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Walking to raise money for diabetes

As I See It

I have been asked to chair the annual American Diabetes Association “Walk for Diabetes” this year for the Mississippi area.

Last year the walk was co-chaired by Sister M. Dorothea, president of St. Dominic Health Services and LeRoy Walker, owner of the Jackson area McDonald’s restaurants. I am honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of these two local community giants. I am very supportive of the effort and shall do the best I can to lead the charge.

Recently, I learned that a very good friend has been diagnosed with diabetes. Most of us know someone who suffers with the illness. In fact, Mississippi has the highest per capita rate of diabetes in the nation. More than 230,000 Mississipians are affected by diabetes. As many as 80,000 in our state have diabetes and don’t know it. I am pleased to help make a little difference in the fight against diabetes in Mississippi.

The walk is set for Sunday, Sept. 16 in Jackson. Last year more than 560 attended the walk. They represented over 100 different companies, church groups, civic groups and families. Their efforts raised over $41,000 that has joined the fight against diabetes. Our goal for this year is $60,000.

Here is how the deal is done. From five to 15 local leaders will be asked to serve as “industry leaders.” Each of these industry leaders will be responsible for signing-up five “recruitment leaders” from their companies or elsewhere. The recruitment leaders will then each recruit five “team captains.” Sounds like a giant pyramid scheme, but it works. The end product is hundreds of walkers who, along with the sponsors, will raise thousands and thousands of dollars for the fight against diabetes.

We are now recruiting industry leaders. Over the next week or so we will be contacting leaders and asking them to serve. Volunteers are also welcome. I hope that lots of you will answer the call to invest a little time and effort to make this year’s program successful. We need lots of people working together in order for this fundraiser to accomplish the lofty goal we have set for ourselves.

Where do the dollars go? A fair question. The majority of the funds (62%) go toward providing public information, advocacy and public awareness. A smaller slice — 17% — goes to research and the remainder goes for management and expenses of the walk. Local dollars staying in our community to help local people.

As the time for the event approaches, we will be pushing hard to build awareness, participation and support. We want and need your help.

Fast 40 nominations

The period for nominating companies for consideration in the 2001 Fast 40 program is open and time is moving on. This is an exciting program that recognizes Mississippi’s 40 fastest-growing private companies. Our partners are KPMG, LLP; the Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes law firm; and GodwinGroup. Judging is handled by KPMG and Brunini.

Nominations must be received no later than July 2, 2001 for consideration in this year’s program. Winners will be honored at a gala to be held at the Jackson Country Club Oct. 18, 2001.

To qualify for consideration, a nominee must:

• be independent and privately-held

• have enjoyed revenues of at least $1 million in 2000 and have been in

operation for at least 3 years

• have their home offices and principal place of business in Mississippi

Nomination forms are available by contacting Benee Tyler at KPMG (601) 354-3701.

Success deserves recognition and we want to honor our most successful, home-grown businesses. If you qualify, we encourage you to submit a nomination form and join our growing list of successful Fast 40 companies.

Thought for the Moment — For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. — 2 Peter 1:5

Joe D. Jones, CPA, is publisher of the Mississippi Business Journal. Contact him at cpajones@msbusiness.com.


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