SR Panel: Giving Back

Panelists share their favorite charities and organizations

In April, we did our first Celebrating American Heroes event. It’s going to be an annual event, with proceeds benefitting a charitable organization tied to either military, fire/police/EMT, or public school teachers. This year, we had a goal to donate $15,000 to the JBLM Fisher House, which provides a nurturing, secure environment for military service members and their families while receiving medical care at nearby Madigan Army Medical Center. We ended up donating $22,250 to them. Hot Spring partnered with us and gave a portion of sales to the charity as well.

I plan on a second giving event for October. This one will partially be a tribute to Alice [Cunningham] and Blair [Osborn], who retired last year, and the things they were passionate about giving support to: fighting homelessness, hunger and giving to the arts. It will be called the Founders Event and will hopefully be as successful as our first Heroes event was.

These are both planned annual giving events that will help us support our surrounding community and at the same time raise the philanthropic profile of Olympic Hot Tub.

— DON RILING, Olympic Hot Tub, owner
Six in the Seattle metro

As a company and family, we are drawn to charities and community events that benefit families with young children. Many requests come our way, and it can be quite difficult to say no to some. We try to focus on what best meets the needs of the community and represents our heart as a family-owned business.

- Sponsor -

One of our favorites is The Robinson Theatre Community Arts Center, a little nonprofit nestled in a residential area of the inner city. The mission of this organization is to help young families by providing after-school activities for kids, classes for parents and movie nights for the whole family. Richmond is a beautiful city in the midst of a revitalization project to save the diverse architecture found on its north side. Despite positive changes in the area, Richmond is still one of the largest food deserts in the United States. It is hard to believe that in 2017, there are folks living 15 minutes away with little access to healthy food. When the Robinson announced plans to start a farmers market in the area, it only endeared them to us more.

Holiday Cheer & Gear is our other favorite event. While Toys for Tots and Angel Tree successfully focus on the very young, children between 12 and 16 seem to fall through the cracks at Christmas. This realization gave birth to Holiday Cheer & Gear. We have so much fun watching employees and customers fill a spa in our showroom with donated sporting equipment that will make Christmas fun for children in this age range. Its effect has been overwhelming, but the need grows each year.

We enjoy giving back to our community and seeing the faces of the people it affects. In most cases, philanthropy is a smart business move, but as a family we never want to lose site of the importance of helping others.

— JENNIFER CLEMENTS, Pla-Mor Pools, director of business development
Mechanicsville and Ashland, Virginia