PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, California -- You load 18 tons and what do you get?
Well if you are the General Stilwell Community Center you get a makeover courtesy of one of largest spirits and wine companies in the United States.
The Louisville, Kentucky based Brown-Forman Corporation sent 40 people and 18 tons of rock to the Presidio's Stilwell Center on March 14 to work on beautification projects for POM as part of their company's annual Service Day.
"We have about 200 people out here today at five different project sites that are in Monterey as part of an incentive program based on sales performance," said R.B. Wedel, Central Division Director of Sales for Brown-Forman. "It's two days of fun and one day giving back to the community."
Spending close to six hours on site, Brown-Forman employees and local service member volunteers placed rocks in planters, painted walls, installed playground sets, and created seating areas with benches, pergolas, and tables.
In addition to supplying the manpower, Brown-Forman provided materials and equipment worth approximately $10,000 towards the Stilwell Center beautification project.
Just a stone's throw away, other Brown-Forman volunteers put together playhouses in for the new Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay ReStore, which opened in October next to the AAFES Military Exchange PX store. Brown-Forman gifted $2,500 per playhouse for tools and materials for a total of $20,000.
"Adding this service piece to the trip not only provides an engaging experience for our trip attendees, but also serves as a model for other corporations to approach non-profits like Habitat for Humanity and Army's MWR to donate their time, money and services in the future," said Karen Krinock, Brown- Forman employee program coordinator. "We are particularly interested in helping military, veterans and children on this particular trip."
The Presidio's Monterey Road Child Development Center and Porter Youth Center were the recipients of two of the completed playhouses while Army Community Services, Marshall Elementary School, Salvation Army Seaside and YMCA Seaside each received one.
"I can't believe all the amount of work they got done in just those few hours, truly amazing," said Presidio Army Volunteer Corps Coordinator Toni McIntyre. "It's not every day that you get a big corporation, who can pick whoever they want to donate services to, chose specifically the military. I feel really privileged that they asked us. I hope it opens a lot of doors for us and sets the stage for other corporations to come out and work with military one on one."
Wedel explained that the military is an area of focus for Brown-Forman's philanthropic efforts.
"Engaging with the military is something that we see there is a need for and we have the resources to share with them," said Wedel. "We have worked with Fisher House and other programs that provides service dogs to veterans. We sponsored programs like Operation Ride Home that give men and women in uniform the opportunity to get home for Christmas. We are strong supporters of the military and it is a treasure for us that we can give back to them."
Brown-Forman is one of the top ten largest spirits companies in the world with more than 25 brands including the popular Jack Daniel's whisky.
For more photos of Brown-Forman Service Day visit: