Sponsorship and getting companies to support this project has been a lot of painstaking work. Even when I see a perfect match and sense an ideal partnership we at Outrun Rare have got shut down more ways than you can imagine. I think part of the problem is that the exact right person at the exact right time with decision making capabilities needs to drive this initiative and make things happen. When we sat across the table from Jamey Johnston late in 2017 I knew right away I was looking at a guy that would drive this project to the end of the earth.
Jamey Johnston is a Territory Sales Manager with Staples and at the risk of sounding grandiose, has been our superhero when this local group of dreamers met the guy that could (and did) construct this mega national campaign that Outrun Rare has become. Aside from coming onboard as official print sponsor it was Jamey’s idea to construct an “event in a box” and have events pop up in Staples locations as we cross Canada. Jamey sold us on that these events would be an ideal opportunity for the public, the rare disease community, the business community, running groups, politicians, and dignitaries to engage one on one with me and my team as I set my weary legs in their communities. Engagement is key to the success of our project and Jamey’s plan offered this to us in spades. Next he said that events will be the single largest prong of our fundraising push, if people come out, they donate. Lastly, we need to give a stage to families living with rare disease, politicians and myself to project to the public the great needs facing the rare disease community and the need for more research and this would do that.
Coming up with innovative ideas is something but executing them is something else. Daily, Jamey is successfully selling our message to Staples staff, Store Managers, Regional Managers, and all the way through the executive team at head office. Due to Jamey’s efforts tens of millions will be made aware of this run across Canada and more importantly the call to action needed to assist families living with rare disease and to fund rare disease research.
Most people don’t go to work everyday feeling they are changing the world but I know one guy who does.