Team SDG&E/Sempra:  Lighting the Way to a Cure

Team SDG&E/Sempra was formed in 2008 because so many of SDG&E and Sempra Energy employees had been touched in some way by breast cancer.  Many of the women who walked their journey with breast cancer shared it with their co-workers, who provided wonderful support in so many ways.  The team members are breast cancer survivors, their co-survivors, and people who just want to see an end to this disease.

Led by Vice President Michelle Mueller, whose own family has been deeply affected by breast cancer, SDG&E and Sempra Energy provide the means for employees to make payroll deductions to Susan G. Komen for their team.  These donations are matched by the company, up to $10,000.  “We were able to donate a little over $26,000 for the 2012 Race and our 2013 goal is $30,000,” said Mueller.  “It affects all of us, whether we are the ones walking the journey, or we know someone who is.” This year’s efforts will also be co-led by SDG&E’s COO Mike Niggli, who lost his wife in June of this year after a long battle with breast cancer.

Team Captain Gail DaSilva added, “It affects the morale in the workplace as we worry about those going through treatment.  We all pick up their workload to make the transition back from sick leave easier. “ For those who are co-survivors, it also impacts their work/life balance as they are trying to support the person they love going through the journey.

SDG&E and Sempra Energy have a unique way of raising additional money for their team.  They spread the word about the Team’s participation via emails, electronic news articles and message boards, lunch time learning sessions, posters, health fairs and word of mouth. They also hold many fundraising activities on their campuses, including executive-sponsored opportunity drawings; cupcake sales events; and an on-line Pink Store that sells donated jewelry, crocheted and knitted items and even pink hard hats!  They placed cans in strategic locations to collect Change for the Cure; sold cards to be placed on the Honor Wall that honors those who have survived the disease and those whom we have lost; and had an executive-sponsored candy sale on Halloween!

“Our committee and team members look forward to this event every year,” said DaSilva.  “It’s great to meet people from different parts of the company all coming together to raise awareness and funds to find a cure.”