Autodesk is a community service oriented company. In addition to hours outside of work, Autodesk allows employees four paid hours per month for volunteer work. For our seventh consecutive year, my wife and I are working to support our local high school:
The high school fundraiser collects money for scholarships and an event to keep students alcohol and drug free on graduation night. Though it is not a national charity, volunteerism benefits the community at any level. The local level is a great place to start. Actually many Autodesk employees are involved in a number of community-related activities at various levels. A few noteworthy examples include:
Marin Human Race
This year two dozen Autodeskers joined 5,000 other walkers and runners to raise money for Marin County charities. This national event, which raises funds for nonprofits all over the country, has the feel of a homegrown, grassroots community event. Over $350,000 was raised in Marin benefiting over 100 nonprofit organizations.
American Lung Association Breathe Easy Ride
Congratulations to everyone who participated in the bike ride and fundraising effort for the 2008 Breathe Easy Ride benefiting the American Lung Association. Even with the smoke in the air due to the hundreds of fires throughout California, Autodesk still pulled out a great presence and excellent fundraising. Bravo! This year the Autodesk team raised $2,945. This included Autodesk Labs own John Schmier who raised $475 himself.
San Francisco AIDS Walk
For the 11th year, Autodesk had a stand-out team at the San Francisco AIDS Walk through Golden Gate Park. The team raised over $10,000 by walking 6.2 miles throughout the park and helped raised $4.5million for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Thanks to all the walkers!
Once again, Autodesk Lake Oswego proudly joined the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to address the challenges of living with MS. MS stops people from moving. We ride to make sure it doesn't by supporting research that relentlessly pursues prevention, treatment, and cure. This year’s ride took place in Sweet Home, Oregon for two days of cycling through covered bridges in Linn and Lane Counties. The team made a fabulous effort and is very proud of what they accomplished together. With many members riding the MS150 for the first time the team was still able to log a stunning 1095 miles between them over the two days, and have raised almost $7,000. The National MS Society spends most of its money on research (not admin) so we know that our contributed dollars will be put to work immediately. Thanks to all of our sponsors and to Autodesk for matching employee contributions.
Emory Vaccine Center Ride
Atlanta employees participated in the Emory Vaccine Center Ride again this year and helped to raise over $100,000 for the Center. Last year the ride raised $75K. This year they had a record number of volunteers and riders of 130. One employee had this to say about the event: “We didn't reach our goal of 100 riders, but it was more important that we reach our fundraising goal. We are already starting to plan for next year’s ride and we’re looking at changing the route as well as providing more overnight options to make the ride appealing to more people. At the closing ceremony Autodesk presented a check to Emory Vaccine Center.
Relay for Life event in Ithaca, NY
For the fourth year, the Autodesk team helped to raise over $1,400 for the American Cancer Society! Approximately 1,200 people walked in the Relay for Life event in Ithaca, NY and brought in about $155,000 in donations for the American Cancer Society. The 11th annual event, which took place from 5am July 11th to 8am July 12th, featured a speech by the founder of Relay for Life, Gordy Klatt, who gave rise to the idea in 1985. It was great to hear how he started it, what his story was, and how it just took off. He also talked about all the research that's going on -- we're taking the right steps!
Autodesk also has a matching donation program for funds. So the bases are covered in terms of both money and time. I am proud to be part of such a community service oriented company. Our employees are great.