Grassroots, individual fundraising and volunteering have been vital to the success of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. But corporations are also key supporters – as we continue spotlighting volunteer efforts for National Volunteer Week, let’s meet a corporate giving professional with a passion for helping kids and getting his company and colleagues on board, too.
Without the efforts of a few passionate individuals in the reinsurance industry, St. Baldrick’s may never have gotten off the ground. And Rich Manz knows this first-hand – he watched head-shaving take off in his industry and, as a director of Gen Re’s Corporate Donations program, he’s played an important role in getting his colleagues to rally around raising funds for childhood cancer research.
Rich’s passion for the cause took root when he visited the pediatric oncology unit at the Yale School of Medicine. “I saw how different treatment was for children with cancer … it struck me how much of their childhood is taken from them,” Rich said.
After Rich learned about the St. Baldrick’s event at Jim Brady’s in Manhattan, he decided he wanted to do something similar for Gen Re in Stamford, CT.
Today, Rich is a 10-time volunteer event organizer, making him one of St. Baldrick’s most prolific event organizers. After hosting a Gen Re event for several years at his company, he joined forces with other reinsurance professionals and began captaining the Team Gen Re “Rock the Bald” at Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Stamford.
Asked why he keeps supporting St. Baldrick’s year after year, Rich said he’s committed to helping “the children still battling this horrible disease.” Additionally, Rich said he feels “re-invigorated” when a new shavee tells him they’ve registered for a St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event. “When someone new is willing to sacrifice their hair or beard … that gets me motivated!”
His wife, who chose to shave her head for St. Baldrick’s after beating breast cancer not once, but twice, also inspires Rich. Like many of the children fighting cancer, his wife lost her hair during treatment. To Rich, that’s what made her decision to shave her head so powerful. “Just when all her hair had grown back, she decided to make that sacrifice for St. Baldrick’s,” Rich said. “There was not a dry eye in the place.”
Get Your Company Involved with St. Baldrick’s
Rich said he’s encouraged by the consistent support of his company, Gen Re. “It’s comforting to know that it’s not always all about the bottom line and that my fellow associates can rally around a great cause,” Rich said.
Looking back at his many years leading Gen Re in support of St. Baldrick’s, Rich said, “this will be one of my proudest accomplishments when I retire.”
If you’d like to get your company involved with St. Baldrick’s, reach out to us by email or call 626.792.8247 ext. 248. Remember, many companies also have a matching gifts program where your donations can be matched dollar for dollar.
Follow Their Lead: Volunteer with St. Baldrick’s
Join Rich in the fight against childhood cancers. Keep in mind that you can do this in any capacity you choose.
For example, you could:
- Sign up to shave your head
- Organize a head-shaving event
- Volunteer at a local head-shaving event
- Offer your talents and shave heads
- Create your own “Do What You Want” DIY fundraiser
- Involve your business or organization
- Join our advocacy movement
- Make a donation and fund research that saves kids’ lives
However, you choose to contribute, you’ll be helping in the fight against childhood cancers
Join the fight against childhood cancer.
Register. Fundraise. Show up and shave.