This past year, I was a part of something incredible. I was a co-captain alongside Ali Bickel and Kathleen McKinnon for Salesforce’s Light the Night Tech & Products team. Our CEO, Marc Benioff, challenged our fearless International Light the Night leader, John Greene, to raise $1 million for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). If we reached that goal, Salesforce would match it. Upon that announcement, I felt excitement and also fear. How in the world would we ever raise $1 million?
I found out a few things about my coworkers. They are some of the most caring and hard-working people I have ever met. I felt so much pride and honor to work among people who tirelessly fundraised and volunteered with the hope that we will help find a cure. All of our teams across the nation held wine tasting events, trivia nights, silent auctions, countless bake sales, corn hole tournaments, wine carts, and Halloween events. People continued to fundraise with one goal… to end cancer, not someday, but today.
Two days before the San Francisco walk, we heard the news… we did it. We hit the $1 million mark! With the match, we would be donating over $2 million to help fight cancer.
On November 10, 2016 Salesforce walked at Light the Night. The buzz and energy in the pre-walk ceremony and Salesforce tent was unbelievable. It meant something more to us. That we were not only celebrating survivors and remembering loved ones who passed, but we were truly making a difference in the fight against cancer.
The night started out with a Bright Lights Ceremony in the Giant’s Dugout for individuals who raised over $1,000 — complete with Giant’s great, Rich Aurilia, in attendance. At 5pm, the pre-event ceremony started behind the Giant’s stadium where Salesforce had a tent featuring an Aloha theme. LLS organized a remembrance ceremony, Hula dancers, and both survivors and family members sharing their stories.
When the walk began, my breath was taken away. There’s no way to describe the way the Embarcadero of San Francisco looks lit up in red, yellow, and white lanterns and to hear people’s’ dreams for a better future — one without cancer. We spread hope as we walked along the Giant’s outfield and infield, down the Embarcadero, and back.
It was an honor to be a part of the team and company that raised over $2 million, but the fight against cancer isn’t over. If you are interested in donating or learning more about how LLS is finding a cure for blood cancers, please check out this link. We need everyone’s help to find a cure, not someday, but today!