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Cianbro Irby Team Raises $6,000 for Make-A-Wish Maine

Last May, it came to the attention of Cianbro Irby Joint Venture Transmission & Distribution Group team members that a lot of empty bottles were being generated by crews in the field.  After all, working on the Maine Power Reliability Program (MPRP) Central Loop power line upgrades can generate a hearty thirst among the men and women who are on the job.  The Cianbro Irby team decided to make an extra effort to collect the empties in order to make a donation to Make-A-Wish® Maine, the non-profit organization that grants wishes to Maine children with life-threatening illnesses.  Soon, team members were so excited about taking part that they began to bring in all their returnables from home as well. 

On top of that, Cianbro Irby team members began to take a closer look at one of the Joint Venture's safety incentive programs -- one in which a celebratory meal is provided to every member of the team if each person completes at least one safety observation per week for four weeks as part of the Cianbro Accident Prevention Program (CAPP).  With the ball rolling thanks to the crews' bottle drive, team members thought they would ramp up the donation to Make-A-Wish considerably by including the team's safety meal money into the mix also.  The total amount raised added up to around $5,400 in just two months, six hundred dollars short of the team's fundraising goal to grant a complete wish to a Maine child.  Two executives of the Joint Venture team, Cianbro's Senior Vice President of Operations Earle Cianchette and Irby's President Bill Korlath, heard about the team's effort and decided to donate the $600 necessary to meet the $6,000 goal.  They gave the donation with the stipulation that the crews begin another drive right away to raise money for the worthy cause.  As a bonus, a subcontractor (Premium Hay and Straw) also added a donation to the total.
 
"I have been amazed to see the softer side of these rough and tough construction workers," said Irby Construction Line Superintendent Paul Hughes. "The zeal with which they have approached this goal, total dedication, and their sacrifices though insignificant compared to a young child in need has been unanimous and unchallenged by even a single complaint. I am extremely proud to be associated with these types of construction workers."
 
Cianbro Photo Documentation Professional Shawna McKenney has played a key role organizing the fundraising effort.  She said, "Working towards and achieving this goal has been such a rewarding and humbling experience. This group of individuals has pulled together to accomplish something that is truly going to make a difference, and I was fortunate enough to be part of it."
 
Nate Butler is a Cianbro Project Engineer.  "I have never been disappointed with the turnout of support when we pass a hat around to help someone in need," he said.  "What is remarkable about efforts like the Make-A-Wish fundraiser is that team members aren't waiting for someone they know to be in need or to experience a crisis; they've decided to help strangers for no other reason than that they can.  There is no shortage of generosity in our ranks."
 
And help someone they will. Make-A-Wish Maine grants a wish to a Maine child every five days, on average, and the $6,000 is enough to grant an entire wish.
 
“The generosity from the Cianbro Irby team is inspiring,” said Tom Peaco, Executive Director of Make-A-Wish Maine.  “Though they raised this money without a specific child in mind, it would not be a surprise to me if there were at least a few connections to the future child who will have a wish granted because of this effort.  We grant wishes to children living in every corner of Maine and the ripple effect can be seen throughout the communities where these families live.  A wish granted impacts not only the child and family, but also the volunteers and donors as well.  It simply feels good to know you are helping a deserving child feel joy during a time when they need it most.”
 
On Tuesday, July 30th, Cianbro Irby team members presented the $6,000 check to Make-A-Wish representatives at the Cianbro Irby Yard in Windsor, Maine.  The money will go to an eight year old girl from Frenchville, Maine who has cancer.  She will be going to Disney.

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