How did you first hear about Tennessee Kids Belong?
My pastor Matt Smallbone interviewed Kristin Allender during a Sunday service at Church of the City, East Nashville in 2017.
What gave you the idea for the Laps for Lives event?
My community group was trying to figure out a way to serve the city since we were encouraged to do some kind of service project every month. Myself, Adam Tschida, and Chase Bridwell sat in my living room and brainstormed what kind of event we could pull off together. We came up with the idea to run for an hour straight as hard as we could and get people to sponsor us for every quarter mile we ran. Everything we raised would go to charity, and since we loved what TKB was doing and our church supported them, we decided to support TKB.
What is your favorite part about planning and/or doing the event?
Honestly, I have loved the excitement and joy that it brought to the TKB staff! Kristin, Carmen, Cyndi, and Hannah have all been so enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the whole process. It brought me so much joy to know it really mattered and encouraged them.
What do you think has made Laps for Lives such a successful event?
There are a number of factors at play here. I think the shock value of a bunch of bachelors trying to raise money for foster children helped, but more than that, a few things really made a huge difference:
I had a great team surrounding me each year. Deena Rizkalla, Stan Bullock, and Jim Jirjis were three key leaders that came up with phenomenal ideas.
I received a ton of support from my co-workers at QuaverEd, thanks to the leadership and kindness of Donna Mastran and Graham Hepburn. They promoted the event across the company, and a huge chunk of what we raised came from it.
The event itself is simple and easy. Find sponsors, go run for an hour, and track how far you went!
I had two previous years of experience running the event. Consistent persistence makes a huge difference.
There is more of course, but I think those are the key ingredients to the success of Laps for Lives 2021.
Why is the mission of TKB so meaningful to you?
I am fortunate to come from a wonderful, caring, and loving family. Without them, my life would not have flourished in the way that it has—not even close! It breaks my heart that children in my home state are growing up without proper support and love from a family. I want to do everything I can to help children in TN find a loving home.