Cindy McCauley


Image of Volunteer awardWe're thankful to have an amazing volunteer like Cindy McCauley as a champion for our cause.  Cindy was recently recognized at the American Lung Association’s national meeting in Tampa Bay, FL where she received the American Lung Association Volunteer Excellence Award.  Read, in her own words, why she supports the American Lung Association & its mission.


I will admit that the American Lung Association came to me, rather than me to it.  You see, I was the building manager for 801 Grand in Des Moines, the site of the Iowa Fight for Air Climb, when I first became involved in 2008.  I was told, as building manager, one of my responsibilities would be to “help” with the ALA Climb.  I thought, sure, no problem, I can get to people to where they need to be; I can make sure the building is clean and safe for participants, volunteers and guests; I can coordinate use of the building with the owner and tenants of the building; I can do this.


What I didn’t anticipate or appreciate was the scope of the event – the pre-planning, the meetings, the number of people involved and the coordination involved.  I freely admit – I was completely overwhelmed and marginally effective at my first Climb.


However, Micki Sandquist, Executive Director and Donna Miller, Special Events Director for the American Lung Association in Iowa were extraordinarily supportive and helpful to me.  The environment they created for ALA volunteers is inspiring and one of the most positive atmospheres I’ve ever been associated with.  They inspired me to want to do more, not just for this event, but for the organization, as well.


I’ve grown as a volunteer from being the gal with the keys to the building, to one that has helped coordinate the activities and people needed to pull off this event, to one who recruited additional volunteers from my peer group, to one that has helped obtain a corporate sponsor, to one that is also volunteering at ALA Iowa’s other major fundraiser, the Lung Walk.


My husband has asthma.  His mother died of emphysema.  Without even realizing it, my family has benefited from donations that have helped provide for education, advocacy and research for those afflicted with lung diseases.  It’s very satisfying to be able to finally give back to the American Lung Association.


The Iowa Climb has grown in numbers and in donations, becoming one of the most successful stair climbs for the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest - not because of me, but because of the hard work and heart the ALA in Iowa staff and volunteers pour into the Fight for Air Climb.  It is as a representative of this remarkable group of people that I accept this award and look forward to sharing it with them.



Read more about past Volunteers in the Spotlight here.