CMMC, Spika make Thursday a ‘day of service’

From left, CMMC employees Rita Goodwin, Ande Martin and Nancy Gerdrum clean up the future home of Creekside Marketplace and Pavilion, participating in Thursday’s Day of Service.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Prater

Charlie Denison

“Thank you so much for being here,” Lewistown Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Abby Franks told the Central Montana Medical Center volunteers Thursday morning. The handful of hospital employees had come by to help stain decks and fix up the flowerbed.

“Are you kidding?” asked CMMC Cares representative Patti Carr. “We get to be outside and we don’t have to sit at our desks.”

Franks and the volunteers laughed at this, but it was true. All who volunteered are still making their standard wage for an eight-hour day, but instead of doing their typical jobs they got to hop around the community and help with projects all over town, filling needs often overlooked.

The day started at Snowy Mountain Development Corporation to paint the kitchen and conference room, followed by the Boys and Girls Club. Franks was happy to host them, providing coffee and pastries.

“So much work and organization goes into what we do here at the Boys and Girls Club, so when people in the community come and help us with something like this, it’s very motivating for us,” Franks said. “It really helps everything come together.”

And the volunteers are happy to do it.

“It’s a nice day to be outside,” said Chad Williams, Judith Peak Rehab Physical Therapist.

In addition to the Boys and Girls Club, volunteers went to the Lewistown Junior High, Fergus High School, Central Montana Headstart, City Hall, the Fergus County Council on Aging, Family Planning, Treasure Depot, East Fork Dam Creekside Marketplace and Pavilion and Calvary Cemetery. It was a full day, and CMMC volunteers, Spika Design and Manufacturing employees and others accomplished much. There were more than 20 projects altogether, and all projects benefited non-profit organizations.

“We were happy to support the cause,” Spika Purchasing Manager Chad Catron said.

The “Day of Service” started in 2016, when Spika representatives created it as a way to accomplish their mission of “building the community.”

“This year, CMMC liked the idea and wanted to partner with us in our efforts,” said Bekhi Spika, Spika Director of Marketing. “We had a very successful event. It’s fun to get involved in the community in a way that has an immediate impact.”

Bekhi said Spika had an excellent turnout, as close to 40 employees participated, thanks to Sam Robertson, who rounded them up.

“It was a great,” Robertson said. “Between Spika and CMMC, we had 67 employees volunteer. I think if we keep growing like this, we’ll have a good, successful Day of Service every year.”

Volunteers helped out at more than 10 organizations. All work was manual labor, including cleaning headstones, eating weeds and fixing up the lawn at Calvary Cemetery. Zane Fulbright of the Lewistown Historic Resources Commission and stonemason C.J. Bailey were two of the several volunteers out at the cemetery. They led the way, as they were both involved with the 2016 Gravestone Preservation Workshop. This was made possible by a $3,000 grant through the Montana History Foundation.

CMMC Foundation Manager Ann Tuss – who rounded up volunteers for the hospital – said she appreciates everyone who signed up to volunteer a day of work and was glad to see such an excellent turnout.

“This was such an awesome experience,” Tuss said. “It was very humbling and very fulfilling.”

Like Robertson, Tuss said she hopes the Day of Service continues to grow.

“We had 30 employees sign up this year,” Tuss said. “My hope is to double that number next year.”

Carr said she is grateful Spika and CMMC put this event together, as she greatly enjoyed the experience. A Kalispell native, Carr has lived in the community a year and a half. Still new here, she said the Day of Service is a great way for her (and others) to meet people in the community.

“It’s also a great way to know what other agencies exist,” she said.

It takes a lot of work to making something like this happen, Carr said, but it’s worth it.

“It’s a win-win,” she said.





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