City Electric Supply Hosts First Spartan Race Fundraiser for Make-A-Wish®

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City Electric Supply (CES) recently hosted their first Spartan Race fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, where nearly $65,000 was raised for Make-A-Wish® benefitting children with critical illnesses.

CES National Solutions division planned the event, and the company committed to matching the earnings raised during the event for Make-A-Wish®, leading to a total donation of nearly $65,000. Several sponsors, including Klein Tools, helped make the event possible, strengthening the bond between CES and their partners. 

Turning an Idea into Reality

It all started with an idea at a team dinner when CES Vice President of Operations Gary Smith decided it was time to find a new exciting way to fundraise for those in need. 

“We thought it would be fun and challenging to do something different,” said Smith. “I had this epiphany of competing in a Spartan Race, and the team was excited about it.” 

“What started as a dinner amongst colleagues turned into something much bigger,” said Social Impact Manager Karen Gray. “The National Solutions division discovered a clever way to raise funds for Make-A-Wish and strengthen team relationships that will last a lifetime.”

Regional Sales Manager Amber Headley, who was on board from the beginning, spearheaded the event. The team decided it should be in a desirable location, which led to the selection of the coastal town of Boca Raton, Florida. 

After that, it was figuring out who was interested in participating. Twenty-four CES members signed up for the event, plus another 20 people showed up to support. “Even people who thought they weren’t athletic enough wanted to do it for the cause,” said Headley. Some CES team members and their spouses even lost up to 20 pounds to prepare for the event. 

Next was raising the money to make it happen. CES created different levels of sponsorship with varying benefits. Overall, the planning took less than six months from that initial dinner conversation in October 2022 until everyone crossed the finish line on April 22, 2023. 

“It starts with an idea, and if you don’t try, you won’t get there,” Headley said.

Choosing Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish is a national corporate partner of CES, so it was an easy decision to choose the foundation to donate to.“Being able to touch people’s lives through this is a great feeling,” said Smith. 

“It’s always inspiring to see people rise to a challenge in service of a worthy cause like Make-A-Wish,” said Jared Perry, Chief Revenue Officer at Make-A-Wish America. “We know that wishes have the ability to improve the emotional and physical health of children with critical illnesses, but they wouldn’t be possible without community supporters like CES and its employees.” 

“The families and children are going through so much, so if you can give them something to look forward to, it’s worth it all,” said Headley.

Teamwork at the Spartan Race

The Spartan Race, which lasted about two hours, was more than just a fundraising event. It also helped with team building. “It built a different level of trust,” said Headley. 

“It was very much of a bonding experience,” said Smith. “Before the race, during the race, and definitely after the race, seeing the team members help each other go through these obstacles physically and from a motivational point of view.” 

Five teams, made up of four to five participants of varying ages and abilities, had a team leader to ensure everyone could lift each other up and cross the finish line together.

Some doubted themselves leading up to the main event, but everyone who started the race finished the race. “No one was left behind,” said Headley. 

Plans for Future Fundraising

“Leading up to the race, a lot of people, including myself, were nervous,” said Smith. “But after everyone did it, they are ready to do it again!” 

Not only are the CES members who raced this year ready for next year, but several others are ready to join a team next time. Smith hopes to take the next Spartan Race to the next level to increase participation and raise even more money. 

“I hope this inspires others to find unique methods to get involved with Make-A-Wish through activities they are passionate about,” said Karen. “CES Cares wants to thank the National Solutions division for being torchbearers leading by example and finding a new and different avenue to raise funds.” 

“Next year, we are going to go even harder,” said Smith. 

CES looks forward to making the next Spartan Race even more successful and continuing to give back to Make-A-Wish and other charities across the country. 

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