More than 250 guests, including industry professionals, their families and friends, descended on (or is it ascended to) the fabulous Stowe Mountain Resort for three days of Fireside Forums and on-slope / off-slope activities. Some 60 companies were represented at this year's FCS Race for Kids Marketing Summit. Among the highlights were the daily Fireside Forums, whose panelists delved into engaging discussions focused on Branded Content, Digital Strategy, Media Strategy, and Agency Relationships. Senior marketers interviewed one-on-one by FCS Board Directors included David May, CMO of AIG; Andy O'Rourke, CMO of Direxion, and John von Brachel, Content Marketing Executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
As the FCS' biggest charity fundraiser of the year, the event creates a unique opportunity for the FCS membership to hear directly from the leadership of the three children's charities we support through Race for Kids — as well as from some of the children themselves. Families who have been supported by Downey Side Adoption Agency and Hope & Heroes of Columbia University Medical shared their stories on stage, as did 17 year old Chloe, a wish kid supported by the Vermont chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation. [Watch a video about Chloe.]
As proud as the FCS is about raising more than $2.2 million for these charities, we know it's about more than money. Here's an excerpt from the thank you note we received from Make A Wish's CEO Jamie Hathaway after the event: "What you may not know is that Chloe for a time felt that no one could hear her voice very clearly and that it was too weak for her to do any public speaking. One of the lingering effects of her brain surgeries is the inability to swallow and that impacts her speaking. Events like yours allow us to go 'beyond the Wish' and to reinforce with these children that their illnesses do not define them, that they are bigger than the challenges ahead of them. What you saw was Chloe realizing that in real time.She was approached repeatedly by members of the FCS and was told how moved they were by her speech. This is something that will stay with her forever. Your contribution to our program continues to change lives. We are so grateful."
The FCS raises money for our Race for Kids charities throughout the year. If you're interested in helping to support them, contact FCS Board Chairman Tim Hart, who also oversees our Philanthropy Committee.