We are about to release the sixth calendar we’ve created for Legistics. Instead of the divisions, anger and frustration of 2020, perhaps we can shift our focus to address some of the big concerns we all share.
After a year of being reactive, of struggling, of turning inward, we hope that 2021 will be a year of re-engagement. The pandemic has shown us that, without a doubt, we are all citizens of a tightly interconnected world — a world eager for us to work together to solve its most important problems.
In our 2021 calendar — with the help of eight talented artists, my co-designer Amy Crossan, and our writer Emily Hutta — we highlight some of those big issues in the hopes that we can maintain our focus, keep an eye on the future, and create a world we can proudly hand to our children and grandchildren.
Each month, we’ll post one of these beautiful images along with a bit of written context about each topic. We hope they inspire you as they have us.
That’s how much money we helped raise for scholarships at the seventh annual COPi Cup Invitational Tournament at Pebble Beach. ($223,785 to be perfectly accurate.)
The fundraiser was conceived by our philanthropic client Philip Frengs, the CEO of Legistics, Inc. (That’s Phil in the salmon-colored pants, driving one straight toward the green, just like he does with his charities.)
Named after his firm’s forerunner the COPi Companies, the COPi Cup is a 2-day event celebrating “Camaraderie, Competition and Charity”. It was created to fund scholarships for underserved kids who are often the first members of their families to attend college.
This financial assistance is provided by the SCGA Junior Golf Foundation, but eligibility is not about competitive performance or athletic scholarships. Instead, through their involvement with SCGA Junior, these high schoolers become eligible for aid based on their leadership skills, their academic achievement, their committed participation and their mentorship to younger golfers.
FreeAssociates handles the marketing and information materials, the physical event setup — signs, banners, audio-visuals, etc. — and helps coordinate the actual event. It’s exciting to be so deeply involved in creating the participants’ experience, especially for such a worthy cause.
And spending time in stunning Pebble Beach is pretty nice, too!
5.8 million Americans are victims of Alzheimer’s disease. That translates to about 24 million family members. Maybe more. One of those sufferers is Mimi Frengs, our client’s wife, who was diagnosed with the early onset form at 59.
Her husband Phil Frengs decided to do something about it. He thought maybe he could turn his and others’ love of car racing into something that could change lives.
His idea: for the race at Laguna Seca, California, take those giant sponsor logos off the car and replace them with the names of Alzheimer’s sufferers. At $250 to honor your loved one, it gives exposure to the problem while raising funds for both the care and the cure.
Racing to End Alzheimer’s now has 8,500 Facebook followers. We’ve gotten celebrity support from golf champion Rickie Fowler and CBS’s Jim Nantz. And we’ve raised over $140,000 so far. To add to the success, last year our BMW, covered with names, won the season championship, creating even more buzz.
This year we’re racing an Audi RS3, and the names will be added all season long, not just at Laguna Seca. Corporate co-sponsors are on board with matching funds, and we’re looking to add at least another $150,000 to the Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation — 100% of which is distributed to our charity partners.
You can learn more here.
Political divisions can run deep, and this local one has been festering for years.
Santa Monica and Malibu are part of the same school district, but the much smaller city of Malibu sees itself as a very different community. Many Malibu parents resented that the money they contributed to the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation went to help schools all over the district, not just those in its own city.
So on July 6, the Santa Monica-Malibu School Board (SMMUSD) decided that the Education Foundation, which supported both cities’ schools, would now be responsible only for funding programs within Santa Monica. And Malibu, that bastion of entertainment money, would form a new nonprofit to fund its own educational programs separately.
To that end, the Ed Foundation quickly needed to rename itself and create a fresh, new brand identity that would help announce and embody the change within the community. With our long history of supporting the district, they asked FreeAssociates to help.
Capturing the spirit
The new logo, which we’ve collectively dubbed “the flying pencil”, represents the creativity of the Santa Monica community, where kids can truly soar through support for programs in the arts, enhanced academics and competitive sports. In the SMMUSD, 80% of students are involved in some form of music program, teachers receive enhanced training, and athletics are encouraged and kept competitive. Alumni run from actors Maya Rudolph and Rob Lowe to baseball great Rick Monday to two astronauts: Randy Bresnick and Johnny Kim — all products of a long-time tradition of academic excellence and support for the arts.
The Ed Foundation’s new brand identity was officially “launched” at a Corporate Heroes Appreciation event on August 2, complete with posters and a fold-it-yourself paper airplane version of the flying pencil. Many more elements of the re-branding are in the works and will be rolled out between now and the start of the fall semester. Take a look. It’ll be fun to watch the redefined Ed Foundation soar!
We’ve got the green flag for our purple charity event!
Our client, Legistics, is again spearheading a campaign to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and family support. Last year’s efforts netted $43,500 in donations, which was split between UCLA Cognitive Health Clinic and Nantz National Alzheimer Center.
With the theme “Funding the care. Funding the cure.”, we’re looking to raise $100,000 this time.
The idea is to give auto racing fans an opportunity to honor a loved one who’s been affected by the disease.
Legistics CEO Phil Frengs and his co-sponsors are removing their corporate logos from their blazing fast BMW and replacing them with the names of hundreds of Alzheimer’s victims, turning the car into a visual tribute.
Our campaign, which had a soft launch at the last IMSA race in Mid-Ohio, starts in earnest at Watkins Glen, NY. If you’d like to contribute to help combat this scourge that affects over 5 million families in the U.S. head over to r2endalz.org.
New Yorkers have reason to be angry today. As do all of us here in the U.S. But 16 years later, a more thoughtful approach has arisen. Here are two New York voices I admire. I know there are many, many more.
My friend, designer Karen Simon, whose image graces this post:
Wishing you a peaceful and contemplative day.
Move through today with grace and love.
Share your heart with those around you.
And author Seth Godin:
It’s tempting to be oppositional. To see the different as the other. To dominate, to win, to move up as others move down (because in the zero sum game that we’ve built around us, that’s the only way).
But a networked world, one based on connection—one held together by the sheerest gossamer—can’t tolerate the tension and pain that bullying and dominance require.
An alternative is with-ness.
The practice of talking so we can be heard, and listening so we can understand.
We’re weaving something every single day, but entropy and fear leads to a raveling that can undo all of it.
I’ve been thinking about the power of helping vs. the power of fighting. Al Qaida’s currently working hard in Yemen (as AQAP) to fix broken sewer systems and otherwise help the local populace improve their lives. And not worrying much about imposing sharia law.
America used to do that as our hearts-and-minds tactic throughout the world. Now, we throw money at military “solutions” and isolate ourselves while threatening and bullying.
What do you think works better to calm an angry rebellion or undermine the power of a demagogue? Bombs? Or food, water, shelter and economic help?
The answer seems obvious to me.