Atlanta Walk to End Lupus raises $600,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America, Georgia Chapter

July 7, 2015 – Rob Murphy of J. Smith Lanier & Co. serves as the “Walk Chairman for Life” and J. Smith Lanier & Co. and its employees have given thousands of dollars over the past several years to the Atlanta Walk to End Lupus Now.

The Atlanta Walk to End Lupus Now held in April exceeded the goal and raised over $600,000 for the fight to end lupus and the Georgia Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). Over 14000 walkers, one of the largest walks in Atlanta, also ensured the Georgia Chapter has the largest LFA walk campaigns in the country in only the ninth event year.

Plans are already underway for the 2016 Walk with hopes to raise $700,000 next year building on this tremendous foundation which would make the Georgia Chapter the first to raise a $1million in the LFA national network of chapters.

The 2016 event will be held on Saturday, April 30th with the leadership of Rob Murphy, the event walk chair for the 3rd consecutive year and a lupus thriver. Rob has hosted a top team every year and raised over $170,000 to date.

The impact on the patients and families served and empowered by the Georgia Chapter is compelling. Their footprint in Georgia is far larger than their small fiscal budget and staff reaching 115 Georgia counties. This fall and in 2016, the Chapter will host 11 educational symposiums and workshops including the first programs in Cumming, Decatur and Savannah, reaching new patients and communities. They are one of the fastest growing Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) chapters in the nation because we are building friendships at every opportunity to grow their “Chapter Family.” This family includes: over 30 statewide support groups and involved chapter boards and corporate sponsors. The Chapter’s expanded Medical Advisory Board donate their time and expertise at statewide symposiums and shares resources with their patients.

For many living with lupus, the greatest challenge is a lack of understanding; patients often feel they are the only ones who “don’t look sick.” The Chapter is a lifeline; here to listen and to make sure everyone with lupus receives answers and support. Ninety percent of every dollar donated funds the programs, resources and advocacy here in Georgia and they also support the National LFA efforts funding and advocating for lupus research.

J. Smith Lanier & Co., headquartered in West Point, Georgia, is an employee-owned company that was founded in 1868 and has become one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers in the United States. Since 1868, the company has grown from a three-employee local agency to a major regional firm employing over 570 employees in eight divisions and 19 branch offices. J. Smith Lanier & Co. offers commercial and personal lines insurance, employee benefits, surety, and risk control.