Gisele Winton Sarvis - Orillia Packet
Christine Hager, right, executive director of The Sharing Place food bank, right, presents a certificate of appreciation to Bob Hart, general manager, and Karen Foster, human resources manger for CCI Thermal Technologies Inc. for its annual contributions to the food bank, which have totalled $149,075 since 2005. GISELE WINTON SARVIS - THE PACKET & TIMES
ORILLIA - From the newest employee to the chief executive officer, CCI Thermal Technologies Inc. is helping the less fortunate by donating funds to the The Sharing Place food bank of Orillia.
CCI Thermal Technologies, one of Orillia’s largest employers with 169 employees, chose The Sharing Place as its primary charity in 2005. Since then, the company has donated $149,075.
“They are a wonderful corporate sponsor. We are very, very grateful,” said Christine Hager, executive director of The Sharing Place.
Hager honoured CCI by presenting general manager Bob Hart and human resources manager Karen Foster with a certificate of appreciation Friday.
“It’s wonderful to have this consistent support. It’s about $15,000 a year and it helps us plan our budget and purchases,” Hager said. “It’s also great to know that the employees care so much about the less fortunate in the community.”
Foster said the company has a few employees who have used the food bank when they were unemployed.
“Sometimes they are the greatest supporters of it,” she said.
Hager said people who have used the food bank and find a job recognize the importance of giving back and paying it forward.
Foster said the Orillia manufacturing plant looked at a wide variety of organizations in 2005 when trying to decide which one to make its primary charity, Foster said.
“We found that The Sharing Place really needed support from a larger standpoint,” she said.
After they started fundraising, CCI Thermal Technologies chair and CEO Harold Roozen and his wife, Cathy, doubled the money raised by the employees and they continue to do so.
Funds are presented to The Sharing Place once a year before Christmas and while most of the money is raised in the late fall, fundraisers are held year round.
The company raises funds by hosting charity lunches, bake sales, barbecues, raffles and silent auctions. This summer, it will hold a fun fair with a dunk tank for employees.
“The staff looks forward to it. They like the events and that they are helping out in the community,” Hart said.
“They especially like the food events such as the spaghetti lunches and the bake sales,” added Foster, a former Sharing Place board member.
CCI Thermal has also raised $8,000 for the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre, $6,700 for the Orillia branch of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and about $5,000 for Lighthouse Christian Ministries. Three years ago, CCI Thermal donated 60 backpacks to The Sharing Place for school children.
Former CCI assistant manager Ron Rimmer brought the idea of hosting a macaroni and cheese culinary event as a fundraiser for The Sharing Place from the Edmonton CCI head office, where it had done a similar event. This year, the May 14 event at Casino Rama will be the fifth annual and CCI continues to support it.
“It’s our marquee fundraising event. We average $25,000 a year. (CCI is) very special in our hearts,” Hager said.