healthy diet and physical activity are linked with less cancer risk. 

    The program is live in Florida, providing a pilot launch in one of the strongest pickleball communities in the world before its national roll out in summer 2024. Community members interested in planning a local event or serving as a Doubles Dink for Cancer ambassador can access resources and additional information on the national roll-out at theapp.global/doublesdinkforcancer.



  • ACS nationwide Top Performers conference energizes fundraising efforts

    Elite group of volunteers recently honored in Nashville.

    The American Cancer Society's highly anticipated Top Performers conference took place in Nashville, TN, in late February, bringing together an elite and hand-selected group from across the nation. This exclusive gathering aimed to energize, inspire, and recognize the top fundraising events and teams dedicated to the fight against cancer.

    The Top Performers group represents those who demonstrate exceptional fundraising efforts and unwavering commitment to the American Cancer Society's mission through our Determination, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Relay For Life programs.

    The weekend featured a lineup of engaging sessions, inspiring speakers, and interactive workshops designed to motivate and inspire each person to be bold in their fundraising, and in how they lead their teams and events. Among the highlights was the chance to meet and engage with ACS executive leaders and hear directly from American Cancer Society-funded cancer researchers, including Dr. Ray Blind from Vanderbilt University, pictured at right. 

    From thought-provoking discussions and idea sharing, to hands-on activities, the 2023 Top Performers group left feeling empowered to raise the bar in their efforts in the fight against cancer.

    "We are thrilled to have hosted the American Cancer Society's Top Performers meeting in Nashville," said Heather Mills, Nationwide Top Performers volunteer co-lead, pictured at right.. "This event was a testament to the incredible dedication and impact of our top fundraisers. Together, we are united in our mission to end cancer as we know it for everyone."

    Check out a complete roster of the 2023 top performing events and campaigns.


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