SMECO do­nates more than $50K for Mel­wood’s Oper­a­tion: To­hidu re­treat

Maryland Independent - - Front Page -

South­ern Mary­land Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive (SMECO) em­ploy­ees held two fund rais­ing events and re­cently do­nated $53,476 to Mel­wood’s Oper­a­tion: To­hidu. SMECO em­ploy­ees raised the money through the SMECO 75 Bike Ride held in June and the SMECO An­nual Char­ity Golf Out­ing in Oc­to­ber. The events are sup­ported by a group of vol­un­teers, ven­dors, and the SMECO ex­ec­u­tive team. The Co-op se­lects a dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion each year to ben­e­fit from the fundrais­ing events.

“Many hands make light work, and host­ing a fund rais­ing event is no ex­cep­tion,” said Richard Jar­boe, SMECO sup­ply chain di­rec­tor, in a re­lease. “Our em­ploy­ees go the ex­tra mile to sup­port lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions, and we’re proud to be able to make such a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to Oper­a­tion: To­hidu. With the as­sis­tance of our sup­ply chain part­ners who share in the suc­cess of the golf out­ing, we are able to make a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives.”

SMECO has hosted the char­ity golf event for 13 years and has given more than $145,000 to lo­cal groups.

Mel­wood’s Oper­a­tion: To­hidu is a 7-day re­treat de­signed with the goal of en­abling par­tic­i­pants to heal from post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD), mid to mod­er­ate trau­matic brain in­jury (mTBI), and other de­ploy­ment re­lated trau­mas through ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing and al­ter­na­tive ther­a­pies and in­ter­ven­tions. The pro­gram fo­cuses on con­fi­dence-build­ing, out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, and group dis­cus­sion in a re­laxed, pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment us­ing proven tech­niques for the self-man­age­ment of symp­toms, stres­sors, and re­sponses.

Oper­a­tion: To­hidu is de­signed to help ac­tive and vet­eran ser­vice mem­bers over­come ob­sta­cles to their re­cov­ery and be­come sub­ject mat­ter ex­perts.

“We are con­fi­dent that this pro­gram will con­tinue to help a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of wounded war­riors re­cover and im­prove their abil­ity to suc­cess­fully rein­te­grate into their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties,” Mel­wood’s Pres­i­dent and CEO Cari DeSan­tis said in the re­lease.

Oper­a­tion: To­hidu ses­sions are sched­uled through­out the year at Mel­wood’s Re­treat and Re­cre­ation Cen­ter in Nan­je­moy, Mar yland.

SMECO hosted its fifth an­nual bike ride on June 4. This year, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Mel­wood at­tended the event and helped to raise aware­ness for their pro­gram.

The SMECO 75 Bike Ride is open to the public. Par­tic­i­pants can choose among three routes of 29, 47, and 75 miles that start at the co-op’s head­quar­ters in Hugh­esville and go as far as Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County.

SMECO is cur­rently plan­ning its sixth an­nual bike ride for June 3. Four dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions are slated to ben­e­fit: the Amer­i­can Ch­est­nut Land Trust in Calvert County, the Port To­bacco River Con­ser­vancy in Charles County, the Alice Fer­gu­son Foun­da­tion in Prince Ge­orge’s County, and the St. Mary’s River Wa­ter­shed As­so­ci­a­tion in St. Mary’s County.

Cy­clists who want to par­tic­i­pate in the SMECO 75 Bike Ride can reg­is­ter on­line at Ac­ be­gin­ning Jan. 1.


SMECO em­ploy­ees raised $53,475.95 at events hosted by the co­op­er­a­tive, and the funds were do­nated to Mel­wood’s Oper­a­tion: To­hidu, a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram for vet­er­ans. Pic­tured from left are SMECO rep­re­sen­ta­tives Denise Chalmers, se­nior buyer, Natalie Cot­ton, com­mu­nity and public af­fairs di­rec­tor, and Austin J. Slater, Jr., Pres­i­dent and CEO. Mel­wood rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cari DeSan­tis, pres­i­dent and CEO, Mel­wood Hor­ti­cul­tural Train­ing Cen­ter, and Walt Gil­lette, di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment, Mel­wood Vet­er­ans Ser­vices, ac­cepted the con­tri­bu­tion.

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