‘Tis the Season to Give Back
Category | Made in USA| Industry News

‘Tis the Season to Give Back

ByBill O'Keeffe
| December 17, 2019

The Holiday Spirit of SAFTI FIRST: Giving back to the community after a year round of successful achievements

For my last blog of 2019, I’d like to highlight the extraordinary efforts of our Merced Production Team, led by our VP of Operations Ron Drew.  Even with the demands of his job, Ron still finds the time to give back to the Merced community that allows SAFTI FIRST, O’Keeffe’s Inc. and now Titan Metal Products to be successful.  For several years now, Ron and his team have been consistently organizing Thanksgiving and Christmas programs that help local families feel that holiday spirit.

Ron Drew, VP of Operations, at the Bike Giveaway

This year, the Merced team went all-out with a spectacular Holiday Bike Giveaway.  They contacted the principals at four neighboring elementary schools in Merced: Reyes Elementary School, Gracie Elementary School, Don Stowell Elementary School and Margaret Sheehy Elementary School.  SAFTI FIRST/O’Keeffe’s Inc./Titan wanted to help encourage their students to stay in school and achieve good grades, so Ron’s team decided to give away 50 bicycles to 50 students at each school based on perfect (or nearly perfect) attendance and outstanding academic achievement.  So with four schools total, that’s 200 bicycles!

All these bikes lined up and ready to go!

The money to purchase the bicycles was raised through contributions from Merced and Brisbane employees, and I was so inspired by everyone’s generosity that I tripled it.  This culminated in a big party last Saturday, December 14, at our GPX Framing Facility where we gave away all 200 bicycles to excited school children and their parents.  To make the event even more festive, our employees and their families cooked over 1,000 hamburgers and 1,000 hotdogs for lunch.  We had a DJ, multiple bounce houses, clown performers, face painting and balloon artists for additional entertainment.  To top it all off, we also gave away 8 San Francisco Giants tickets that went to 4 families, 5 Microsfot Xboxes, 5 Sony PlayStation 4s, and 3 Nintendo Switches.  All of these prizes went to hard working kids who showed tremendous promise. See the full video of the fun-filled event here!

Bounce houses and slides for the kids

I’d like to thank our special guests from the Merced local government: City Manager Steve Carrigan, Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dietz and Director of Economic Development Frank Quintero, who were there to attend our event and to give the students further encouragement. I’d like to thank the Merced Fire Department as well for stopping by to tell the kids about their cool, new truck and handing out fire hats and stickers – it was a hit!

Representatives from the Merced Fire Department

In addition to the Bike Giveaway, we also renewed our commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of Merced with a $30,000 donation to upgrade their computer and recreational facilities.  This includes new computer equipment, furniture, 2 air hockey tables, 2 foosball tables, musical instruments such a as few guitars and keyboards, and 15 new basketballs and volleyballs. This is the first of many phases that we’ve committed to.  The Boys and Girls Club does a fantastic job of taking care of Merced’s youth, so we want to do our part to support this organization’s wonderful work.

It’s really nice when a community comes together, especially for the kids.  After all, isn’t that what its all about?

With that, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a bigger, brighter and wonderful New Year!