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DOC Staff Receive Statewide Combined Fund Drive Awards

March 27, 2015

By Norah West, Communications Specialist

DOC Communications

L to R: Shawn Piliponis (CFD Committee Chair Organizing), Danette Gadberry (CFD Co-Chair) and Sid Clark (CFD Co-Chair) from Larch Corrections Center.

L to R: from Larch Corrections Center: Shawn Piliponis (CFD Committee Chair Organizing), Danette Gadberry (CFD Co–Chair) and Sid Clark (CFD Co–Chair)

Each year, dedicated staff throughout our agency volunteer their time and talents to help run the state’s Combined Fund Drive (CFD) through local–level campaigns. As a result of their innovative approaches to raising money for Washington’s most in–need populations, this year three Department of Corrections volunteers received statewide recognition. Sidney Clark and Danette Gadberry at Larch Corrections Center and Carrie Meyer at Washington State Penitentiary, who encouraged DOC in contributing almost $150,000 (nearly 3 percent of statewide efforts), were celebrated at the annual CFD recognition event on Thursday, March 26 at the Lacey Community Center.

Agency CFD coordinators Michelle Walker and Liz Weinandt nominated the trio of volunteers. They noted that Larch Corrections Center staff members experienced the greatest level of excitement and activity around CFD the facility had ever seen.

“Immediately, they were both heavily engaged and eager to gain as much support as possible,” Walker wrote of Clark and Gadberry in the nominations materials. “They had a plan on how to engage the community and to reach out to individuals across the state.” The pair used email to enable statewide bidding on a locally run auction, which was wildly successful, and developed a means for everyone to participate in CFD activities — from facility staff and offenders to all agency staff and community members.

“Their positive, can–do attitude was clear and never dwindled,” said Walker. “We are quite proud of them and excited for the success of the facility.”

Larch’s auction brought in more than $5,500, a facility record. They also initiated a charity dunk tank event that offered time at the end for participants to learn more about the charities being supported by hearing from the people who receive the charities’ services. Also for the first time, offenders had their own fundraisers — doughnuts and chicken — that brought in more than $750 for CFD. All told, Larch’s events raised nearly $10,259.92, the most the small facility has ever raised, which topped some of the larger institutions.

On the other side of the mountains at one of the state’s oldest facilities, Carrie Meyer helped Washington State Penitentiary top all the goals and challenges set in previous years. She kicked off CFD efforts with tremendous community engagement that resulted in amazing donations from community businesses for event prizes.

“Carrie’s networking and people skills served her well and demonstrate her commitment to the community and her facility,” said Walker. She noted that Meyer cleverly capitalized on an opportunity that was already bringing awareness by way of the ALS ice bucket challenge, which raised more than $2,000 at the facility.

Meyer also made use of fundraising activities and events as a way of educating facility staff about the charities and CFD. Other events included a date–night drawing and candy grams. Also successful was the triumphant return of the Cow Pie Drop, which seasoned staff recalled from 15 years ago and entailed leading a cow into a yard with a numbered grid and where the first two pies dropped awarded first and second prizes. All the facility events, including a very successful silent auction, brought in a remarkable $20,000.

“She never hesitated to pick up the phone or shoot an email to me at DOC Headquarters to ask her questions, get more information or to get clarification,” said Walker. Meyer is already making plans for next year, and will explore the possibility of issuing challenges to other facilities as a way to further engage staff statewide at all prisons.

The statewide CFD recognition event offered attendees, donned in their favorite athletic team jerseys, “an evening of tailgating fun,” with a barbecue dinner, door prizes and “showers of recognition” for the support provided by volunteers for charitable giving over the past year. Congratulations and huge thanks to Carrie, Danette and Sid, who represent the very best of DOC. You were already winners in our book!

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