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United Way kick-off aids in fundraising efforts

Wilhelm is a busy with constant deadlines, completing projects, and managing complicated construction phases through all seasons of the year. But Wilhelm is also a company that takes the time to give, and that was clear through their recent campaign benefiting United Way.

Wilhelm has conducted this annual campaign for more than ten years, giving employees both in the office and in the field a chance to contribute to the cause. The 2013 campaign raised an impressive $14,472 from employees; Wilhelm matched these contributions, bringing the total donation to $28,944.

According to Brooke Lock, Wilhelm’s marketing coordinator, affiliate companies were also invited to contribute. Contributions are distributed by zip code, allowing employees to give in their own community.

The campaign included a kick-off meeting featuring United Way Loaned Executive Janelle Groce and Torchbearer Jenny Atkinson. Groce, an executive with FedEx, is loaned to United Way for a short period of time to help staff corporate fundraising campaigns. Atkinson is the Equine Program Manager for Children’s TherAplay Foundation a not-for-profit outpatient rehabilitation clinic and United Way agency.

United Way kick-offAtkinson said companies like Wilhelm that take the time to invest in United Way provide precious support to organizations like Children’s TherAplay. They provide special needs children a foundation for developing life skills through innovative therapy, including equine assisted physical and occupational therapy.

At the kick-off, Atkinson shared about a three-year old boy, Tim, with Downs Syndrome who had been receiving therapy at TherAplay for about a year. He had a tracheotomy tube planted at the base of his neck to help him breathe. His breath made a wheezing sound and his diaphragm was not strong enough to allow him to speak. One day last winter after one of his sessions, Tim said, “bye-bye,” shocking the therapists. The therapy he had received at atop a horse had allowed him to build the strength to speak.

It’s stories like this that keep Atkinson loving her job and deeply appreciating support from companies like Wilhelm.

“I was very impressed by the turnout at Wilhelm’s kickoff meeting,” Atkinson said. “Everyone was welcoming and receptive, and I could tell they had a heart for service.”

Groce also stressed the importance of Wilhelm’s interest and support in United Way.

“Our mission is to help people learn more, earn more and lead safe, healthy lives,” Groce said. “F.A. Wilhelm Construction, and its leadership understand our mission and want to do their part to help their community. We appreciate the support we have gotten from Phil Kenney and all of [Wilhelm’s] employees.”

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