Industry leaders encourage dealers, OEMs, and others to participate in the November 10th New York City Kidney Walk and similar walks around the country.
Larry Weiss, president of Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office has a well-deserved reputation for his charitable work. Rick Taylor, president & CEO of Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., is equally vested in charitable efforts as is Konica Minolta, which in the first quarter of 2019, raised more than $6 million for charity. Both are serving as co-chairs of the 2019 New York City Kidney Walk, scheduled for Sunday, November 10th in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan to benefit the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). NKF is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease.
The co-chairs will work with the NKF Serving Greater New York and Connecticut to raise crucial funds to provide a broad array of programs, resources, and services for patients, those at risk, healthcare professionals, and the general public. The Kidney Walk program is the nation’s largest fundraiser to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, more than 85,000 walkers join NKF annually to help kidney patients and their families each year. More than 80 cents of every dollar donated directly supports NKF programs and services.
Weiss has been supporting the NKF in various ways for 25 years. Weiss also serves on the board of the NKF.
“Kidney disease strikes so many different people, and it touches almost everybody’s life one way or another,” said Weiss. “We all have family members that are on dialysis, and it just affects so many people, which is why we got involved with it.”
Taylor was recruited to participate last year by Weiss, someone who Taylor said is difficult to say no to.
“I don’t know anybody who gives back more than Larry Weiss,” said Taylor. “When Larry calls and asks you to help, it’s an immediate yes.”
Last year’s walk set a record for money raised by a single walk at approximately $1 million. Inspired by that success, Taylor has guaranteed to make 2019 a record-breaking year. The goal is to raise $1.2 million to support the NKF’s lifesaving outreach initiatives and research.
Taylor is encouraging other OEMs and dealers to participate, which isn’t a stretch for the office imaging industry.
“One thing I love about this industry is that there’s an overriding desire to give back to the communities we serve,” he said. “That’s one of the things I’m most proud of. You only have to look at The Cannata [Awards & Charities] dinner to see OEMs and dealers getting together to raise money for a good cause. To put aside competition in favor of compassion is great.”
While Taylor is on a mission to encourage colleagues and partners in the industry to participate, the overriding reason for his participation is the fact that one of every three American adults is at risk for kidney disease. His goal as co-chair is to raise awareness and continue the conversation surrounding kidney health.
“That’s a broad range, any ethnicity, any age, and to the extent we can help people who have that or will have that, that’s great,” he said. “The likelihood of that affecting our own population is great. We’re doing a good thing for the folks we work with and that’s the reason to get involved.”
NKF estimates that as many as 600,000 citizens of New York City are living with undiagnosed chronic kidney disease, which is the gradual loss of kidney function over time that can result in kidney failure. Once a patient reaches kidney failure, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required to maintain life. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), in New York state alone, 9,502 candidates are currently on the waitlist for organ transplants and of that 7,870 people are awaiting a kidney.
“Larry Weiss and Rick Taylor exemplify what it means to be philanthropic leaders and kidney health advocates in our community, and we are thrilled to have them serve as our 2019 New York City Kidney Walk Co-chairs,” said Meg Gilmartin, executive director of NKF Serving Greater New York and Connecticut.
“At Atlantic, giving back to the communities we serve is part of our corporate DNA,” said Weiss. “We endeavor to make positive change and have established many community and philanthropic partnerships over the years supporting not-for-profit organizations who make a difference. The NKF is very important to us, and one we are personally involved with to help raise funds and promote the good work of the staff and volunteers. It is imperative that we lead our communities by including kidney health in the larger public health conversation.”
The New York City Kidney Walk is locally presented by Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office and Konica Minolta. To join Larry Weiss and Rick Taylor, register for the New York City Kidney Walk by calling the National Kidney Foundation at 212-889-2210 or sign up online at www.kidneywalk.org.
For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.
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