By Janelle Benuska

In the ever-changing landscape of the corporate world, you have likely been hearing buzz words like “corporate social responsibility,” “employee engagement,” and “volunteer development.” Partnerships with corporations have continued to shift and grow, and more than ever are reliant on leveraging relationships to provide meaningful opportunities for involvement. What’s remained consistent is the importance and impact these partnerships have, so today’s blog spotlights two organizations that shared with us how corporate partnerships have directly affected the success of their events, and how these partnerships impact their missions overall.  

Ed McMahon, Associate Manager of MMRF Teams for Cures 5K Walk: 

Corporate teams and partnerships are important in all of our events. A perfect example of this for us at the MMRF Team for Cures program is Baxter Credit Union, a local bank in the Chicago area who have been participating in the Chicago 5K Walk/Run program for over a decade. They got involved as a team and a local sponsor because of Torrance Campbell, a Baxter Credit Union employee for almost 20 years, and a multiple myeloma patient. Torrance unfortunately passed away in October 2005, but he always sought to serve as a mentor and pillar of strength for patients and families affected by the disease. His treatment greatly benefited from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation research, and as a result the family and his place of employment remain heavily involved with the Chicago 5K Walk/Run event. Torrance’s spirit and courage inspired the creation of the Spirit of Hope Award, which is named in his honor at the Chicago race. This award has now been added to the entire 5K Program to highlight a patient. His widow, Jennifer, and their two sons attend the race and present the Spirit of Hope award and sometimes the CEO of Baxter Credit Union shows up to show their support as well. 

Tracy Cesaretti, Vice President of Events at ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer:  

At ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer, our mission is to end prostate cancer. One of the most successful ways we cultivate relationships with prostate cancer patients, survivors, and their families is through our nationwide annual Run/Walk series, which would not be possible without the valuable support of our corporate partners. Our relationships with corporations are crucial to sustaining and growing our event series and meeting the needs of patients across the nation. Beyond efforts like serving on local planning committees, supporting the series virtually through the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate partners go above and beyond to support the Run/Walk events nationally, creating local teams, and providing food for prostate cancer survivors at each event. As ZERO’s premier Run/Walk partner since day one, now more than 14 years ago, AbbVie’s partnership with ZERO has impacted the lives of numerous families across the country. AbbVie’s commitment has provided ZERO with expansion opportunities to start Run/Walk events in new locations and serve new populations as they introduce us to key decision makers in the local community. Strong relationships with corporate partners lead to deeper engagement and commitments to our cause and play an important role in helping us serve patients and the prostate cancer community each and every day. 

As you can see, the relationship between a non-profit organization and their corporate partners is truly significant, and worth the investment of time to build, foster and sustain. We are grateful to Tracy and Ed for sharing how their partners have directly affected the success of their events and their missions, and are hopeful that in today’s climate organizations and corporations will continue to work together to facilitate positive impact in our ever-changing world.  


Janelle Benuska has been with the Event 360 team in a variety of roles, currently bringing her passion for participant recruitment and support as an Account Director supporting the 5x5K FOR GOOD, Florida AIDS Walk, and AIDS Walk Atlanta. 


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