CCF & CMS Light the Night
On October 7th, Carrington Associates from our Westfield, IN, location will be taking part in an important and powerful charity event called Light the Night, founded by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The Indianapolis event starts with a fundraiser to help bring in donations that will support cancer treatments and research. The fundraising leads into a unique nighttime event where survivors, donors and supporters gather across the United States and Canada for a walk on the evening of the 7th, with everyone carrying lanterns signifying the desire to bring light to the darkness of cancer. For the first time ever, CCF has become a sponsor for Light the Night in Indianapolis – and it’s because of the passion of our Westfield office that CCF was inspired to participate.
The invitation and inspiration to get involved came from Rob Petruska, the Vice President of the Retail Lending Division. As one of the early employees at the Westfield office – he came on board in July 2007 – Rob has been passionate about Carrington’s connection to the community, and wanted to help the company make a difference in the Indianapolis area. But there was also a personal reason why Rob hoped Carrington and CCF would support Light the Night.
“There are a number of different people that I’ve known who have been affected by leukemia,” Rob shares. “I’ve had good friends pass away from leukemia, friends whose son had passed from leukemia and then there’s the story with my son, who had large t-cell lymphoma.”
The summer before his senior year in high school, Rob’s son, Ross, went to the doctor with what he thought was a spider bite – but it turned out to be large t-cell lymphoma. It was discovered right before Ross’ 18th birthday, which meant he was eligible for treatment at Indianapolis’ famed Riley Children’s Hospital.
“He had nine rounds of chemo, and three were all-day affairs – the other six were for roughly an hour,” Rob recalls. “They said there was a chance he’d lose his hair, and he did, so we had a hair-shaving party on our back porch. One of our good friends shaved his hair.”
It’s been four years since Ross faced chemo, and he’s now about to take on his first day of classes for his senior year at Ball State University. But the experience left an indelible mark on Rob, and inspired him to get involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as an executive board member. After attending last year’s Light the Night event with his wife, Ross and Ross’ girlfriend, Rob became driven to encourage Carrington and CCF to become a bigger part of the event.
“It’s a 1.5 mile walk, and there are 800 people in the building, so I figured it would be a cool way for Carrington to represent,” Rob said. “This is a great event for mass participation. You come in shorts and a t-shirt, arrive in downtown Indianapolis, carry lanterns and just have a ball. This is an event where all 800 Associates can participate.”
CCF was so moved by Rob’s passion and personal experiences with the charity, they became a title sponsor by donating $25,000 to the event. Not only will CCF and Carrington Mortgage Services be co-hosting a booth at the event, they’re spearheading a massive fundraiser until the end of September. The Westfield office is participating in a Servicing versus Lending contest, with the departments competing against one another to see who raises the most funds for the LLS. And whichever team raises the most gets the joy of seeing either Rob, who represents lending, or his colleague Kirk Gerling, SVP of Customer Contact, who represents Servicing, give a pie in the face to the losing team.
Rob is confident the event will be a smash success, and the response from Westfield Associates has been amazing so far. “We found out one of the women who works upstairs, her daughter died from leukemia,” Rob shared. “So having the opportunity to support the LLS in this way is an awesome thing. And Carrington is the largest employer in Westfield, so we’re hoping to show the community how we’re the company who does all these nice things for the community with our first step into this major philanthropic event. A lot of Associates were asking what we can do to help support the community, so we’re excited to be a part of this.”
So how can you get involved? You can pledge donations through the Carrington Mortgage Services Team Page here. But if you want to participate in the event in your local community, you can find one by visiting the LLS Light the Night website here. We’re proud to be a part of this special event, and wish the Westfield office the best of luck with their fundraising! We know it’s going to be an incredible night – and that we can make a difference for those who live with, or survived, leukemia and lymphoma.