It’s always been GEICO’s goal to be an outstanding corporate citizen, which is why we’re sponsoring the Special Olympics 5K Road Race and One Mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 28 at the GEICO office in Macon, Ga., for a 33rd consecutive year. The race will begin at 9 a.m. and entry fees are $25 and $15 for the 5K and Fun Run, respectively. All participants will receive a t-shirt and proceeds will go to the Middle Georgia Special Olympians of the Area 7 Chapter to help pay for athletes’ training, uniforms, travel accommodations, entrance fees and more. Last year’s event raised $80,000.
Sponsorship for an event like this is more than just a fundraising effort for GEICO. There’s also a feeling of goodwill that comes with helping out. For Jonathan Gibson, event co-chair and GEICO liability claims manager, and his fellow associates, it doesn’t get much better than watching the athletes in action.
“If you’ve ever been involved in the Special Olympics and you’re cheering the athletes on at one of their events, giving them a high five as they complete a track event or giving them a pat on the back after they made that basketball shot, the feeling is indescribable,” Gibson says. “Having that connection with Special Olympians changes their outlook on the world and their confidence level.”
While the goal of the road race is to help raise funds for the Area 7 Chapter, it also gives a boost to the Macon community. For instance, GEICO has worked with local running club Macon Tracks to help promote the event. The race has also created great opportunities for its participants; this past year, one of the Olympians was appointed by the governor to serve on the Georgia Council of Developmental Disabilities.
“The race alone is about 90% of [Area 7’s] total operating budget in a year,” Gibson says. “That’s one reason it’s important to us. We believe in giving our resources to the community; it gives us a lot and we owe it to the community to give back to them what we can.”
By Joe Dyton