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NetApp goes bald for charity

Jack Loo | May 16, 2011
The Singapore team raises US$130,000 for children’s cancer research foundation.

SINGAPORE, 16 MAY 2011-As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, storage specialist NetApp takes part in various activities around the world.

In 2010, NetApp donated US$1.03 million in cash to non-profit organisations and universities. However, NetApp employees have taken on a more hair-raising approach in its fundraising efforts with the St Baldrick's Foundation, an organisation that is dedicated to raising funds for childhood cancer research.

Jack Loo of Computerworld Singapore speaks with Scott Morris, managing director, ASEAN, to find out more about his company's efforts with St Baldrick in Singapore.

Can you tell me more about your work with the St Baldrick's Foundation?

The NetApp-St Baldrick's event is an annual fundraiser where NetApp employees and friends shave their heads in solidarity with children fighting cancer, with the intention of raising money for childhood cancer research.

Four years ago, Bill Hogan, NetApp Global's East Area vice president, and Joey Santamorena, NetApp's America sales director, heard about the St. Baldrick's Foundation from longtime supporter, John LaCava, and John R. Bender, St. Baldrick's founder and current chairman of the board - both NetApp customers.

Rather than just writing a check or volunteering to shave at an existing St. Baldrick's event, they invited their colleagues, partners and customers to join them for "Bill & Joey's Excellent Shaving Adventure."

Since then, each March NetApp teams around the world hold head-shaving events to support St Baldrick's cause to fund childhood cancer research. As a global community, NetApp has raised more than US$1.7 million, with over US$913,000 raised this year. In 2010, NetApp also became the top corporate fundraising team for the St Baldrick's Foundation.

Can you describe what you are doing with the Foundation in Singapore?

Last year, NetApp Singapore held its first St Baldrick's fundraiser, raising US$80,000. This year, NetApp has once again outdone itself by organising another head-shaving event, the hallmark of St Baldrick's fundraisers around the world, raising more than US$130,000. Shavees and volunteers from NetApp Singapore pledged to shave their heads or complete other tasks in a bid to raise funds, while families, friends and the public were encouraged to donate generously to support their efforts. Donations were made through mail, phone, e-mail or through the NetApp Singapore-St Baldrick's interactive Web portal.

In total, NetApp Singapore raised more than US$130,000 (S$169,000) this year, adding to the US$80,000 raised from its inaugural event the year before. Matched dollar for dollar by the Singapore government, the funds raised by NetApp will go towards launching the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) Pediatric Cancer Research Fund. The Duke-NUS Pediatric Cancer Research Fund supports efforts to uncover the underlying causes and improve treatments for childhood bone cancer.


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