By Maxwell Svec, One Summit’s Manager, Strategic Programs & Events and Maria Papandreou, One Summit's Senior Manager, Development & Communications
Here at One Summit, we can hardly believe it, but the end of 2022 draws near. We’ve been reflecting on the past twelve months and are grateful for an incredible year full of rebuilding, growth, and resilience. As the world began to awaken from the pandemic shutdowns this year, we returned to what we do best in earnest, hosting programs, fundraisers, community events, and more. Let’s look back at some highlights from the past year with our OS community.
One of our biggest comebacks this year was in the form of our signature Climb for Courage (CFC) program. We hosted a CFC in April for our friends at Boston's beloved Tufts Children's Hospital (Floating) before it closed its doors and we brought back climbs to San Diego and New York City for the first time since 2019. Thanks to the support of Love Your Melon, we also held our much anticipated inaugural Climb for Courage in Virginia Beach in November, an event that had to wait almost three years because of the pandemic. Due to a Covid spike at the beginning of the year, we delayed most of our climbs until the latter part of 2022, completing three CFC and two Climb Higher programs in three months. Here are some highlights by the numbers!
This year, we held multiple community engagement events for OS community members across our markets. These events included outings to sports games, base tours, jewelry-making nights, and even a horseback riding excursion. Seeing our OS friends back out in the community, laughing, cheering, creating, and learning, was wonderful. Take a look at some of the festivities!
We continued our Stories from the Summit virtual series this year, hosting two amazing featured guests. In March, we welcomed former New England Patriot, cancer survivor, and co-founder of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, Joe Andruzzi himself. Joe shared his cancer journey and words of wisdom with our audience, weaving throughout a theme of “cherish every day.” In May, Julia Sora Wykoff joined us to tell the origin story behind her successful lip balm business, Zeal Cares. Inspired by a friend’s mom battling breast cancer and suffering from dry skin, Julia decided to help children undergoing the same chemotherapy treatments. What started out as experiments with different oils in her kitchen has grown into a successful business that includes partnerships with over 30 hospitals in 18 states. Now, for every lip balm sold, another is donated to a child or young adult with cancer. Julia graciously donated an assortment of lip balms and customized “Never Give Up” cards for our Little Warriors for several Climb for Courage events. Julia even visited the One Summit office this summer to say hello and drop off some lip balms in person!
Another new relationship for One Summit this year was with Kendra Scott and their creative arts program, Kendra Cares. The Kendra Scott team joined us at three Climb for Courage events to host their Color Bar. This custom jewelry design station allows each little warrior and mentor to create a beautiful piece of free jewelry for themselves or someone special. The Color Bars were a hit—see for yourself below! The team at Kendra Scott also hosted two in-store community events for us, one in their Lynnfield, MA, location and one in their SoHo store in NYC. The OS community was invited to the retail spaces to experience the Color Bar in-store and indulge in “sips and sweets” like cupcakes! In addition, the Kendra Scott team also created a 20% giveback opportunity for us, which raised almost $500 in two days. We look forward to a continued relationship with their fantastic team in 2023!
Although the world felt more normal this year, the pandemic showed us the value of virtual communities. Midyear, we rolled out a pilot launch of our brand-new program called The Anchor, One Summit’s private, online community. This free-to-use platform provides a secure online space for One Summit community members, including little warriors, their families, and Navy SEAL mentors. The user-friendly platform allows patient and sibling warriors to stay in touch with their mentors and creates spaces for parents and caregivers to find support amongst each other. We hope that The Anchor fosters meaningful, year-round connections and facilitates a nurturing environment for the OS community, regardless of geographical location. In the future, all Climb for Courage participants will receive an invitation to join The Anchor after the event. In early 2023, Climb for Courage participants from years past will also be invited to join the platform.
In addition to our programs, we also had a successful year of in-person fundraising events. To kick off 2022, we hosted our annual Nate WOD Challenge with CrossFit boxes across the country to raise funds in honor of Nate Hardy, a Navy SEAL, Purple Heart recipient, and hero killed in action, and his brother Josh, who lost his battle to childhood cancer. Incentives provided by RokFit, Podium Nutrition, and prizes by NOBULL, as well as Nate and Josh’s memories, drove competitors to push their limits when completing the extremely challenging WOD.
In May, students at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, raised over $10,000 for OS with their Crow Crushes CrossFit fundraiser. In the summertime, One Summit supporters participated in Golf Fights Cancer’s Million Dollar Golf Marathon, where players golfed 100 holes in just one day for a good cause!
Our Young Professionals Board (YPB) worked hard this year with two new events. In April, the San Diego regional board held a Yoga Fundraiser at Kate Sessions Park. All thoroughly enjoyed a zen afternoon in the west coast sun! In early 2022 we added our newest regional YPB in Virginia Beach. They pulled out all the stops with their Cornhole for the Kids Fundraiser held in September. The cornhole event, hosted at the Bold Mariner Brewing Company, featured a “Climb Higher” beer crafted specifically for One Summit! Good vibes, friendly competition, and shared stories made the day memorable, and raised over $3,000.
This fall, we also saw the return of our One Summit Challenge (specifically for Navy SEALs in San Diego) as well as the One Summit Civilian Challenge (nationwide) workout fundraisers to honor children impacted by cancer and raise funds for our brave little warriors.
Team One Summit runners trained and fundraised their hearts out, participating in two popular races this year. The famous Boston Marathon returned to its traditional month of April for the first time since the pandemic began. Our six runners hit the pavement for our little warriors and mentors. They were an inspiring group that included mentors, a young professional board member, OS supporters, and the mother of one of our newest little warriors. They truly conquered the 126th running of this very special race.
The Falmouth Road Race was a summertime success in August, with eleven runners raising over $18,000 and awareness for our mission. We had a few seasoned Woods Hole runners and some great new additions to the team. It was a beautiful, sunny day on the Cape; perfect weather for running and cheering on the team!
Wow, what a year! The team here at One Summit is tremendously grateful for all the people in our community who made this a year to remember. We are back and ready to continue our vital work as the calendar turns and we embark on 2023. We wish everyone in the OS community a very happy New Year. We can’t wait to see what the next twelve months have in store!