It is an early Saturday morning at NuPath’s headquarters on New Boston Street in Woburn. An army of volunteers, captained by NuPath’s vice president of marketing and communications, Brett Reily, are putting the finishing touches on what has arguably been the best six weeks the organization has ever seen in its 50 years of operation.
“Let’s make this a day that we are all going to remember forever,” he says to the group with a beaming smile.
At that moment, the stage was set for the next memorable chapter in the organization’s illustrious history, as the NuPath community came together for their eighth annual ‘Walk the Walk’ on April 14. It has become one of the most anticipated events on their calendar over the years – and this one was no exception.
An event that began in 2011 and raised approximately $9,000 has only seen its fundraising totals and attendance rise exponentially since then. This year, over 400 attendees united to celebrate their effort in raising just over $230,000 in just six weeks – a far cry from the humble beginnings that NuPath president/CEO Dan Harrison fondly remembered.
“I remember the first time we did this event, it was around a high school track and the weather was awful – raining, cold and windy,” he says. “To see how it has evolved in such a short time is truly amazing and, thanks in large part to the community support we have had, it just continues to get better.”
NuPath president/CEO Dan Harrison as he speaks to the crowd, celebrating the success of the 2018 Walk the Walk.
The community of Woburn, especially, has rallied around the Organization since their inception in 1968. From the Lions Club serving lunch to the many distinguished guests including state and local officials, this year was no exception.
State Senator Cindy Friedman was one of several elected officials who ‘Walked the Walk’ and was left with a marked impression of the progressive goals on the organization. “It’s incredible that everyone here could engage at such a high level to raise that much money in such a short amount of time,” she said, looking out towards the crowd.
“All of you are the reason why (local and state elected officials) continue to fight and advocate for people living with disabilities to accomplish your mission of making life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling.”
Rosemarie Hubbard knows all too well about NuPath’s future ambitions from the perspective of not only being a community partner with Cambridge Savings Bank, but also as a parent. Her son, Robert, attends the organization’s program, giving her a unique perspective on the ins-and-outs of NuPath.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with an organization that shares the same core values as my family and I do,” she said. “The partnership we have has been vital to (Robert’s) success and gives me a great appreciation for the work this fantastic organization does.”
As a member of NuPath’s board of directors, Michael Rossetti has also seen first-hand the dedication and hard work the organization’s 500 employees put in daily. As a result, not only was he and his team at Stoneham Bank one of the 30 sponsors that were proud to support NuPath’s efforts with the Walk, but he also encouraged some of his employees to participate at the Walk on the Bank’s behalf.
“To see all these people come together to support such a great cause – it really shows a commitment to the kind of work NuPath is doing in the community,” he said. “For us at the Bank, that serves to reinforce how important it is to continue giving back to the community.”
Scott Hagan, President of Rhino Staffing Associates and the most recent member of NuPath’s Board, was at the Walk for the first time and is ‘all-in’ on NuPath’s mission.
“It is amazing to see everyone join together in support of this great organization,” he said. “When people talk about NuPath joining as ‘ONE’, all they have to do is look around and see the camaraderie from the men and women we support to our elected officials – who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?”
The tone and excitement of the day was best summed up by Harrison himself, who spoke to everyone with the same passion and enthusiasm that has guided NuPath’s record-breaking efforts for the past several weeks. “I hope you all take a moment to recognize what we have accomplished and to be proud of what we have built here,” he said.
“We wanted a day to remember…and, thanks to all of you, he exclaimed…’we got this!’”