While growing up just outside of Detroit, Michigan, Gary Galvin had a close relationship with grandmother. She also happened to suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Even as a child, Gary could see the pain and suffering this brought on his grandmother. At the time, there just wasn’t much that could be done to counteract the effects this debilitating disease.
Fast forward 20 some odd years, when Gary had become a successful business owner an a outgoing member of the Indianapolis business community. It was then that Gary’s own mother was also diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. At first, this was terrible news, leaving Gary to think back to the effects the disease had on his grandmother and fearing that those same effects would now burden his mother as well.
After talking a little bit more with his mother and her doctor, however, Gary learned that advances in drugs and treatment methods over the previous 20 years had significantly reduced the footprint that Rheumatoid Arthritis took from people’s lives. This advancement, in large part, could be attributed to the work of the National Arthritis Foundation.
It was then that Gary decided to make a commitment to the Arthritis Foundation and went so far as to join the board for the Indianapolis Branch of the organization. As a member of the board, Gary was exposed to many of the fundraising events that the Arthritis Foundation put on each year. One new event in particular caught Gary’s eye. The Jingle Bell Run was scheduled for early December and was intended to be a fun filled, festive, 5k run/walk, full of the holiday spirit.
When the need arose for a website that would help the Arthritis Foundation market this new event, Gary was happy to donate the design and development of the website for the initial Jingle Bell Run. That initial commitment continues today. It has become a July tradition for the Arthritis Foundation staff to come to the Galvin offices for lunch, while noting what aspects of the site will be revised for that particular year’s event.
With the 2010 event raising just over $50,000 for the research and development of treatments for arthritis, the Indy Jingle Bell Run has continued to grow over the last 4 years and is now one of the largest Indianapolis Arthritis Foundation events of the year, as well as, one of the top Jingle Bell Run events for the National Arthritis Foundation. Even today, the Indy Jingle Bell Run website is the only dedicated marketing website that any regional Arthritis Foundation has and is the envy of Jingle Bell Run event coordinators nationwide.
Galvin Technologies’ commitment to the Arthritis Foundation has also continued to grow. In 2009 my own father was diagnosed with RA. I, much like Gary, hated to see a loved one be limited in the things that they enjoyed doing. As a result, my wife and I joined the event planning committee as the Logistics and Planning Coordinators for the 2010 event.
I can tell you firsthand that event is growing and the magic of the holiday season really makes it something special. There is nothing quite like hearing Christmas carols echo off the downtown Indianapolis skyline just before as the race starts, only to have them be drowned out by the ring of complimentary jingle bells that the 4,000 participants each tie to their shoes. It is that moment that makes all of the time and effort that we put towards the event so very worth it.
For more information on the Jingle Bell Run, please visit www.indyjinglebellrun.com . You can register for the event here. For more information on the Jingle Bell Run or on Galvin’s continuing efforts to enhance the Indianapolis Community, please give us a call.