Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is known for his slick moves and poise on the football field, but it’s what he’s doing off the field that truly has some families in Wisconsin proud to call him their favorite Packer.
Cobb and his wife Aiyda are involved with “Gold in September,” a childhood cancer non-profit dedicated to increasing funding for childhood cancer research.
Gold In September (G9) was created by Annie Bartosz of Hartland. Annie’s twin brother Jack was diagnosed with cancer when they were just 4 years old. Jack died after battling for almost 7 years, and Annie became determined to turn the world “Gold” In September for every child.
G9 partners with Centers of Excellence Hospitals across the country–which can offer Phase 1 Clinical Trials. G9 also works with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for these various hospitals in just a few short years. You can learn more about how to donate to G9 HERE.
Cobb recently joined in the fight, and Annie actually first got to meet him at a recent event at our Appleton store!! To see her reaction when she first met one of her football idols was just priceless.
Annie recalls that special moment. “It was really cool. I was obviously blown away, since he’s one of my favorite football players. I was also blown away by the fact that he’s just so humble and down to earth despite being a Wisconsin celebrity and NFL celebrity. And just…he’s not trying to take credit for anything. He just wants to do his part in helping the world be a better place, and I think that’s really cool.”
The event was a special appearance by Cobb and fundraiser for G9. Cobb, Annie, and her mother Sarah all took a few minutes to speak to the crowd, and Cobb was gracious enough to take pictures with guests. The event was produced by the USA TODAY NETWORK – Wisconsin. Check out this video we produced to hear Cobb’s special message for all of us.
We spoke with Sarah and Annie briefly after the event–about their struggles with losing a brother, son, father, and husband to cancer (Annie’s father John died a couple years ago after succumbing to the long term effects of cancer treatments he had years ago). Their story truly is heartbreaking and inspiring one that we can all learn from.
Steinhafels: What is the G9 message?
Sarah: Gold in September is a very simple concept. Gold (G) is the color for childhood cancer, and September (9) is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I think awareness will drive action, and what we really want people to do is think about Gold in September, in the month of September, as awareness month. But now we have 11 months of action. It is every day–there are children diagnosed every day, there are children dying…every day. That cannot be our reality. We want to make sure kids not only survive, but thrive, following a cancer diagnosis. And when the community comes together, not only are we supplying funding for new research and clinical trials, but really, that’s the hope that families need to be able to put one foot in front of the other, day after day, in the face of something that is so incredibly unbelievable, and difficult to handle.
Steinhafels: How do you do it, after all you’ve been through?
Sarah: I don’t know. There are days I’d like to just lay in bed. I miss my son Jack tremendously, I can’t even put into words. He should be turning 16 and taking Drivers Ed classes. My husband John was diagnosed in his early 20’s, and survived another 20 years, but died in his 40’s. When you ask how do I do this…I don’t want anyone else to feel like this. I don’t want anyone else to feel the sadness and despair that our family feels. We have more laughter in our house than tears, I’m proud to say that. We know that’s what Jack and John would want, and we’re just trying to fulfill the hope and enthusiasm they brought towards life. We can do that for ourselves and help people along the way as we go.
Steinhafels: Annie, you’re just a kid, but you’ve been through alot. What do you want to tell other kids who are struggling?
Annie: I want to let other kids know they’re not alone, and they can do their part in making a difference in the world, whether it’s helping one kid have a smile on their face today, or helping many kids hopefully have the chance to survive cancer. And I just think you can do anything you put your mind to. I never thought Gold in September would be this big–so let your dreams run wild, cuz you never know what will come from them.
Well put Annie–LET YOUR DREAMS RUN WILD! It’s events like these that truly bring us all together as a community, and we at Steinhafels hope this is just the beginning of a long partnership with Annie, Sarah, Cobb, and Gold in September.
Here at Steinhafels we have some of the hardest workers in the business. It’s nice every now and then to let loose, get out the old scissors and garland, ornaments and lights… and let the creativity flow!
As you can see, the results got pretty ugly during our Corporate Office Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest. This year was the 2nd go-around for the now annual event. The first year saw 16 participants–more than double that number took part this year.
We asked organizer and Accent Furniture Buyer Jenny Kordus a few questions about this new office tradition.
Why do you love ugly sweaters?
I love Ugly Sweater parties in particular because people get really creative, or pull out sweaters from the 80’s & 90’s. Or borrow clothes from their moms. So there’s usually a fun story behind everyone’s outfit.
How did this tradition begin?
My office decided last year to throw the Ugly Sweater Party at the last minute. We had such a good turnout that we decided to make it an annual thing. We love everything about Christmas – the decorations, the food, etc….but especially spending time with family and friends – in this case our work family!
How does something like this help build a spirit of teamwork?
Steinhafels is still a great “small” company, even though we are getting bigger and bigger. A party like this brings people from different parts of the company together. You can get to know someone you haven’t met yet, you can “razz” your friends, and it puts everyone (even Scrooges) in the holiday mood! Even if you don’t want to wear a sweater, you can come and vote and enjoy the treats. It’s an easy way to put a smile on everyone’s face for the day.
Brightest: Anne Barforth
Best Homemade: Amy Swenson
Ugliest Overall: Amy Swenson
Now–start planning for next year–Jenny already has a list of categories!
Happy Holidays everyone.
HOLIDAY SWEATERS TAKE 2!
Our awesome Corporate Store Sales Team also had a holiday sweater party– complete with a potluck of yummy snacks. We love to promote a professional, yet festive environment at our stores!!