Cynthia J. Pasky
One of the secrets of our success at Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) is that we never rest on our laurels. No matter how well we do in a given effort, we always believe there are ways to improve and we seek to identify ways we can improve.
We apply that philosophy to our business activities and to our community involvement activities as well. The result is that we never know what we might accomplish next. But we know that if we keep trying, good things will happen.
One of our community service traditions at S3 is the Motor City Shakedown an annual 8k run that we have sponsored with the Downtown Runners and Walkers on Belle Isle every September for the past 14 years. S3 underwrites all the expenses for the event, which means all the entry fees and sponsorship fees that come in go directly to a designated charity. In 14 years we've raised more than $250,000.
That's good, but it seemed to us we could do better. So when the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix came back last summer, we decided it would be a great match if we could move this year's run ahead a couple of weeks and have a portion of the course cover the Grand Prix course on the island. After all, how many times do runners get to exert themselves on a course set up for auto racing?
So we approached Roger Penske and his team that runs the Belle Isle Grand Prix and pitched them on the idea. We would hold the race during Grand Prix week with all proceeds going to the 2-2-1 On The Go! program that started last October to help the homeless in Southeast Michigan get their life back on track.
2-2-2 On The Go! was initiated by the Detroit Downtown Partnership in cooperation with the United Way of Southeast Michigan. Two United Way caseworkers drive vehicles donated by Roger to survey Detroit for homeless individuals. The caseworkers conduct one-on-one interventions with individuals, assess their needs and help them take the steps they need to get their lives back on track.
After looking at our proposal, Roger and his team gave us the go ahead to hold the race Tuesday, August 26. The new Grand Prix Shakedown 8k run/walk will start at 6:20 p.m. with a 1-mile fun run starting immediately after the other runners have left the starting line. Entry fees are $15, or $20 if you want a t-shirt, and all proceeds will go to underwrite 2-2-1 On The Go!. If you'd like to become involved as a corporate sponsor, all of those funds will go directly to the homeless initiative as well.
We think the added visibility, the new time and the unique draw of a footrace on a track where cars will soon be approaching 200 miles per hour will make our 15th annual run the most successful yet. The speed will be of a whole different magnitude than will be experienced a few days later, but the effort and the cause will be just as great. And it will add another level of interest into what proved to be a tremendous weekend for Detroit last summer.
It's just another example of what can be done when you look for ways to make something that's good even better.
If you'd like more information about the Grand Prix Shakedown, call 888.738.3261 or visit www. downtownrunners.com.