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Cindi Bigelow Reflects on Corporate Responsibility and the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge in Huffington Post

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For Bigelow Tea CEO Cindi Bigelow, being a corporate leader goes far beyond her office door. In a new article on the Huffington Post, Cindi shares her views on what she calls “corporate responsibility” and how thinking about this responsibility to the community led Bigelow Tea to start the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge.

More than 25 years ago, the teenage son of a long-time, dedicated Bigelow Tea employee passed away. “I knew as a company we had to do something that would honor his son’s memory,” Cindi says in the article. After considering many options, the company decided to start a road race, the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge. Fifty people ran in the first race, and $3,000 was raised to create a scholarship in David’s name.

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Over the years, this event has evolved to attract thousands of runners and to aid many notable nonprofits in Connecticut. On Sunday, September 29th, Bigelow Tea will hold its 26th race in Southport, Connecticut. Funds from this year’s event will go to 17 charities that help the homeless, hungry and those at-risk in our community. There will be three athletic events taking place: a 5K Road Race, a 2-mile Fitness Walk and Kids’ Fun Race.

We encourage you to join Bigelow Tea and register for your spot in the race. We all have a community responsibility to help others … and this is a wonderful, meaningful way to do so.

 

Join The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge on September 29th

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Are you up for a fun and rewarding challenge? Bigelow Tea hopes so, and is encouraging runners and walkers of all levels to sign up for our 26th annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, which will take place soon: Sunday, September 29th in Southport, Connecticut. While you’re tying up your laces, here’s a bit more about our charitable event.

The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge encourages families and friends to enjoy a wonderful day of outdoor exercise and community spirit! Runners can sign up for the 5K Road Race with a route passing by Southport Harbor and through a beautiful historic region. Prefer to go at your own pace? Register for a 2-mile, non-competitive Fitness Walk. Children can also join in the day’s activities with our Kids’ Fun Run, featuring a 100-yard scamper, a 1/2-mile jog and a mile-long run.

Moreover, no matter what shape you’re in, there’s a tea-rrific reason for getting involved in our challenge: Proceeds from this event will go to nonprofit organizations in Fairfield County that directly serve those in need. They include The Center for Women and FamiliesConnecticut Food Bank, and Operation Hope of Fairfield. Together we will make strides in supporting their missions.

Both the 5K Road Race and 2-mile Fitness Walk will start at 10 a.m. from the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club. The Kids’ Fun Run steps off at 9 a.m. at Wakeman’s Athletic Field. Complimentary food and beverages and T-shirts will be given out. Participants will also be eligible to win great prizes including free Bigelow Teas.

To register for the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, please visit this link. See you there!

 

26th Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Is Just Around the Corner!

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It’s coming next month: The 26th Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge! We are more excited than ever as we ramp up for the 2013 road race, fitness walk and kids fun runs. The first Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, over a quarter century ago, attracted 50 participants and raised a few thousand dollars … today in our 26th year, Bigelow Tea is proud that the Challenge’s goal is over $100,000!

The event’s proceeds will support charitable organizations in our local communities including the Fairfield Senior Center, the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club and the Connecticut Food BankIn total, the Challenge supports seventeen non-profit organizations in the greater Bridgeport, CT area that provide shelter, food, educational services, counseling and crisis management, after-school tutoring and recreational programs. Supporting our community is a major part of who we are and what we stand for at Bigelow Tea.

The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge’s 25th anniversary last year was phenomenal, attracting nearly 1,200 people. This year we’re expecting even greater participation and support. In addition to the race, walk and kids’ run, there will be food and T-shirts and plenty of spirited fun. So whether you’re a participant or a spectator, it’s truly a family affair, and a great way to help give back to the community!

We hope you make plans to join us in Southport, CT on Sunday, September 29th!  For the course map and to register online, click here. Then it’s time to start training: and remember, include plenty of Bigelow Tea in your hydration regimen!

 

25 Years To Celebrate With The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge

The 25th annual Bigelow Tea Community was held this past Sunday at Wakeman’s Boys and Girls Club in Southport.

For a few days before, the weather was looking very unfriendly. The preregistration numbers were slightly down and I was uncertain as to what would be the outcome of this day that has been the focus of a lot of people’s efforts in this company for almost a year! So as it got closer, I just kept my fingers crossed. Well, as fate would have it, that morning turned out to be a runner’s dream…little overcast, not too hot but no chance of rain. As the day progressed, the sun kept shining down on us!

The numbers dramatically moved from “a little light” a few days before to our best race ever.

The money raised was the largest amount ever!

And the community support was clearly the most ever.

We had two outstanding proclamations given to us both claiming this past Sunday as the Bigelow Community Challenge Day. Both the city of Bridgeport (presented by Mayor Finch of Bridgeport) and also for the state (sent to us from Governor Malloy) each gave us a proclamation. We had all walks of life there, spanning many generations. We even had a dog in the race wearing one of our T-Shirts. The comments from the participants when we finished the event will linger in my mind for a long time…people in our community just love this special event.  The race committee was proud, the Mayor who read the proclamation was proud, the members of our community that participated were proud and so was I.

A reporter asked me that day, “Did you ever imagine this event would grow to the size it is today?”

I thought about it for a while then turned to him and said, “You know, when we started this race 25 years ago, we just wanted to do something for the community. We raised $3000 and had 50 participants, mostly from our company. And from there, we just wanted to continue to do good work. So that has been our focus, how can we do it better each year? What more can we do to make this event special? And it was in pursuing those answers that this race continued to grow. That philosophy has served me well my entire life, just do the right thing and good things will follow.”

The reporter nodded his head and smiled. What more can I say?

Cindi Bigelow
President

25th Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Sponsor Party

Wow an amazing evening!  A couple of nights ago we had our 25th Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Sponsor Party where close to twenty of our sponsors and nine of the charities we support attended. It was two beautiful hours together honoring the great work that the charities do as well as the wonderful generosity of our sponsors.

What really struck me during the event was how blessed I am to be able to do what all of us at Bigelow love doing and that is giving back. I have an amazing race committee, extremely supportive sponsors and truly appreciative nonprofits, a real trifecta.

The 5k Road Race, 2-Mile Fitness Walk and Kids’ Fun Run is going to be this Sunday, rain or shine.  Whatever the weather, in my opinion the 25th annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge is already a huge success just based on my experiences at the sponsor party. I really can’t thank all the people enough in my life that make this event happen, I really am lucky, wow!

To get a glimpse of what I am talking about for the actual event, check out this video and enjoy!

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Cindi Bigelow

 

The 25th Anniversary Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Takes Place This Sunday!

This coming Sunday, September 30thBigelow Tea is hosting its 25th Anniversary Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, the annual 5K Road Race, a non-competitive Fitness Walk and Kids’ Fun Run that’s fun for the whole family! We hope you’ll join the more than 1,000 runners and walkers to have fun and to help raise $100k –100% of which will go to 16 local charities, because together we make a difference! We’re so proud of the quarter century of smiles that the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge has provided for the people in the neighborhoods where we live and work.

When it comes to community involvement, the Bigelow family and Bigelow Tea employees keep very busy, from helping build homes for families in need, to book drives, to school mentoring programs. Our commitment to supporting worthy causes is all a part of our Bigelow Mission statement.

“Our community involvement goes beyond being good corporate citizens. We love to support our community!” says Cindi Bigelow, third generation president of Bigelow Tea. “And the 25th Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge is a great way to have fun while helping to make an incredible difference in the lives of so many people.”

The organizations that will benefit from this year’s Community Challenge include the Fairfield YMCA, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission and the Fairfield Senior Center, all important and worthy community groups!

So please join us at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in historic Southport, Connecticut this Sunday! Take part in the festivities, including a raffle with a grand prize of two plane tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S., donated by Warren Travel Agency.  A free 25th Anniversary T-shirt, goody bag, food, drinks and childcare will be provided for the first participants to register. And this year, in honor of the anniversary, there will be a silent auction of signed sporting memorabilia donated by the NY Yankees. Click here to register and here for more information and directions to the event.

Please make plans to join us on this Sunday, September 30th! Cindi and the Bigelow family look forward to seeing you there!

 

Are You Ready For The 25th Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge?

We’re all excited here at Bigelow Tea about the 25th Anniversary Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, coming Sunday, September 30th. The annual Community Challenge features a 5k Road Race, Non-Competitive Fitness Walk and Kids’ Fun Run —all of which promise to be great family fun for all.  The event attracts a crowd of 1000+ and is expected to raise $100k – 100% of which goes to 16 local charities which includes the Fairfield Senior Center, the Connecticut Food Bank and the Norma Pfriem Breast Care Center….all such important causes!

The event takes place at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, located in historic Southport, Connecticut. There will be several events including:

  • 5K Road Race (begins at 10:10am).
  • 2-Mile Fitness Walk (begins at 9:30am).
  • Kids’ Fun Run (which includes the 100-yard Scamper, that dashes off at 9:00am., the 1/2 Mile Jog that starts at 9:10am, and the Kids’ Mile Run that begins after completion of 1/2 mile jog).

Click here to register, and check out this page for more information on directions to the event, donations and division sponsorships. Free T-Shirts, Goody Bags, Food, Drinks and Childcare and will be provided for all registrants.  Plus: don’t miss out on the exciting raffle with great prizes that range from our tasty and delicious Bigelow teas to the fantastic grand prize of two plane tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S., donated by Warren Travel Agency!

The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge is a family-friendly tradition that Bigelow Tea is proud to organize and sponsor for 25 years. Participation has grown and the proceeds make an incredible difference in the lives of many people in Fairfield, Bridgeport and surrounding communities. We can’t thank you enough your support and we hope you make plans to attend on September 30th!

 

25th Anniversary of the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge

SO EXCITED…we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year of holding the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge. This little race began on September 10, 1988 ( yes, my wedding day) and it was about 50 people (made up of all Bigelow employees with a few friends). I remember I blew the whistle then turneded around and ran in the race (my first and only road race I ran in). It was so special. All the proceeds, which was about $3000, went to the Norwalk High School. We created a scholarship for an employee’s son who had died a few months earlier in a car accident (the young man, Dave, went to Norwalk HS).

Today, we have raised over $100,000 and we have almost 1200 people participate-it is truly a family affair. I love this day-rain or shine. So many people smiling away, enjoying themselves and doing good things for their body and spirit.

Oh yeah, here comes the 25th Challenge: who could have imagined this many years later, that that little race we started so many years ago would be what it is today! Brings a big smile to my face!

Cindi Bigelow

 

Thanks To Generous Friends And Neighbors, Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Helps Makes Lives Better!

Back on a crisp fall September day, Bigelow Tea ran—and we mean ran!—its 24th annual charity race, the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge! Even though we hoped for a great turnout, we couldn’t help but be overwhelmed and incredibly excited by the sheer number of people participating in the race … and the generosity of time and support from all those involved!

Nearly 1,000 runners and walkers came out to participate in the event, which raised $110,000 for local charities near ourFairfield, CT headquarters. From the runners to the walkers to the children in the “scamper,” each participant made a difference in the lives of others that day!

Hundreds of children participated in the Kids’ Scamper

One hundred percent of the $110k raised was awarded to sixteen organizations that do everything from stocking food pantries to providing educational and sports programs for children in need. Company president Cindi Bigelow was thrilled with the results and the impact that it will have on the community:  “I can tell you I take a personal interest by visiting these charities regularly to observe, first hand, the positive impact these dollars make.  Some of the charities use the money to provide educational programs, some for sports.  Others use the funds for critical services like safe haven housing and youth and family crisis management.  Each year I am overwhelmed by the enormous need here in our community and by the fine services these charities provide.”

One recipient of the Community Challenge’s efforts is particularly important at this time of year. The Connecticut Food Bank, which has distributed more than 200 million pounds of food to hungry Connecticut residents since 1982, will use some of the $8000 from the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge to provide 24,000 meals for families in the area. It’s this kind of giving that makes us smile. We couldn’t be prouder of our community and its generous spirit! We look forward to next year’s event too, and again, thanks to all who participated!

Help The Community By Running With Bigelow Tea!

Fun, fellowship, fitness and philanthropy … all in one event!  Yes, it must be our annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge road race and associated activities, coming up on Sunday, September 25th! It’s a wonderful opportunity for members of the community to see friends, enjoy early fall weather and help benefit a number of local organizations, including the Burroughs Community Center, the Center for Women & Families and the YMCA of Fairfield.

This year’s event takes place at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport, Connecticut.  The kid’s “Scamper” (100 yard dash) begins at 9 a.m., followed by a ½ mile race for children at 9:10 a.m. and a 2-mile fitness walk at 9:30 a.m. Then the 5K road race will start at 10:10 a.m. Food and drinks will be provided for all participants, and childcare is available as well. There’s also an exciting raffle with prizes, ranging from our tasty Bigelow teas to two plane tickets to anywhere (!) in the U.S., donated by Warren Travel Agency.

This family-friendly event has become a true community tradition, and it’s one that Bigelow Tea is so proud to organize and sponsor. The participation over the years by our neighbors and friends has made an incredible difference in the lives of many people in Fairfield, Bridgeport and the surrounding communities. We can’t thank you enough!

So let’s make this year—our 24th!—the biggest and best one ever. Register now, and join Cindi Bigelow and the rest of the Bigelow Tea team on September 25th. We can’t wait to see you there!