News Release, SMECO
SMECO employees held two fund-raising events and recently donated $57,450 to three organizations in Southern Maryland: The Arc Southern Maryland in Calvert County, Spring Dell in Charles County, and Bay Community Support Services in St. Mary’s County. Each organization will receive $19,150. “We selected these three organizations that assist intellectually and developmentally disabled people as this year’s recipients because they provide services to individuals and families who need support for everyday living,” said Natalie Cotton, SMECO’s government affairs and community relations director.
“Contributing to these groups that help Southern Maryland families enjoy meaningful lives is an honor,” said Richard Jarboe, SMECO supply chain director. “Our annual charity golf outing has become an extraordinary fundraising event because we are able to work with our vendors, who make big-hearted contributions. It means a great deal to us to be able to provide a donation that will help make our community even better.”
SMECO employees raised the money through the SMECO Annual Charity Golf Outing in October and the SMECO 75 Bike Ride held in June. The events are supported by SMECO vendors, the cooperative’s board and executive team, and employees who volunteer. The cooperative selects different organizations each year to benefit from its fundraising events. In seven years, SMECO employee fund-raisers have contributed $328,100 to local organizations. Contributions, which may be tax-deductible, can be made to the SMECO Charitable Foundation.
The Arc Southern Maryland is dedicated to its mission: creating opportunities for independence and personal success for people with different abilities in inclusive communities. “We believe everyone deserves a good quality of life and that small steps to independence empower each person and their family. Opportunities don’t just happen; they have to be created,” said Renee Seigley, Director of Development. “We are so thankful to SMECO and their event participants for supporting our work. We will utilize these funds, in part, to enhance our vocational training and career placement programs.”
Bay Community Support Services (Bay-CSS) assists individuals in St. Mary’s County with increasing their participation in the activities of daily living and promotes independence. “Our clients want to be included in the workforce and the community. We help them with obtaining and keeping jobs, and we encourage them to enjoy their interests, such as attending worship services and participating in other activities,” said Catherine Raines, R.N., Chief Executive Officer. “Our organization plans to use the SMECO contribution to create an adaptive and inclusive music therapy program led by a board-certified music therapist. Additionally, Bay-CSS plans to create adaptive computer labs at our day activity centers for employment, learning, and recreation.”
For more than 50 years, Spring Dell in Charles County has supported adults with disabilities. “We are committed to helping the people we support to achieve independence and find gainful employment. There are so many opportunities for them in our community, and it’s our job to assist them with finding out what they enjoy doing, no different than anyone else,” said Angie Keesee, Director of Marketing and Development. Spring Dell plans to use the contribution from SMECO to supplement funds designated for their Work Readiness Program, which assists people in developing job skills to be ready for the workplace by teaching them interpersonal skills, teamwork, and customer service. Keesee added, “Improving the lives of others is important to work, and we are grateful for the support and opportunities we receive from the community.”
Cotton added, “We are already planning our ninth annual bike ride for June 6, 2020. Next year, our contributions will go to organizations concerned with preventing and treating individuals and families affected by the opioid epidemic.”
Cyclists who want to participate in the SMECO 75 Bike Ride can register online at Active.com beginning January 1, 2020. The SMECO 75 Bike Ride is open to the public. Participants can choose among three routes of 29, 47, and 75 miles that start at the co-op’s headquarters in Hughesville and go as far as Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County. According to Cotton, “Our employees and vendors make the SMECO 75 bike ride successful and fun. The community atmosphere and enthusiasm of the participants make the event a great experience. Raising funds for deserving organizations is a bonus.”
Cotton said, “We are especially thankful for business partners who help raise funds by providing donations and participating in the event. Major contributors include ABB, Adams Jenkins and Cheatham, Booth and Associates, CGI, Cigna Health, Community Bank of the Chesapeake, CW Wright Construction, DLA Piper LLP, Duncan Weinberg Genzer Pembroke, Glen and Barbara Ives, Hafets and Associates, ICF International, IP Datasystems, Keller and Heckman, McNees Wallace and Nurick LLC, MSI Inc., New River Electrical Corporation, Prudential, Schiebel Construction, Sensus USA, TRC, UDC, Venable Foundation, and VFP, and we thank them for their support.”
Jarboe added, “We are grateful to our Golf Outing sponsors for their generous contributions. Platinum Sponsors include Altec, Anixter, CDW, Brandywine Power, ICF International, Irby Utilities, Lawrence Abell & Associates, New River Electrical Cooperation, PJ Martini & Associates, Sargent & Lundy LLC, The Okonite Company, TRC Solutions, and Wesco Utility. Gold Sponsors include Bradley Electrosales Corp., Itron, Meridian Imaging Solutions, SMO Energy, and Super Salvage. We rely on them for their donations and appreciate their assistance.”