1. Please tell us the name of your firm, title, and describe your role in one sentence. I work at Morgan Stanley in our Securitized Products Group, working for the COO of our division.
2. What are your fundraising and athletic goals for The Decathlon, and what led you to choose them? There are several goals for this year. Collectively, we are looking to raise 2 million dollars. That is a huge number and would be a new record for the Decathlon. Secondly, I hope to do my part and exceed last year’s total of $13,000. Third is to finish top 5 in the overall competition for the third year in a row. And fourth: Beat my brother and cousin for bragging rights at all McCarthy/Weber family reunions!
3. On average, a Decathlete receives donations from 34 supporters. What fundraising technique(s) have worked best for you that you would recommend to first-time participants? Let friends, family, and coworkers know you are working towards a great cause. The more people understand the commitment you are making, the more generous they are when donating to MSKCC.
Competitors should be proactive in seeking out donations. Getting the word out via both social media and email distributions (specifically family and colleagues) is a great way to plant the seed and raise awareness, but it takes more than that. People are often most generous and response when they understand the commitment you have made, so be proud of the time and energy you have put into it and follow up with people after broadcast e-mails or social media posts.
4. What are you looking forward to most about this year's event? I have competed in the Decathlon the last two years and made some great memories. However, this year my brother and cousin are competing for the first time. My family and friends have been very supportive on Game Day the last two years, and I am looking forward to an even bigger family turnout this year!
5. How are you training? I have trained with several great strength and conditioning coaches over the past decade, so I am able to pick and choose my favorite components of each program. On a given week, I try to lift 3-4 times a week and do some combination of running and rowing twice a week. I am more diligent about lifting than running.
6. What’s the one piece of advice about The Decathlon that you’d share with first-time participants? Do a mock test day where you complete all 10 events. Maxing out in 10 events under the sun is even more draining than you would expect, and simulating a full day will help your body adjust.
You can donate to Tom's personal fundraising page here.