For Brittany Smallberger, running to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on August 6 was exhilarating… but no doubt her favorite part of the day was meeting a family helped by St. Jude.
“The Johnson family met us for lunch, and they brought their miracle baby Becket, who is five months old and is now cancer-free, thanks to St. Jude. Hearing firsthand how St. Jude finds cures and saves children was so special and kind of the Johnson family to share with us,” Brittany says.
Brittany wasn’t alone in this race – she rallied a group of INB coworkers to join her for the fundraiser. Together, the group collectively ran from Springfield all the way to Peoria and raised $31,385 for the hospital!
The run was one of many races part of the 41st annual Memphis to Peoria Run. Brittany got involved years ago thanks to her parents who participated in the Memphis to Peoria run for almost 20 years. Now Brittany has been the coordinator for the Springfield to Peoria run for two years.
And it was an easy sell to get INB involved.
“I had talked to Sam Cullen and Jordyn Todd a lot about the run, and they both seemed very interested and decided to join. Then I went to the INB Running Club and shared information about St. Jude Runs, and Megan Mathis and Missy Searcy joined as well!” Brittany says. “We had a group of five including myself from INB, and a total of 19 runners on our whole team.”
Coming Together for a Worthy Cause
The total race from Springfield to Peoria is 74 miles, and Brittany ran for 15 miles of those. She was thrilled with the outcome of the entire day.
“The run couldn’t have gone any better. But the bigger win than any mile we ran was that 19 runners raised $31,385, which the best fundraising I’ve seen in seven years,” she shares.
Sam only had to look down at her arm for motivation. Coworker Gregg Formigoni, VP Mortgage Operations, had given her temporary tattoos that read “Breathe – Fear.”
“Encouraging Tattoos were a gift from Gregg to help motivate me. I have a hard time finding my breath sometimes when I run, so it was just a reminder to breathe and not let the fear sneak in,” Sam says. Sam’s daughter was also waiting to cheer her on along the route, as she celebrated her 4th birthday!
The 465-mile annual journey, along with the dozens of satellite-runs like in Springfield, has raised more than $71 million since 1982 for the St. Jude mission: Finding cures. Saving children.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since the hospital opened in 1962.
“St Jude is the best cause to support. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should have to worry about is helping their child live,” Brittany shares. “And St. Jude freely shares its research and treatments with hospitals across the world, so they are helping children everywhere.”
The INB team participating in the run:
- Brittany Smallberger, Mortgage Closer
- Samantha Patrick, Mortgage Processing Manager
- Megan Mathis, Human Resources Clerk
- Missi S Searcy, Deposit Operations Assistant Manager
- Jordyn Todd, Disclosure Desk Coordinator