Volunteer Highlight

Dedicated, Long-Time Volunteers Win the Western Division Give Financial Award

San Francisco Bay Area volunteers, Rodney and Sarah Paul, could write the book on how to have a successful event. For two decades, they have steadfastly supported the Napa Valley Tour de Cure and American Diabetes Association through growing teams, generating sponsorship, creating a new safety plan, inspiring new volunteers, and advising association staff. For their success, they were awarded the 2014 Give Financial Award, for volunteers who have demonstrated in their community a significant and ongoing commitment to raising money for research and other mission-driven purposes.

Rodney Paul, a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Community Leadership Board, became involved shortly after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and rode his first Tour in 1994. He joined the committee two years later. Not one to be kept down by the disease, he started Charles Schwab's team which has now grown into a national team. Sarah Paul, who describes herself as a "type 3," or someone who supports a person with diabetes, used her marketing savvy to grow the Bio-Rad Laboratories team. This team has blossomed into a national team and the presenting sponsor for the Napa Valley Tour de Cure.

To put their work into perspective, since the Charles Schwab team was formed, they have raised over $700,000. The company has been a long time sponsor of the Tour and, despite Rodney having moved on to a different company, he still plays a consulting role with the team.

Sarah, who rode her first Tour in 1997 and joined the committee in 1999, has taken the Bio-Rad team from a handful of riders to a team of over 200 people supported by 100 company volunteers. She developed a network of support from company leaders that led to Bio-Rad's presenting sponsorship for the past 6 years. In 2014, the Bio-Rad team raised more than $108,000. The impact of Bio-Rad's volunteers cannot be underestimated. They play roles on the committee and day of event which keep the event cost efficient, safe and fun. In addition to the support for Napa Valley, Bio-Rad in recent years has become a National Team with participation in Tour de Cure events in Southern California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Washington.

We congratulate Rodney and Sarah Paul on this award, which celebrates their hard work and dedication to fundraising to support our mission.