As I was sitting here trying to organize my thoughts and compile the list of items I wanted to include in the year end review, I realized the magnitude of support my family and the foundation have received since 2012. Over the last 4 years, the foundation has amassed a large group of GREAT volunteers and support from individuals and businesses throughout the community. This support has allowed NCBF the ability to donate over $161,000 back to the community through our projects, donations, and Days of Greatness outreach. NCBF’s board and volunteers come from all different walks of life but are united in the cause of service to others. As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, I thought it only fitting to start with a quote from a GREAT man and community organizer.
“Everybody can be GREAT…. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote, to me, symbolizes what our team is about – GREATNESS through service to others. Individuals from all walks of life joining together to make a difference in the lives of others.
In 2016, NCBF moved forward in big ways adding new members to our board and various committees, a re-invented website, the kick off of a new fundraiser. We began the year with our feet running (yes, literally) planning our first 5K! We hosted our 3rd golf tournament, our 5th fun day, broke ground on the Winfield Baseball Field, sent four running teams to Ragnar Relay Series which included a new partnership with that organization, held a fundraiser at Chick Fil-A, expanded our Holi-Days of Greatness outreach, attended various community events, and much more!
2016 began with some incredible upgrades to our website. It was long overdue as we had outgrown our website and the former format couldn’t keep up with the web traffic, merchandise sales, or give us the ability to easily expand and update. The web designer graciously donated his time to recreate our site (wow, thank you just doesn’t say enough) thus allowing us to put that money back into the community in big ways! With our new and updated website, it gives us GREATer control over the content, allows us to continue to grow as a foundation, and it can be updated much easier. If you haven’t checked it out… go do that today at www.nathanchrisbaker.com!
In 2016, we continued to work with the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks on the funding of the baseball field in the Winfield Community. The site is directly across from Winfield Elementary School. To date we have donated $15,000 to the project and a commitment of an additional $15,000 in the future. In 2016, hundreds of thousands of yards of top soil was brought in, the drainage was installed and the field was leveled. CCDRP continues to work with the Winfield Recreation Council on the details of this field and the timeframe for completion and we are extremely excited to hear the first – play ball!
NCBF is continuously searching for new and exciting community projects that we can be involved in. If you know of a project or location where NCBF can partner or assist the community in GREAT ways – visit our website and complete the application for community projects in the What We Do section.
Days of Greatness (D.O.G.)
On a more personal level, NCBF volunteers continued to reach members of the community through our Days of Greatness. As a foundation, we love our large projects that impact the community but feel strongly in the personal connections made with those in need through our DOG. As a family, the Bakers and Fulmers were truly touched by the kindness and love received from others in the days, weeks, months, and years since Nate’s passing. That kindness and love has inspired us to do the same for others struggling through life tragedies. Thus began a chain of paying it forward that continues with each small act of kindness through our Days of Greatness. This committee takes nominations from the community through our website and creates a Day of Greatness for those in need. Each day is personalized for that family and is designed to give them a day together without worrying about cost or logistics. It’s simply a day to spend together and forget about the worries that they deal with on a regular basis. Past recipients have been battling illnesses, lost a loved one, or a family dealing with a hardship.
A large part of DOG is our Holi-Days of Greatness - we go ALL OUT at Christmas time. Christmas 2016 brought us nominations for 12 families in need of some Christmas cheer. We decorated a family’s home and provided them with a Christmas tree, provided numerous drop and run baskets - a few gifts, some NCBF merchandise, and other goodies are dropped on the doorstep in order to bring them a bit of cheer. This is something small but it could mean so much to those that receive the surprise. This past Christmas, we adopted two families and provided them with their entire Christmas. Our team went shopping and purchased items from their wish list, wrapped he gifts and delivered them in time for Santa Claus. We even checked the lists twice! This year we were able to help a record number of families through the Holi-Days of Greatness. The goal is to provide the nominated family a bit of cheer for the holidays. It is our hope that each of the families we adopt will find a way to Go Out and Be Great and pay it forward in the future. It is always GREAT to see the face of someone we have helped attending or volunteering at one of our events and assisting us in making an impact in the community.
We are already working on our first Day of Greatness for 2017. If you know a family that is in need, please contact us through our website and nominate them. Greatness has to begin with you.
Applications for a Day Of Greatness can be found on our website by clicking here.
The GREAT 5k
In May, the 1st annual Great 5k was held in Westminster, MD. We approached this first race with nervous excitement as we jumped into new territory with planning our first race. NCBF strives to make each of our events GREAT so our goal was to host 200 runners in our first year, knowing that the average race typically registers 100 to 150 runners. We are beyond thrilled to share that with the help and support of the community, businesses, and the Great 5k committee, the race SOLD OUT at 400 runners. Wow! It was a cold and blustery day, but everyone had a GREAT time and the foundation was able to raise money to support our community involvement and projects.
Planning is already underway for the 2nd Annual Great 5k. It will be held in Westminster on June 11th, 2017. We are prepared to double the number of runners this year and make this one of the premiere races in the area. Stay tuned for details to be released soon!
NCBF Golf Tournament
On June 24, 2016 we hosted our 3rd Annual NCB Golf Tournament at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, MD. As always this event was well attended and hosted a total of 132 golfers. Although the weather started out a little rocky, the skies cleared and everyone had a GREAT day. We are thankful for a great group of golfers and volunteers that braved the rain and waited on the sunshine to make an amazing day! This is our largest fundraiser of the year and is always successful because of the generous donations of all of our sponsors. All of these fundraisers support the Go Out Be Great mission and each dollar goes right back into the community we serve! None of this would be possible without the support of sponsors such as Corridor Mortgage who headlined the event as the Title Sponsor. Linda Freeman and Corridor Mortgage continue to support NCBF each year at this event and we are so thankful for that support.
Mark your calendar because the golf committee is already busy planning for the 4th annual golf tournament set for June 23rd, 2017. Stay tuned for more details.
In September we held our 5th annual Fun Day at Hoppers Kid Zone which was presented by Hoppers KidZone & Rental Solutions. Again this year we took over the entire parking lot with moon bounces, fire trucks, police vehicles, carnival games, and vendor booths. It was a GREAT day of family fun and our longest fundraising event proved to be very successful. This event was established in 2012 by friends and family of Justin and Katie. The goal, then, was solely to raise money for the Mechanicsville E.S. playground. We had no idea, at the time, that this would become an annual event that now continues to raise money for our various projects! Yes, it’s a lot of work for the committee but the smiles on the faces at the end of the day make the work worthwhile. The Fun Day committee is the largest committee we have inside the foundation. It has so many moving parts. Thank you so much to the committee, the volunteers, the sponsors, to the business for their silent auction donations, and the community for making this event what it is. We would be remiss if we did not recognize St. Johns Properties and the many businesses at Eldersburg Exchange Shopping Center for their support and willingness allow us to use the parking lot for this annual event.
Planning will begin in the spring for the 6th annual Fun Day which will occur in September 2017 so stay tuned!!!
The above events make up NCBF’s three largest fundraisers each year. Each event has a committee designated to its preparation and execution. Without the volunteers on the committees and our volunteers at each event, these fundraisers would not be possible. We can’t thank each of you who volunteer your time and energy enough for all of your tireless work.
It seems these days you can’t leave the house without seeing a “Go Out. Be Great.” shirt or car magnet along your travels. Our supporters seem to be EVERYWHERE – from Hawaii to Massachusetts, you can find GOBG apparel. We are humbled by this ongoing support and are beyond GREATful that so many continue to keep Nathan’s legacy and memory alive through action. As we began thinking about how many shirts we see around the community we were left curious… so we sat down and ran the numbers. Would you believe we sold over 1100 shirts, sweatshirts, ¼ zips, Team Nate shirts, and other apparel in 2016? That is an absolutely staggering number for a foundation of our size. These items are purchased through our website and locally in Maryland at A La Mode Boutique. A La Mode Boutique has been a supporter of NCBF from day one and has carried our apparel in their stores since 2014. They sold over $6,000 in merchandise in 2016 and donate back 100% of the proceeds! We thank A La Mode for the continued commitment to NCBF and we encourage our local supporters to visit one of their two locations in Sykesville or Ellicott City, Maryland. To you, our supporters, you are amazing! Thank you for supporting NCBF and spreading GREATNESS through action. Stay tuned for our spring release of new merchandise in April!
This year we attended numerous community functions, races, and festivals to spread the word about NCBF. We attended and supported community functions such as the Sykesville Harvest Festival, Sykesville Farmers Market, the Howard County Police Pace, Pathfinders Run for Autism, promoted the Go Out. Be Great. Fitness Challenge, and so much more. In 2016, GOBG supporters ran numerous races and participated in events all over the country. It is humbling to attend events and see our apparel walking and running around.
In addition to our annual fundraisers, the NCBF has developed a partnership with Ragnar Relays. This is the first partnership of its type for NCBF. For three years, Team Nate has run various Ragnar races. In 2016, we took 4 teams to Ragnar Trail in Richmond, VA and at the finish line Ragnar took notice of our matching shirts and reached out to us. They asked us who we were and what we do and then briefly shared NCBF’s message with others at the finish line. It was an emotional reminder to the Team Nate runners of why they were running – to spread NCBF’s message or GREATNESS and community. After the race, Ragnar reached out to us to form a partnership that will benefit the foundation and Ragnar by providing opportunities to get our messages out, raise social awareness, and raise money together thus making Ragnar a profitable event for The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation as well as inspiring our runners to find their inner GREATNESS. In April of 2017, we will be sending 70+ runners to Richmond to race for Team Nate in the Ragnar Trail Relay! If you are interested in being involved in future Ragnar races with Team Nate you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are thrilled and looking forward to a long and meaningful partnership with Ragnar Relays.
As we look back on 2016, we are so grateful for the support of so many people. Without the support of the community and local businesses in the Carroll County and Howard County area, we could not continue to be as successful at giving back to a community that has given so much to us. We offer a very special thank you to our ongoing partnerships that support NCBF in every event throughout the year. Year after year these organizations step up, without fail. These businesses and organizations are Hoppers Kidzone, A La Mode Boutique, Denise Tuttle Designs, Rental Solutions, Ragnar Trail Relays, UnWined Candles, and The Ravens Nest #14 out of Carroll County. Your support and the support of all of our event sponsors allows us to reach out and touch the lives of so many – we are forever grateful. This support has helped us impact individuals and communities and will continue as we assist in building our Field of Dreams in the Winfield Community of Carroll County.
Thank you all so much for your support and we cannot wait to be GREAT in 2017.
Go Out Be Great