A Community Walks Together to Fight Cystic Fibrosis

Every year, thousands of people across the country gather in their communities to take part in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides walk for a cure. To date, the walk has raised more than $34 million—but for Stan Scarborough, it’s about more than fundraising. It’s about community. 

“It’s always emotional for me to see this many people come to support the cause,” says Scarborough, whose son Banner, 16, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 8 months old. “It reaffirms that we’re not alone in this fight, and there are so many people rallying for him.”

Together with relatives, the Scarborough family runs Scarborough Specialties, a promotional product and corporate apparel company based in Lubbock, Texas. When Banner was diagnosed with CF in 2004, Stan and his wife Amanda immediately got involved with Great Strides. “We rallied our friends and community to create a team, Flying Banners, and we did what we do every day: make T-shirts.”

A partnership and a family

Thanks to a longstanding supplier relationship with SanMar, the family didn’t have to go far to craft Flying Banner’s tees. SanMar offered to donate the shirts needed for the race all those years ago and continues to supply tees for the race every year. “One of our core eight pillars of character is to value partnerships with quality suppliers,” says Scarborough. “[SanMar] is very like-minded with who we are, and they’re a fantastic partner.”

As for Banner, the Great Strides walk is hands-down his favorite day of the year. “For a guy that struggles with this disease every single year, it’s his favorite day because everyone is coming to support him,” says Scarborough. And while no parent wants to see their child be faced with disease, seeing Banner at the walk is special. “It means he’s made it through another year,” Scarborough says. 

When business is more than work

Working toward a cure for Banner has changed the way Scarborough thinks about his work. “As a business owner, it takes what we do to the next level because we get to use our story to make people happy and bring them together to support causes of people they love,” he says. “At the end of the day, every order we receive is more than just an order. It’s for something someone cares about.”

Scarborough says that belief is part of why they’ve worked with SanMar so long—because business is personal. “Anybody who says, ‘Well, business is just numbers’ is fooling themselves. Business is about relationships…we want to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Through Flying Banners, they have most certainly done just that. Now in their 15th year, the team is a strong reminder of what really matters in life: community. For the Scarborough family, a T-shirt is more than a T-shirt. “It’s about bringing people together, and at the same time it’s helping raise funds to find a cure,” Scarborough says. “It changes people’s lives.”