Teamocil Beats Major Corporations

On September 13, 2012 by Kim Wetter

My super attractive and inspiring co-captain

Some of you may know that I participate in the AIDS Walk each year here in Seattle. My first post about was a funny post not meant to be taken seriously. I had hoped that you might be inspired to donate or join, but alas, most did not. So, here’s the serious side of things and the reason I’m involved in the Seattle AIDS Walk.

I first joined a friend’s team four years ago. Christopher told me that I just had to sign up and get involved. I invited two of my friends to join with me and together we raised some dough and we attended the walk and had a good time participating in the charity event. In fact, we had a great time. To see so many people working together to help raise money for such a worthy cause was invigorating. The electricity could be felt all around.

Before the day was over, Braxton, Hanna and I all knew we’d be coming back next year and we’d be doing more to get involved.

The following year, I asked Christopher about the Walk and he suggested that I start my own team. This seemed a daunting task but the memories of the previous year remained strong. I decided to ask Braxton to help me co-captain a team and we set to it.

2011, our team was wildly successful. We raised nearly $5,000 and had a team of 20 people. In 2012, we raised over $11,000, which is a huge, huge deal! We’re currently looking for people to join the team in 2013.

teamocil seattle aids walk 2012

Teamocil is HUGE

I’ve never been prouder to be involved in a project. We are one of the biggest teams and only four teams raised more than us in 2012. And we don’t even have a corporate sponsor! That’s right, we were 5th place for donations and we don’t even have a corporation matching our efforts. We beat out the teams for Delta airlines, Alaska airlines, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Global Health, Bank of America, Geico, Safeway, Amazon, Yelp, Urban Outfitters, and Whole Foods.

I’m so proud of the energy and effort that Braxton and my team put in each year. We are just a couple of 20-somethings, looking to make a difference in whatever way we can.

Braxton and I were even asked to give an interview about why we are involved. They chopped up our answers, but this is what we said:

What is your age? Employer and job title?

I’m 26 and work in search engine marketing. Several of our team members also work in the online / tech field. My co-caption Braxton is 23 and is a social media specialist at Sesame Communications in Pioneer Square.

Who makes up your teammates in Teamocil? Co-workers, friends, family?

Teamocil started at my old place of work, Sesame Communications. I joined my coworker Christopher’s team three years ago and brought along two friends with me. He suggested that I create my own team the following year. I no longer work for Sesame but there are seven current Sesame employees on the team, because my long time friend and co-captain Braxton Kellogg still works there, and there are three ex-sesame employees, myself included. Although it originated there, most of the team members are from our friend group.

How many years have you been involved with the Seattle AIDS Walk? Lifelong?

Braxton and I both joined another team three years ago, so this will be our third Seattle AIDS walk and year supporting Lifelong

Many individuals participate in the AIDS Walk because they have either lost a loved one to the disease or know somebody who continues to “fight the fight.” Others have no personal connection to the cause yet still are passionate about getting involved. Tell me about YOUR personal reasons for getting involved (if you are comfortable doing so, of course!)

We think everyone should care about the cure and prevention of HIV/AIDS. AIDS has caused over 30 million deaths and over 34 million people have contracted HIV. Many members of our team, myself and Braxton included, are members of the LGBT community and although it is an issue that can affect any human, I think our community is more aware. We think education about HIV/AIDS is key to it’s elimination, so we walk to inform and make this disease more visible to the public.

Why is it important for a younger generation of 20s and 30s to get involved with Lifelong?

Along the same lines as the previous answer, we don’t think people are aware that AIDS is still a huge issue. It’s drifting into a distant memory of our past but it’s still very much a problem all over the world. We may feel protected in our bubble but there’s so much more outside ourselves. Our generation is so social, and if we can rally together to spread the word, it could make a visible and profound difference.

Anything else you would like to share about your commitment to the cause, your participation in the Walk, etc?

Our passion for this Walk is apparent in that it’s simply a group of friends, who can raise a lot of money in support of HIV/AIDS research, education and prevention. We are super excited to continue to grow our team and become an even louder voice for this amazing cause.

So that’s why I do it. In all seriousness. I’d like to give a huge thank you to Braxton and the rest of our team. You guys are truly amazing.

If you’d like to join Teamocil for 2013, sign up! For anyone else, pleaseĀ donate if you can. Even $5 can go a long way.

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