New friends, rolling exercise: Dan Kirkland reports on a two-day ride for MS – complete with unicyclist

Dan Kirkland, NM Atlanta tech support

Dan Kirkland, Atlanta tech support, at the start of the MS ride

Blogger Dan Kirkland is a three-year veteran of the Ipswitch Atlanta office, where he is a senior support engineer.

By Dan Kirkland

I’m not a person that will exercise just for the sake of exercising; I need some purpose or goal other than trying to get in shape.  Bike MS gave me a great reason to get on my bike and ride over the rolling hills of Central Georgia.

The “Bike for MS” is a nationwide fund raising event for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The Ipswitch iCare program contributed $250 as a sponsor of my ride. I have registered for next year’s ride, so I will begin a new fund-raising campaign soon.  During the two-day event Sept. 16-17, over 1,800 riders raised over $1 million to help find an MS cure.  Many of the riders sported high-end road bikes, a few recumbent bikes, a couple of hand powered trikes and even a unicyclist.


Steve Staden joins bike run that nets $50K toward healthy food for needy families

More than 200 needy families in southeast-central Wisconsin, two-thirds of them with children, will have an easier time affording healthy, locally grown food as a result of $50,000 raised in a weekend “Bike the Barns” bicycle event which included rider Steve Staden, Ipswitch R&D development manager in the Madison office.

Madison-area CSA Coalition logoStaden said he and his girlfriend  joined 570 bicyclers who  rode either 26 miles (“radish route”) or 63 miles (“rutabaga route”)  in rain and 50-degree temperatures around the rolling plains of Madison, Wis., to benefit the Madison Area CSA Coalition. “CSA” stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” and in this case it applies to a 20-year-old non-profit association of 50 food-growing farms within about a 100-mile radius of Madison.

Steve Staden gearing up for "Bike the Barns" on Sept. 18

Steve Staden gearing up for "Bike the Barns"

Despite the rain, the $50,000 was “more than we have ever raised before in a single bike event,” said Gini Knight, community-program manager for the CSA Coalition. They’ll use proceeds from Sunday’s ride to provide 50-percent subsidies to the 200 needy families who purchase an annual family “share” of food. That would otherwise cost them $570 for 20 weeks of fresh produce – in quantities sufficient to feed a family of four.

To fortify the bicycle riders along the rolling route pit stops were at participating farms with names like Wholesome Harvest and Sprouting Acres. They included – all locally sourced – a breakfast of yogurt waffle cups with fruit and  lunches of either roast beef or veggie sandwiches, bean salad, green salad and homemade ice-cream sandwiches. Menu for  the post-ride after party? Tacos, coleslaw, root-beer floats and beer from a local brewery.

Staden’s registration fee and contribution for the ride will be matched by Ipswitch’s iCare program.  He’s still taking friends-and-family donations at his pledge web page. His next charity ride is Oct. 1 to benefit 12 health-related services via Tomorrow’s Hope.


Madison’s Jami Noble among 1,500 raising $430,000 for juvenile diabetes research

Baylee Hale with mascot and friend

Baylee Hale, right, with Madison-Area Technical College mascot (center) and a friend (left)

MADISON, Wis. — Ipswitch Inc. was represented by Madison, Wis., office manager Jami Noble on Sunday, Sept. 18 as more than $430,000 was raised in a three-kilometer family walkathon to benefit juvenile diabetes research.

The “Walk to Cure Diabetes,” in Madison’s Warner Park drew nearly 1,500 people despite rain, said Jamie Weissburg, executive director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation chapter for western Wisconsin.

Noble joined a 35-member, blue-shirted volunteer team calling themselves “Baylee’s Possee,” (see photo) named for eighth-grader Baylee Hale (shown in the photo to the right), daughter of one of Noble’s friends, who participated.

“It was a great turnout,” said Noble.  “Nobody expected to see so many people.”  Among participants were individuals dressed as the Klement’s “racing sausages,” and “Bucky Badger.”

Noble’s personal donation will be matched by Ipswitch iCare.

Ipswitch iCare team helps Room To Grow with “seasonal switch” as 20-hour challenge gets underway

Ipswitch volunteers at Room To Grow

Ipswitch volunteers help with "seasonal switch"

Volunteers from Ipswitch, Inc.  took time out of the office this week to help Room to Grow with its “seasonal switch.”

Boston-based Room to Grow’s innovative program provides parents raising babies in poverty with one-on-one parenting support and essential baby items throughout their child’s critical first three years of life.  During Room to Grow’s bi-annual Seasonal Switch more than 100 volunteers from different corporate groups lent a helping hand to pack up summer gear for storage, and replace it with winter wear to serve more than 300 babies and their families.

Ipswitch, Inc.’s Network Management Division is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the company with a new community service program called “Twenty4Twenty.” The goal of the program is for every Ipswitch Network Management employee to complete 20 hours of community service during the next year with a charitable organization of their choice. Room to Grow was one of the first beneficiaries of this service program.

(Thanks to Elizabeth Chernack of RoomToGrow for the photo) 

Ipswitch volunteers help feed needy families in 9-11 day of service

Apply decals

Applying decals

BOSTON — Some 40 Ipswitch Inc. employees were among those volunteering to join a Red Sox-affiliated foundation in giving up to 200 needy Boston children and family members a hearty lunch and a much-needed chance to socialize. The Foundation To Be Named Later (FTBNL), the Red Sox affiliate, organized the event as part of a national day of service to mark the 9-11 World Trade Center terrorist tragedy.

For the Saturday, Sept. 10 luncheon, FTBNL reached out to a charity which helps infants in poverty — Room To Grow — to help organize and support the luncheon at the Bank of America Pavilion at the Waterfront Seaport in South Boston.  Other beneficiaries and invitees to the luncheon were coming from the West End House Boys and Girls Club and Horizons for Homeless Children. Six Boston-area restaurants were donating nourishing food and catering the event, along with water and juices donated by Nestle.

Parents raising babies in poverty face many challenges including isolation and lack of resources, say organizers of the event. A special social gathering over lunch can provide meaningful social connections and much-needed respite.

Some of the Ipswitch volunteers

Some of the Ipswitch volunteers

FTBNL is an Ipswitch iCare partner.  The Ipswitch volunteers are helping serve lunch, and to entertain the infants and families through things like face painting, balloon animals and music.  Other Ipswitch team members not attending donated such items as toys, feeding and toddler supplies, clothes, furniture and books.

(Click on additional photos courtesy of Ennio Carboni) :