As the leader in digital government, NIC employees are used to helping citizens and governments across the country without much fanfare. The company’s behind-the-scenes work is what helps fuel its partner states’ interactions and relationships with the public, and NIC has always been up for the challenges it presents.
In May, however, CEO Harry Herington issued a new challenge to his team: “Help me make this company healthier.”
Thinking only a handful would accept, Herington invited a few NIC employees to run in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® at the Humana Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in November with him. To his surprise, more than 60 employees answered his call, and the NIC Rock Stars dream team was established. Over the course of six months, the NIC Rock Stars’ challenge evolved into an all-out effort to help St. Jude save lives.
“The idea of running 26.2 miles seemed unreachable if I did not have the support of my team,” Herington wrote on his fundraising page. “I never imagined my simple request would turn into an amazing phenomenon throughout my NIC family across the nation!! Once the team learned that we could make a real difference for children in their communities, they quickly became involved. I asked for 5 runners and more than 60 NIC employees from offices throughout the country signed up to run either the marathon or half marathon, many who had never run in any event before. In addition, many of the employees that could not run stepped up to help. They provided encouragement to runners, raising money for St. Jude and keeping the energy alive.”
At Sunday’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon, Herington and the NIC Rock Stars capped months of training and fundraising by running 26.2 or 13.1 miles in honor of the brave children at St. Jude. The team finished first in the nation in fundraising for the Las Vegas marathon, raising a total of over $235,000 in just six weeks. The total is made up of donations received, commitments and the team’s company match.
Even those impressive numbers, however, don’t tell the whole story.
“Once the team received $50,000 in donations which unlocked the company match, my team and I realized we could be doing even more,” Herington said. “That’s how we learned about Jack’s Army.”
Jack’s Army is a group from Washington formed by family and friends in honor of Jack who was diagnosed with cancer at 7-years old. Jack’s form of cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is one St. Jude pioneered treatment in, raising the overall survival rate from 4% in 1962 when the hospital opened to 94% today. The Jack’s Army Las Vegas marathon team ran in their first marathon to thank St. Jude for their research and the support they provide for patients and families across the country, like Jack and his family.
In a show of support for Jack and his army, the NIC Rock Stars donated NIC’s $50,000 company match to Jack’s Army, helping to move them into second place overall.
“Supporting Jack’s Army sums up what this movement is all about to us,” Herington said. “I will never forget the look on the faces of the runners and Jack’s parents when we told them the news. Jack and his battle are so inspiring, and we’re honored to be able to join his army.”
Herington and the NIC Rock Stars are no strangers to giving back. NIC employees are encouraged to spend at least one day a month volunteering and giving back to the community on behalf of NIC.
“As a company, we have always committed to giving 110% at work and 120% back to our communities,” Herington said. “But this movement has been the single greatest act of service in our company’s history. I am extremely proud and humbled that so many of my team have taken this commitment to the next level in support of St. Jude and the children they serve.”
And in the races’ later miles, as the NIC Rock Stars’ legs became heavy, they drew their strength from the children of St. Jude and pushed on in their honor.
Whether by pushing past their personal limits, appreciating teamwork from a new perspective or realizing the impact that one individual can make through fundraising, each member of the NIC Rock Stars grew from the experience, regardless of their final time or how they finished. And in the end, the real winners were the children and families of St. Jude who never have to pay a bill for treatment, food, housing and transportation thanks to efforts of donors.
“These children live life to the fullest even after a life-altering diagnosis,” Herington said. “Playing a part in their treatment, their health and the rest of their lives has been the honor of a lifetime for our team. We have all grown closer as a family, and none of this would have been possible without the commitment of our entire team.”
NIC Inc. (Nasdaq: EGOV) launched the digital government industry in 1992, and continues to lead it, providing a secure payment engine and thousands of digital government solutions across a network of more than 6,000 federal, state, and local government agencies. In addition, NIC is a leading provider of outdoor recreation solutions, with 1 out of 6 hunting and fishing licenses in the United States sold using an NIC service. The Company created the nation’s first personal assistant for government and comprehensive mobile platform, Gov2Go®, as well as the innovative, data-driven prescription drug monitoring platform, RxGov®. More information is available at www.egov.com.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, sharing stories and videos from St. Jude Inspire, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.