May 25, 2019

SMECO Raises Money for Hospice Donation

Hospice Donation
SMECO’s employees raised $55,650 for hospice organizations in Southern Maryland by hosting a bike ride in June and a golf outing in October. In the back row, pictured from left, are Claire Piason, director of development, Calvert Hospice; Jean Fleming, executive director of Calvert Hospice; Edith Patterson, state delegate and board member of Hospice of Charles County; Brandon Jones, CEO of Hospice of Charles County; Natalie Cotton, SMECO’s community and public affairs director; and Austin J. Slater Jr., SMECO president and CEO. Seated at left is Mary Ann Stamm, president of the board of Hospice of St. Mary’s and at right is Denise Chalmers, senior buyer at SMECO.

Employees of Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative raised big money for a Hospice Donation in each of the three Southern Maryland counties.

The employees raised $55,650 by holding two fund-raising events, including the SMECO 75 Bike Ride in June and the SMECO Annual Charity Golf Outing in October. Both events are supported by a group of employee volunteers, various vendors, and the executive team at SMECO.

“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,” said Richard Jarboe, SMECO supply chain director, in a news release from SMECO.

The cooperative chooses different organizations each year to benefit from its annual fundraising events. In the last six years, SMECO employee fundraisers have raised $270,650 to contribute to local organizations. Contributions, which are potentially 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, in the press release.

Calvert Hospice is dedicated to its mission of enriching the quality of the lives its staff members touch with expert and compassionate care. Staff members focus on helping families to make the most of every moment, ensuring more comfort and peace than is often possible without support from hospice.

“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. “The SMECO donation will help us meet our need to raise over $250,000 each year to operate and maintain the affordability of our six-bed Burnett Calvert Hospice House.”

Staff members of the Charles County Hospice will 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 providers, and the volunteers. We can’t carry on with this important work without the support of our volunteers and contributions from the community.”

“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.”

The SMECO 75 Bike Ride is open to the public each year. Participants are able to choose among three routes of 29, 47, and 75 miles, starting at the co-op’s headquarters in Hughesville and going as far as Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County. Cotton said: “Our employees make the annual SMECO 75 bike ride a successful fund-raiser. 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.”

The eighth annual bike ride has already been planned for June 1, 2019. Contributions form that ride will go to organizations concerned with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including Spring Dell Center in Charles County; The Arc of Southern Maryland in Calvert County; and Bay Community Support Services in St. Mary’s County.

Cyclists who wish to participate in the SMECO 75 Bike Ride in 2019 can register online at Active.com beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

“We are especially thankful for business partners who participate in the event and provide donations to help raise funds for organizations in Southern Maryland,” Ms. Cotton said. “Major contributors include ABB, Adams Jenkins and Cheatham, Asbury Solomons, CGI, Cigna Health, Community Bank of the Chesapeake, CW Wright Construction, Duncan Weinberg Genzer Pembroke, Eversheds Sutherland, ICF International, IP Datasystems, J.M. Tennyson Construction, Keller and Heckman, McNees, Morgan Stanley, MSI Inc., New River Electrical Corporation, Prudential, TRC, UDC, Venable, and Washington Gas, and we thank them for their support.”

“We are grateful to our Golf Outing sponsors for their generous contributions,” Mr. Jarboe said. “Platinum sponsors include Altec, Anixter, Brandywine Power, CDW, Irby Utilities, The Okonite Company, Super Salvage, and TRC Solutions. Gold Sponsors include Bradley Electro Sales, Lawrence Abell & Associates, MacLean Power Systems, Martini & Associates, Meridian, Southern Maryland Cable, and SMO Energy. We rely on them for their donations and appreciate their assistance.”

To learn more about SMECO, visit its Leader member page.

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