Check processor Panini North America recently sponsored a charity event in Dayton, Ohio, to raise money for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation. It was the third year that the company has sponsored the fundraising event, which included a silent auction, employee donations and a five kilometer walk. Panini raised thousands of dollars in its ongoing efforts to give back to the community.
"We decided three years ago that we wanted to share our success with the community we're headquartered in, so we had our employees vote as to which organization they wanted to support," said Jessica Back, Panini's Marketing and Communication Manager. "A couple of our employees had family members or friends afflicted with diabetes, and we've been working with the JDRF since 2005."
JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 juvenile diabetes research worldwide. For three months prior to the event, called "Walk for the cure," Panini employees participated in a variety of activities to raise additional funds, and the company matched employee proceeds 100 percent.
"This being our third year, everyone is onboard and the employees are coming up with new ways to give personally," Back said. "One of our folks donated 100 percent of a month's profits from a soda machine he runs in our office. Another employee set up a healthy snacks station for the walk and donated the monies generated from that. And the silent auction, with employee donated items, was a huge success leading up to the walk."
Back believes the event serves a double purpose: It gives the company a tangible way to say thank you to the local community and brings Panini's employees closer together as a group. The Dayton chapter of the JDRF named Panini the top corporate team for 2008, based on the number of employee participants and the amount of money raised.
"This year we had about 25 or 30 people participate, over half of our staff, and this event is a good team building opportunity for us as well," Back added. "We love the relationship that we have with the JDRF. Additionally, and more importantly, we think that this is something we are obligated to do: to share our good fortune with a community that has been instrumental in our success."
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