Cisco Employees Serious about Comic Relief
May 31, 2001
Cisco recently partnered with Comic Relief, a UK-based charity founded by comedy screenwriter Richard Curtis, whose achievements include movies such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, and British television comedy Blackadder. The organization's charter is to enable the poorest members of society to develop needed skills to become self-reliant.
Comic Relief operates year-round, and its largest fundraising effort, the popular Red Nose Day, takes place every two years. Thousands of people sponsor and participate in fundraising events across the UK, including comedic celebrities, who seize the nation's television airwaves for an evening of laughs and humor to aid the cause. Comic Relief has raised over #200 million to date to fight world poverty.
Through the organization of several creative fund-raising events, Cisco employees in the UK recently raised a whopping #25,000 to aid national charitable organization Comic Relief during its famous 2001 Red Nose Day campaign. And - new this year - Cisco's commitment went even further in providing networking skills and technology to help Comic Relief raise more funds than ever before.
Recognizing the value of online technology, Comic Relief knew the Internet could help increase funds raised in the run up to, and during, this national fundraising event, held March 16. Cisco answered their need for infrastructure and became Comic Relief's online sponsor, providing the charitable organization with a fast, easy, and safe way to receive donations online.
As a result of Cisco's efforts, the Red Nose Day 2001 campaign broke all previous fund raising records with over #3 million raised online. Comicrelief.com became the world's busiest e-commerce site during the Red Nose Day television broadcast with over 96,000 transactions taking place and more than 17 million page requests.
|Mike Couzens loses his moustache|
While the website was receiving lots of traffic, UK Cisco employees were busy hosting their own campus fund raising events for Red Nose Day. In a lively relay race 11 teams of five people fiercely competed to raise over #800. Director of Marketing Mike Couzens agreed to lose his mustache of 25 years, and then in a surprise move, shaved the head of the barber who had just shaved him. Systems Engineering Manager David Loewy likewise had his 25-year-old beard, and his hair, shaved off. Both events together raised more than #2,500.
|In the midst of the relay race|
Other festivities included an auction of promotional items, the Manufacturing and Media Group's "Lose the Lard" campaign to raise money for Comic Relief while losing weight, reaping #3,000 lbs, and the "Great Smartie Suck" by Cisco's Channel support team.