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A walk to remember

CF Foundation PicBaltimore Group supports fundraiser walk to honor colleague’s fight with Cystic Fibrosis.

There’s a distinct measure of pride in Jeff A.’s voice when he recounts the many different charities that benefit from the support of the Baltimore operational group.

The short list includes: American Heart Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Ovarian & Cervical Cancer Research, Baltimore Parks & People and Voices For Children.

Few ties are stronger, though, than the one the group maintains with the Maryland chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) and the Great Strides Walk in Baltimore – one of CFF’s primary fundraisers.

In memory of a brave colleague

“We walk to honor our colleague, Beth,” Jeff says.

As Group HR Manager, he remembers Beth T. well. In her 13-year career at Enterprise, Beth left a lasting impression on her colleagues with her strength, optimistic spirit and good humor as she battled the debilitating lung disease.

Jeff remembers Beth had a lot in common with the legendary Star Wars hero Han Solo. “One of his famous quotes is, ‘Never tell me the odds,’” Jeff says. “And that was Beth’s mentality exactly. She knew the odds, but she was determined to keep fighting.”

In 2005, Beth lost her battle with cystic fibrosis. While her determination inspired co-workers, it’s safe to say Beth drew strength from her colleagues too.

“We were extremely active with the Great Strides Walk when Beth was still with us,” Jeff recalls. “We’d have 40 to 50 people on the Enterprise walk team every year. It lifted her spirits to see that level of support.”

Enterprise supports the cause

The same spirit of giving back is still at work in Baltimore today. While still supporting CFF with annual grant requests, the employees have expanded their community involvement to include many other worthy causes.

“I think it’s empowering, affirming and motivational for employees who are going through adversity to see that the company has got their backs,” Jeff says. “We are a genuinely caring place – and we’re willing to spend our weekends rolling up our sleeves and giving back.”

Jeff works to keep his colleague’s memory alive because she embodied the Enterprise spirit. “We’re not only fighters, but we’re upbeat… we’re positive…we’re problem-solvers,” he says. “Beth had that same attitude: ‘Give me an obstacle, and I’m going to find a way to overcome it.’”

It’s an Enterprise legacy that has now generated tens of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis. Enduring proof, Jeff says, that whenever employees face tough times, “We’re really there for each other.”