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Archives for the ‘Community Challenge’ Category

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!

More Photos from the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge!

Another great Bigelow Community Challenge moment featuring David C. and Eunice Bigelow and members of the team from Martin Bauer Group.

And for a fun video to learn more about the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, view here.

The 23rd Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Was Picture Perfect!

Outrageous day yesterday!

We just finished our 23rd annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge and it was just picture perfect! We had the most runners we have ever had at this event, over 600. The smiles and the kind words we saw and heard that entire day were overwhelming. Everyone, participants and volunteers, had a wonderful time. We had one couple that were celebrating their 10th anniversary and moved around their special weekend away so that they could both come to our race. We had another individual who started running in our race three years ago (first race he was ever in), fly back from Germany where he now resides to be in our race and now is going to be running in the New York Marathon next month. We had a 13 year old come in 3rd overall in our 5K with a time of 17:10 minutes (for more winners and their times, you can check them here). We had a son of the winner of our race from it’s earlier years, come in first in his age division (yes it made me feel a tad older). We had a man that won the 80+ division tell me how much this race means to him and he looks forward to it all year. It really doesn’t get any better than this. And top it all off, we raised more money this year than ever before….close to $95,000 (are you kidding me?). What I really love is also all the volunteers from the different charity organizations that we support, come and help out for the day. We had some guys from the Bridgeport Rescue Mission that were some of our most valued volunteers-they were awesome. Here are a few  photos of the day’s events:

Kids Scamper

Fitness Walk

5K Race start

Cindi with the winners Amy Fredericks and Justin MacGregor

It seems like everyone was a winner on that day. Me included!

Cindi Bigelow

If you want to hear more from Cindi on a local radio station WICC, click here.

The 23rd Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge is Coming: Run, Sun and Fun – All for a Great Cause!

The Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, 2009

It’s that time of year again when summer fun begins to come to an end, fall begins, and there’s nothing like a nice hot cup of Bigelow Tea … after running a 5K road race!? Yes, actually! Bigelow Tea is excited to announce our 23rd annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, taking place on September 26th in Southport, Connecticut at Wakeman Boys and Girls Club.

The event is always a crowd pleaser attracting hundreds of men, women and children each year. It challenges our community to donate to a good cause, while still having a lot fun. Proceeds from the Community Challenge go to local charities, such as the Connecticut Food Bank, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, and the Mercy Learning Center among others. Giving back to the community is something Bigelow Tea is always proud to do, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity!

Participants in the Community Challenge have choices: the 5K run, the two-mile fitness walk, or the Kids’ Fun Run. And they are welcome to enjoy the complimentary food and drink and the other activities that are offered! In addition to donating to a good cause and getting your morning exercise,  the grand prize raffle winner this year will win two round trip tickets to anywhere in the United States, even Bermuda or the Caribbean!

So grab the kids and the whole family, and head down to Wakeman Boys and Girls Club this September 26th. Have some real fun while helping those who really need it!  And in the meantime, get inspired with this video from one of our previous Community Challenges:


National Employee Health & Fitness Day: Put the Power Of Bigelow Tea To Work!

Bigelow Tea certainly isn’t new to advocating healthy lifestyles; it’s something we’ve been doing for 65 years.

Today, May 19th, marks National Employee Health & Fitness Day, created for companies to promote and encourage employees’ health and fitness needs. This day is designed to help workers lower their stress levels, improve physical fitness and build stamina.

Daniel Bourbonnais Jogging Trail Painting, Courtesy of

A few years ago, Bigelow Tea participated in ABC Primetime’s Corporate Weight Loss Challenge, and the words teamwork, diet, and exercise were the buzz.  In fact, a little teamwork at the office certainly goes a long way, as you can also see from the most recent competition that Cindi Bigelow has promoted among Senior Management in addition to the fact that Bigelow Tea won the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Healthy Business Award for mid-sized employers!

We encourage both employers and employees to use National Employee Health & Fitness Day to reflect upon their lifestyles, because making healthy choices not only improves your own quality of life, but increases productivity in the workplace!

Bigelow Tea Community Challenge Distributes $80,000 to Fairfield County Charities

The 22nd annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, the annual 5k Road Race, Fitness Walk and Kids’ Fun Run that raises funds for local charities, took place in September and raised over $80,000.  So strong is the following, the fun-filled, family event attracted hundreds despite the rain that poured down on that day.

2009 Road Race

The real satisfaction for Bigelow Tea comes now, as 100% of the money is distributed over the next several months to fifteen Fairfield County based charities.  One of the first checks was awarded to the Connecticut Food Bank, just in time for the holidays.

“It’s all about coming together to make a positive difference within our community,” says Cindi Bigelow, President, Bigelow Tea. “We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to partner with the Connecticut Food Bank in such a meaningful way!”

The following charities will also benefit from the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge:

Bridgeport Rescue Mission

Burroughs Community Center

Cardinal Shehan Center

Caroline House

Center for Women & Families

Connecticut Food Bank

Fairfield Senior Center

Grasmere Eldercare Center

Janus House

Mercy Learning Center

Music and Art for the Humanity

Operation Hope

Sandcastle Playground

Wakeman Boys & Girls Club

YMCA of Fairfield

Our 22nd Bigelow Tea Community Challenge was a Success!

Just finished our 22nd Bigelow Tea Community Challenge this past Sunday!  And let me tell you, it POURED!!! But it did not dampen the spirit of over 700 runners, walkers and children who came to participate in this year’s event.  It was extra special to me because so many people completely ignored the “not so fun” weather and came out to support this fantastic event and to enjoy their experience.


Once again, our sponsors were incredibly generous as we raised over $80,000 to support 15 local charities.  I have to say, I love every year’s race but nothing is more impactful than adding some pouring rain into the equation.  It certainly makes the day that much more memorable.  This community never ceases to amaze me in terms of its compassion and commitment to supporting our town and the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge.  I stood in the rain so long my fingers were absolutely water logged, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing…the day was completely perfect!

Cindi Bigelow

Sandcastle Playground lives on!

Back in 1994, I had a conversation with the head of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce about putting together a team of people to build a community playground.  Long story short, it took two years, 2500 volunteers, fundraisers enough to raise $160,000 and in October of 1996 the Sandcastle Playground was completed and the four GC’s (myself and three amazing friends) turned the playground over to our town as a gift.

Since that day, Bigelow Tea has kept a hand in keeping the playground well maintained.  We often take a day off in the spring and send over teams of people for a BBQ and general cleanup!!  We even donate a portion of the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge to the playground upkeep.  Needless to say, the playground is a great source of pride at our company.  This year we redid the donor signs with some of the race money.  They came out beautifully!

I just love that this 12000 square foot playground is truly a centerpiece in this town for families to gather and that we have a hand in maintaining and caring for it.

Cindi Bigelow

Join Us for the 22nd Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge!


“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”
George Bernard Shaw

It’s that time of year again! We’re counting the days in anticipation of the upcoming 22nd Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge, on Sunday, September 27, 2009. This fabulous, morning-long family event will be held at Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport, Connecticut – rain or shine.  The race is expected to attract over 1000 community-minded participants of all ages, eager to do their part to raise $60K+ for local organizations in need.

The Bigelow family, along with the entire staff of Bigelow Tea, considers it an honor and a privilege to be able to give back to their community.  Thanks to the energetic efforts of the Bigelow Tea team, their families and all the volunteers, this fundraising event raises money for local charities, like The Fairfield Senior Center, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, Operation Hope, and the Center for Women & Families – to mention just a few.

The philanthropic concept of giving back to the community is not unfamiliar to Bigelow Tea.  In fact, “community” is the driving force behind everything we do: we’re 100% dedicated to our family, employees, corporate partners, community and our environment.  Each year, this event fosters such an extraordinary level of commitment from participants, volunteers and organizers alike, and we can say – with absolute certainty – that community spirit is alive and well in Fairfield County, Connecticut!

For more information, please visit our website at

A Special Day to Remember with the Mercy Learning Center

Recently I was extremely fortunate to be part of a very special event at the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport.  The MLC is an organization with the mission of educating women.  For many of the women in the program, English is their second language.  Often, they are being taught to read and write for the very first time in their lives.   These hard working, dedicated women have many adversities to overcome just to attend the school.  They have limited support systems in many cases.  The work done at the center is so essential to their ability to get ahead or even just to properly take care of their family.


The MLC has been one of the beneficiaries of the Bigelow Tea Community Challenge for over 10 years.  This year we coordinated the delivery of the race proceeds with the center’s annual essay contest.  The contest had almost 100 students contribute an essay stating who or what had made a positive impact in their life.  I had the opportunity to read the top 14 essays; they were each more touching than the next.  One woman, Maria, was the grand prize winner.  Her essay is below.  The hour that I spent at the MLC really reminded me about the hard work that is necessary to get ahead in this world.  The determination I see in these women really made me pause and take note of how many incredible people we have in this world.  I got to listen to several of the women tell me their stories in person and each one was more moving than the next one.  It was a very special event with some very special women…I hope you will enjoy the essay as much as I did.

Cindi Bigelow

“One day I had a great dream that I had never dreamed before. I imagined I would come to the United States. I was thinking about many things in my life and my family’s future. But it was very difficult for me to figure out, because I had three kids and a husband… The decision was not easy to make, but I did it. We were working very hard, but the money was not enough. Life everyday became more expensive, and the economy in my country was going down. I wanted better opportunities for us… My life has changed for the better. I like living in the United States. Here my life is simpler. I have found some new opportunities for me and my kids, but still it is the beginning.”

(Grand Prize Winner)