THE BICYCLE BUNCH
Learn about one of the nonprofit groups Vulcan supports through its corporate sponsorship program.
Who knew two wheels, a few spokes and some pavement could unite so many folks?
The Cascade Bicycle Club has tapped into the uniting power of cycling and uses it to educate thousands of people across the region about health, recreation and the environment. Vulcan is a long-time supporter of the group through its corporate sponsorship program.
"Vulcan's sponsorship helps us encourage more people to use their bikes to get around – to work, to school, to the local business districts for errands," said Serena Lehman of the Cascade Bicycle Club. "Every trip made by bike is a gain for the Puget Sound region in terms of public health, air quality, roadway congestion and quality of life."
The club issues a Commute Challenge each May to encourage locals to ditch their cars and bike to work instead. It's a month-long event that Vulcan employees participate in each year, and has inspired many people to completely transform their commutes.
This year, Vulcan is the lead sponsor of the club's eighth annual Bike to Work Breakfast, which is held on Friday, May 4 from 7 - 9 a.m. at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
"Vulcan's support helps Cascade advance its mission of creating a better community through bicycling," said Lehman.
The Cascade Bicycle Club was formed in 1970, and hosts a number of classes (many of which are free), and other programs to keep locals pedaling. Its volunteers also organize free bicycle rides for all levels nearly every day of the year.
USING MUSIC TO GIVE BACK
Liam Blodgett is a Vulcan payroll specialist by day, and music devotee by night. When he's not crunching numbers, he's plucking his guitar strings or grooving away on bass in one of his two bands.
In between licks and riffs, he also finds time to donate his musical talents to charity.
"There is more to philanthropy than money," said Liam. "There's no reason that music can't be a gift to an organization as well."
This month his Afrobeat group, Cascadia '10, put on a sold-out benefit show for Boundless Arts Performance Collective. The local group works with foster youth and helps them build confidence through the arts.
"This is a beautiful group of young adults," said Liam, who picked up a guitar when he was 12 and has been strumming away ever since. "It was one of the most fun shows we've ever played, and it felt good for us to do it."
Liam, who has been with Vulcan for two and a half years, donates his musical chops a few times a year for various benefits. In the past, he's played for Noise for the Needy, and has put on a free show for volunteers building homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
"Giving can be so much more fun than writing a check," said Liam. "Local charities need creative contributions, too, and giving of your passion just feels awesome."
COMMUNITY IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
200 – Number of volunteer hours spent at Rebuilding Together event in March
$4,000 – Money raised for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at April's Savor SLU event
1,311 - Number of steps climbed up Columbia Tower by Vulcan employees to benefit blood cancers
$300 million – Money pledged in March by Paul G. Allen to fund brain research
23 – Number of groups Vulcan has supported so far this year through corporate sponsorships
$1,630 – Amount raised by Vulcan employees for Northwest Harvest in Q1
$1,630 – Amount matched by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for Northwest Harvest in Q1
EMPLOYEES IN ACTION
Vulcan's Senior Government Affairs Manager Dan McGrady talks to us about his volunteer work at Mary's Place, a day program for homeless women and their children.
Q. How did you get involved with Mary's Place?
I was originally referred to Mary's Place by Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. A Vulcan colleague and I worked to find a new home for Mary's Place and secure King County and Seattle money to help pay for it. One thing led to another, and I now chair the Fund Development Committee.
Q. What makes this organization unique?
Mary's Place helps the community's most vulnerable residents: homeless women and their children, and it's the only day center in King County that serves this population. It starts with meeting basic needs, like shelter, meals, and showers, but we don't stop there – we also empower and equip women with the tools they need to rebuild their lives.
Q. What is Mary's Place working on now?
We are working hard to raise the resources to serve more people while addressing the increasing problem of family homelessness. There is currently no emergency shelter for families in Seattle, and we want to provide a place where a homeless family can stay together under a roof and get the help they need.
Q. How can we help?
Anyone is welcome to join us for our monthly community breakfast on the second Wednesday of the month at 8 a.m. This is a time to see what we do and how we do it. We also love volunteers, and financial support allows us to keep up with the increased demand for our services.
RECOGNIZING CREATIVE LEADERSHIP
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is accepting nominees for its new Creative Leadership Awards, which recognize standout leaders in the Pacific Northwest.
The Creative Leadership Awards were established this year to honor nonprofit leaders, organizations and coalitions that are adapting to today's challenging environment without exceptional resources, and modeling strategies that can be replicated by other nonprofits.
The Foundation is presenting up to four $50,000 awards this year to leaders in the region.
Submit a nomination at www.pgafamilyfoundation.org by 5 p.m. PST on May 4, 2012.