SMECO do­nates through an­nual events to help hos­pice

SMECO em­ploy­ees donate through an­nual events to help lo­cal non­profit

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South­ern Mary­land Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive em­ploy­ees held two fundrais­ing events and re­cently do­nated $55,650 to the hos­pice or­ga­ni­za­tions in South­ern Mary­land.

The 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 em­ployee vol­un­teers, ven­dors and the SMECO ex­ec­u­tive team, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from the elec­tric co­op­er­a­tive.

“We’re for­tu­nate to be able to make a sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion to groups that help make South­ern Mary­land a great place to call home. Our co-op em­ploy­ees and sup­ply chain part­ners ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity, af­forded us by SMECO’s board of di­rec­tors, to give back to the com­mu­nity. Work­ing with our ven­dors — who make gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tions — makes the golf out­ing an ex­cep­tional fundrais­ing event,” Richard Jar­boe, SMECO sup­ply chain di­rec­tor, said in the re­lease.

The co­op­er­a­tive se­lects dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions each year to ben­e­fit from its fundrais­ing events. In six years, SMECO em­ployee fundrais­ers have con­trib­uted $270,650 to lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions. Con­tri­bu­tions, which may be tax de­ductible, can be made to the SMECO Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion. “We se­lected the hos­pice or­ga­ni­za­tions as this year’s re­cip­i­ents be­cause they pro­vide help to peo­ple when they need it most,” said Natalie Cot­ton, SMECO’s com­mu­nity and pub­lic af­fairs di­rec­tor.

“We work closely with doc­tors and hos­pi­tals to help our pa­tients re­ceive the best care we can pro­vide,” said Kathryn Franzen, di­rec­tor of Hos­pice of St. Mary’s County. “But we also help pa­tients de­cide how they want to spend their days, where they want to be and who they want to be with. We help to give them some con­trol at the end of their life jour­ney and that makes a world of dif­fer­ence to a pa­tient.”

Calvert Hos­pice is fo­cused on help­ing fam­i­lies make the most of ev­ery mo­ment, en­sur­ing more peace and com­fort than is of­ten pos­si­ble with­out hos­pice’s sup­port. “We’re help­ing lo­cal fam­i­lies through the process of car­ing for loved ones at the end of their lives. We help to ease the phys­i­cal and emo­tional pain of the pa­tient, but we also help ease the dif­fi­cul­ties and stresses fam­ily mem­bers ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Jean Flem­ing, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Calvert County Hos­pice. She added, “The SMECO do­na­tion will help us meet our need to raise over $250,000 each year to op­er­ate and main­tain the af­ford­abil­ity of our sixbed Bur­nett Calvert Hos­pice House.”

The Charles County Hos­pice plans to use the con­tri­bu­tion from SMECO to sup­ple­ment funds des­ig­nated for char­ity care. “You don’t have to have lost a loved one to ap­pre­ci­ate the ser­vices that hos­pice pro­vides,” said Bran­don Jones, CEO of Hos­pice of Charles County. “We of­ten hear from mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who ex­press their high re­gard for hos­pice, the ser­vice pro- viders, and the vol­un­teers,” he added. “We can’t carry on with this im­por­tant work with­out the sup­port of our vol­un­teers and con­tri­bu­tions from the com­mu­nity.”

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. Ac­cord­ing to Cot­ton, “Our em­ploy­ees make the an­nual SMECO 75 bike ride a suc­cess­ful fundraiser. Their en­thu­si­asm and hos­pi­tal­ity make it en­joy­able for those who par­tic­i­pate. This is a great event for ex­pe­ri­enced riders be­cause of the scenic routes and for new­com­ers be­cause of the sup­port we pro­vide.”

Cot­ton added, “We are al­ready plan­ning our eighth an­nual bike ride for June 1, 2019. Next year, our con­tri­bu­tions will go to or­ga­ni­za­tions con­cerned with in­tel­lec­tual and de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties: Spring Dell Cen­ter, Charles County; The Arc of South­ern Mary­land, Calvert County; and Bay Com­mu­nity Sup­port Ser­vices, St. Mary’s County.”

Cy­clists who want to par­tic­i­pate in the SMECO 75 Bike Ride can regis­ter on­line at Ac­tive.com be­gin­ning Jan. 1. Cot­ton said, “We are es­pe­cially thank­ful for busi­ness part­ners who par­tic­i­pate in the event and pro­vide do­na­tions to help raise funds for or­ga­ni­za­tions in South­ern Mary­land.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mary Ann Stamm, left, pres­i­dent of the board of Hos­pice of St. Mary’s; Natalie Cot­ton, SMECO’s com­mu­nity and pub­lic af­fairs di­rec­tor; Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO pres­i­dent and CEO; and Denise Chalmers, se­nior buyer at SMECO, ac­knowl­edge a do­na­tion from SMECO to Hos­pice of St. Mary’s.

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