By Frank Lamberti, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Finance and Strategy, Herbalife
October 8, 2015
It turns out that climbing stairs can support more than your cardiovascular health. For 22 years, the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA in Los Angeles has funded needed programs for children, teens, families and seniors, with proceeds from the annual Stair Climb for Los Angeles.
And for the third year in a row, Herbalife was the Official Nutrition Sponsor of the Climb, which took place on Friday, September 25. Herbalife donated US$15,000 directly from the company to support Ketchum-Downtown YMCA’s programs that promote youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Employees and Members also helped by doing their own fundraising, which increased our total dollars raised to just over US$20,000.
Less than a week after the event, the Ketchum-Downtown YMCA is still closing in on their annual fundraising target amount of US$710,000. If you are interested in making a donation online to help them reach their goal, please donate here.
For the fourth consecutive year, I was honored to make the climb with more than 100 other Herbalife employees up 1,664 steps of the 75-story US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Our sponsorship of this event makes sense. Herbalife and Herbalife Members are committed to supporting communities through volunteerism and donations and I have had the privilege of serving on the YMCA Board of Managers for three years. The Ketchum-Downtown YMCA is supporting programs where they are needed most, in one of the most under-resourced neighborhoods of the city. The Stair Climb for Los Angeles also promotes fitness and wellness, just like our nutrition products support a healthy, active life. And this is a special event because participants of all fitness levels can compete, regardless of where they are on their nutrition and wellness journey. In a similar respect, we respect and value inclusion and diversity at Herbalife.
Our nutrition products were a big part of the event. Some of our Members ran a sampling tent where H3O® Fitness Drink was available. We also included Liftoff® in the gift bags given to every one of the 4,000 stair climb participants.
After the climb, we all took the elevator back to the ground, where we enjoyed a fun block party with games, lives bands, food trucks and a beer garden.
Climbing 75 floors takes preparation. On a weekly basis leading up to the climb, my coworkers and I trained on the Baxter Stairs in nearby Echo Park. We enjoyed training there – at least as much as anyone can enjoy climbing 231 steps 5 or 10 times – and are now adopting some of the steps to help keep them maintained, clean and graffiti-free.
In addition to working out and raising money for a good cause, Team Herbalife was competing for fastest time (Jim Holden climbed in 13:38) and highest personal fundraiser (Mark Holmes raised $250). Employees got to use their volunteer hours, which the company allocates each year for paid time devoted to volunteer service, to compete. Another bonus for our participating employees is that they earned wellness points toward various gifts and incentives they can earn as part of our company’s wellness program.
This sponsorship is part of our commitment to playing an active role in the Los Angeles community and our broader community engagement aimed at promoting good nutrition as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
In the past month alone, Herbalife has supported the LA Triathlon, the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, the DC Nation’s Triathlon in Washington D.C., and the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships in Chicago, with many Herbalife employees and Members also participating in the events.
And I’m very proud to be part of a company that works with the Special Olympics, Red Cross Los Angeles, A Place Called Home, the Children’s Institute Inc., and the Union Rescue Mission to support the nutrition of vulnerable children and families in the L.A. area.
With the 2015 event behind us, the countdown is on for the 2016 Stair Climb for Los Angeles and Team Herbalife is looking forward to the challenge.