Meet Team Winter

Since our product launch in May 2008, we have been fortunate to meet some extraordinary people. People that inspire and move us. Over the next several posts, I will introduce you to some of these friends in hopes that they will inspire you with their passion as much as they have us.

I’ll start with Team Winter

Team Winter is a non profit organization raising money and awareness for prostate cancer. The spearhead behind the organization is Winter Vinecki, an 11 year old triathlete who lost her dad, Michael, to prostate cancer when she was 9. The team behind Winter is her mom, Dr. Dawn Estelle, and her three brothers –Yukon (13), Magnum (9) and Ruger (7).

I first heard of Winter over a year ago, when my friend Scott Zagarino, a fellow Shorty Award winner, told me he had shared some Action Wipes with her. After I learned of Winter’s story, I was instantly captivated. So when she wrote to me a couple months ago asking if I would consider sponsoring her with Action Wipes, my immediate response was ‘YES!’ (Ok, let’s get corny - she actually had me at “hello”!)

Now, let me say this – Winter, at 11 years old, already has amazing vision, dedication and drive. I’m sure we’ll be seeing her in the Olympics in the very near future! And, after spending time with her, I found that her strength comes from her family. Like Samson counted on his hair for strength, Winter counts on Dawn and the boys.

The cohesiveness, love and support of this family blows me away. And the more I come to know them, the more in awe I become. And as amazing as Winter is – her mom and brothers need to be recognized, cheered and supported as well…

I don’t know how Dawn does it – widowed much too soon, she is the sole supporter (emotionally and financially) to these four, incredible kids. And as if being a full time, loving mom is not enough, she is a full time physician and Team Winter’s janitor, secretary, travel agent, tradeshow & logistics coordinator, vendor relationship liaison, accounts payable & receivable, marketing & PR, promotions, sponsorship coordinator, fund raiser and…best friend. She’s related to the energizer rabbit! I know it!

And then there is Yukon. At 13, this smart, loving boy is already entrenched in the daily business activities of Team Winter, while keeping up with his school homework and own athletic aspirations. Yukon has taken on the task of updating, maintaining and improving the Team Winter website – without any formal technical training. He also maintains all social media aspects of the organization – tweeting and facebooking as time permits. At events, you’ll find him in the Team Winter tent, in charge of sales.

Laughter and balances comes easily when Magnum and Ruger are in da-house. The personality differences between these two couldn’t be farther apart than when the red sea parted. But they too, are a crucial link in Winter’s circle of strength and, you’ll find them promoting and helping at events too. In fact, you’ll find the entire family promoting Team Winter, their sponsors and helping at the tent.

For so many families, the death of a spouse/parent can shatter the fragile bonds of the family, but the Vineckis found strength in each other and have rallied around the gifted talents of Winter as a way to stay connected. While Winter’s achievements are awesome on their own merits, what is truly inspiring and heartwarming is the love, friendship and camaraderie that Dawn, Yukon, Magnum and Ruger all bring to the Vinecki team. They are the inspiration for Winter and they are all truly an inspiration to me. We are proud to know them and to help in a very small way with a sponsorship from Action Wipes.

If you want to support Team Winter, go to and make a donation and you’ll make their day. 100% of it goes to cancer research. Now how many other non-profits can say this?!

No comments:

Post a Comment