INDIANAPOLIS (November 26, 2007) — At last month’s two-day Hilly Hundred biking event in Southern Indiana, a team of 20 cyclists from Klipsch, a locally-based speaker company, proudly pedaled 100 miles in support of their health and the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund (ICWF), a not-for-profit organization that grants wishes to Indiana children with life-threatening illnesses.
Through the generosity of its employees and outside sponsors, including Five Seasons Sports Club, Klipsch raised $6,300 for ICWF. More importantly, a 15-year-old girl with chronic and severe asthma will soon be traveling with her family to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Mike Klipsch, president of Klipsch, along with ProMotion Fitness, an outside firm that manages the Klipsch wellness program, spearheaded the ICWF fund-raising efforts.
According to Mike Klipsch, Klipsch instituted its employee wellness program four years ago, and when preparing its fiscal year 2008 health plan, he decided to merge the company’s fitness and charitable goals, resulting in the Klipsch/ICWF Hilly Hundred Challenge.
“I wanted to put a fresh ‘spin’ on fitness, fundraising and fellowship, especially since several Klipsch employees, including myself, are avid cyclists,” says Mr. Klipsch. “My goal for the Hilly Hundred Challenge was two-fold. Not only did it benefit a worthy cause and get us out in the community, it was a fun way to promote employee health.”
According to 56-year-old Gary Westfall, a cost accountant for Klipsch, the company wellness program and Hilly Hundred changed his life. After partaking in a Klipsch-sponsored health assessment four years ago, he received some unfavorable results, prompting him to get a physical. Much to his surprise, Gary discovered he was a diabetic and showed signs of once having a heart attack.
“I immediately changed my lifestyle,” says Westfall. “Today, through a healthy diet and exercise regime, I’ve lost 47 pounds and am no longer a diabetic. It took me a year to train for the Hilly, but it was well worth it as I helped make a child happy and benefited my health. In fact, participating in the event was one of the better things I’ve done in my life.”
Every Klipsch employee who participated in the Hilly, logged over 50 hours of cardio with ProMotion and raised $100 for ICWF, received a free Klipsch jersey and pair of biking shorts. Klipsch ordered additional biking gear to sell on its web site with all the proceeds going to ICWF.
For employees who could not participate in the Hilly, but still wanted to help out, Klipsch hosted a special wear-jeans-to-work day that raised $455. Each employee had to donate $5 to ICWF in order to dress casual.
According to Terry Ceaser-Hudson, executive director of the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, an average wish costs $5,500. Since its founding in 1984, the organization has made nearly 1,700 dreams come true. This year alone, ICWF will have granted 130 kids between the ages of three and 18 their wishes.
“Klipsch has been a great partner and we appreciate their dedication to this event,” says Ceaser-Hudson. “Their employees are driven and devoted and most importantly, they understand the importance of granting a wish for an Indiana child.”
About Indiana Children’s Wish Fund
Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, a 501C-3 not-for-profit organization, grants wishes to Indiana children, ages 3-18, who suffer from a life-threatening illness. Wishes range from trips to Disney, meeting celebrities, shopping sprees and much more. An average wish costs $5,500 and funding for wishes is made possible through the support of corporate donation, individuals and fundraising events. To date, the organization has granted nearly 1,700 wishes for Indiana children. For more information regarding Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, go to: www.indianachildrenswishfund.org