Passion and Clarity Make for This Successful Long-Running Partnership Between Hope Connections and RDB Running
By Hope Connections for Cancer Support on June 21, 2016
For eight years, Hope Connections for Cancer Support (Hope Connections) has been partnering with RDB Running, creators of unique running events. Founded by Bob Fleshner, one of Hope Connections’ founding board members, RDB Running selected Hope Connections to be the beneficiary of its first event, the American Odyssey Relay (AOR). A 200-mile relay that starts in Gettysburg, PA and ends at the Washington, DC waterfront, AOR has grown annually, along with Hope Connections involvement in this and other RDB Running events.
“I became involved with Hope Connections for Cancer Support in honor of my mother, a breast cancer survivor”, said Bob.” When I decided to leave the legal profession and pursue my passion, I created the American Odyssey Relay. Making Hope Connections the beneficiary of this relay was an easy choice and one that made my mother very happy.”
Being a very smart businessman, Bob laid out the terms of the partnership so there would be no ambiguity on what was expected from both partners. The general terms of the agreement are as follows: RDB Running donates a portion of registration fees and $75 per volunteer to Hope Connections and Hope Connections promotes the event, recruits teams to participate and staffs at least one relay transition site.
American Odyssey Relay’s first event was in April 2009 and it has become an annual event. Last year, RDB Running introduced a second event, the Rock the Creek Relay. Hope Connections is also the beneficiary of this 30-mile local event, further cementing the relationship between the two organizations.
Over time, RDB Running has donated over $25,000 to Hope Connections, as well as making us the recipient of AOR’s Spirit Award, sponsored by Glassman Wealth Services, which represents another $7,500 in contributions. RDB also encourages Hope Connections to raise funds from race participants, resulting in over $50,000 in additional contributions from individuals. In addition to these greatly needed funds, AOR and Rock the Creek build awareness of Hope Connections’ mission among thousands of runners and their fans. At the same time, Hope Connections provides important volunteer and promotional support to these logistically complex events.
“The partnership between RDB Running and Hope Connections has been beneficial for both parties,” explains Bob. “We are mutually supportive of each other’s businesses and are pleased to see that support has helped to stabilize and grow both organizations. We expect to continue this relationship for many years to come.”
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