Team PepsiCo was founded by Renee Garbus and Tina Batton, who are avid runners. “We wanted to put our passion to work to find the cures for breast cancer,” they explained. In 2009, the team had 136 members and raised $23,000.
The women know too many people — friends and family members — who have battled the disease. They wanted to support the cause in a way that “personally resonates with them.” Membership is made up of PepsiCo colleagues, friends and family — mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters. The team’s youngest member is Maggie Batton, who completed last year’s Race at the age of five.
Breast cancer has affected Garbus, Batton and other team members. “My sister is a breast cancer survivor,” said Garbus. “And last year, we had seven survivors on the team. Team PepsiCo feels we are honoring their courage by participating in the Komen NYC Race for the Cure.”
Team recruitment is a totally grassroots effort. The co-captains publicize it in PepsiCo’s online community newsletter, solicit participation in front of the company cafeteria, and reach out to PepsiCo’s Employee Resource Groups (Women, Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Enable, GLBT networks) for support. The team is very goal-oriented. Key volunteers set a fundraising target, and everyone pulls together to achieve, if not exceed it.
When asked for their favorite Race memory, the co-captains cited seeing the team at the start of the Race, very proudly wearing their PepsiCo team shirts with survivors in pink. “It was great — all of us as one team supporting the Komen NYC Race for the Cure,” they explained. “As we started to cross the start line, Maurice Dubois called out ‘Team Pepsico,’ and we hollered for joy!”