By Laurie Hanson
When no one else would, The Youth Center stepped up to help Kiewit, one of North America’s largest construction and engineering organizations, to recycle over 1,500 bottles and cans weekly for a year from their Long Beach site.
While working for Southern California Edison (SCE) to bring their power plant located at Studebaker Road and Pacific Coast Highway up to today’s standards, Kiewit contacted many nonprofit organizations, seeking to recycle to meet their high environmental standards and to give back to the community. But unfortunately, no one wanted to do it for different reasons.
“When Nancy reached out to me, I was excited,” said Youth Center Executive Assistant Julie Rubin. “I knew the project would not be easy, but Kiewit has been wonderful to work with. Over the last year they have become a good friend of the Youth Center.”
“Helping the environment together with local volunteers was great,” said Youth Center Executive Director Lina Lumme. “We raised money for scholarships while meeting extraordinary people.”
“The Y.C. Team” consisting of staff, board members, volunteers and kids was armed with aprons and gloves for the “dirty job” where they sorted, bagged and hauled a truck load weekly to the local recycling center. Kiewit provided a year’s worth of empty trash bags to make the project a bit easier.
When the time came for The Youth Center to hold its annual Golf Tournament, Kiewit management decided to make it a teambuilding event. Kiewit brought a team of 21 employees to the Youth Center’s annual Golf Tournament on July 15 at Old Ranch Country Club in Seal Beach. “I helped out with the recycling. It was not pretty,” said Youth Center Board Member and Golf Tournament Chairman Arnie Fine. “It made my day when Kiewit signed up for the tournament. Because of their support and commitment to our children, we were able to raise $20,000.”
“Our team had a blast at the golf tournament,” said Kiewit representative Nancy Fohrenck. “Two of our employees ended up winning raffle prizes, and the team I was on won the Honesty Award! We’re so glad we were able to attend and help support the kids.” She added its part of Kiewit’s core values to give back to local communities and create successful business relationships.
The golf tournament was especially enjoyable for the participating Kiewit employees who liked being outdoors, having great food, contests and a silent auction.
In the end whether it’s by taking on a “dirty job” or teeing up, it’s truly all about the kids. When no one else wants to take on difficult projects, The Y.C. Team does because they see how much of a difference it makes. They work hard throughout the year to raise every penny to fund scholarships for their after school programs, summer camps, and elementary music program. The Youth Center never turns any child away for inability to pay.
Sign-ups are going on now for their After School Programs and Music Program. For more information and registration, please visit online at www.theyouthcenter.org. The Youth Center is a 501(c)3 local nonprofit. It does not receive any state or federal funding and relies upon contributions from the local community and beyond.