We got a great email a few weeks ago from Stephen Lasky, Vice President of Business Planning and Analysis at Sephora. Stephen had undertaken a huge goal that would result in better health for himself and provide an inspiration to Sephora employees. Being the ‘others’ minded person that Stephen is, he wanted to tie that accomplishment to a cause … the cause of bringing clean, safe water to those without. We could try to tell Stephen’s story, but why not read it directly from Stephen himself …
“In August of 2009 after a lifetime of battling obesity, I had a moment of clarity that the time had come. At 5’5” and 251 pounds I started a journey to change my life. At that time I was taking medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and gout. In September of 2010, 13 months after I began my journey I had dropped 100 pounds and was free from all medications. It was in September 2010 that I tried for the first time in my life to run a mile without stopping. After running for 5 minutes on the treadmill I felt pretty good and was encouraged to keep going…15 minutes later I had run my first mile. One month later I decided I needed closure to the process I started a year earlier; that closure would be signing up for a ½ marathon.
I had been considering ways to raise money for the Water Project before this time, but this goal of running 13.1 miles felt like the perfect opportunity to challenge those around me to donate. I set a goal of $2,500 for myself and opened a donation page sending out a request to everyone I knew personally and at work that I thought would support my goal. Within one week I was above $2,500 and raised my goal to $5,000. Over a 12 week period from January through March I trained 5 days a week running over 200 miles during the process. As the final weeks approached I topped $5,200 in donations. The fact that so many had given so much kept me motivated; how could I not run one more mile for those in need. On March 27, 2011 I completed the Oakland Half Marathon in 2:28 minutes without walking one single step and in the process changed the lives of many who will now have water to drink.”
Stephen, we applaud you and thank all the folks who supported you, both physically through training, emotionally through encouragement, and financially through donations. Our thanks to Sephora for their matching gifts program that also made this well project at a Uganda school possible. You all are an inspiration!