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FCI GIVING TREE
FCI recognizes that the pandemic has been tough on everyone and especially non-for-profits, many of whom had to cancel their much needed fundraising events this past year. As a result, FCI Construction has decided this year that in lieu of sending out gifts/cards to our partners, we are going to host an FCI Giving Tree Contest. Each employee at our home office has selected a charity that they will be supporting for this giveaway.
1st Place: $2000
2nd Place: $1000
3rd Place: $500
Cast your vote below (once only please).
The Giving Tree Days
LIST OF PEOPLE AND CHARITIES
1 - cRAIG lINNEMEIER
Lutheran Life Villages
As a not-for-profit organization, the focus at Lutheran Life Villages is on our residents, staff and those we impact each day; free from the need or desire to drive profits to pay shareholders or owners. Instead, we invest the funds we generate back into our campuses, our residents, and our staff. In simple terms, we devote more resources to our communities. Your generous gifts support our ministry to serve as an expression of Christ’s love, fulfilling our mission that began in 1931. Lutheran Life Villages provides residents with the best care possible while constantly improving on services including personalized rehab therapies, collaboration with local universities and physicians, continuing education for professional staff, and a specialized approach to care for patients and their families who suffer with dementia.
2 - KAREN ECK
Children First Center
Children’s First is a program I was introduced to with my second toddler who became temporarily deaf. At two, he had a 10 word vocabulary. The center sent a speech therapist free to our home twice a week for an hour. She worked with Jacob one on one helping him with his speech, playing games and going for walks. He loved her visits. Children’s First also has a free program where they visit your home once a week for an hour, working with the parents/toddlers, teaching them how interact with your children. All of you sit on the floor and play games, etc. What a great program to help with new parents.
3 - clint dickey
The Wounder Warrior Project is a non-for-profit organization that is dedicated to helping post 9/11 vets. Being a post 9/11 vet myself, and proud American, this is certainly an organization that I could get behind.
Never Forgotten is something that resonates deeply inside of me every year on the anniversary of 9/11. Although my unit, that deployed during this time, returned home from their mission WHOLE, there are so many that simply did not.
I graduated in 2001, enjoyed my senior year summer, then was off to boot camp while my graduating class attended their first semester of college. We were sitting in weapons training learning about the M-16 A2 rifle when our drill instructor entered the room to make an announcement. Although no one knew what was coming, we all were able to see the concern on the Drill Sargent’s face. Usually, this particular Drill Sargent was extremely intense. Something was different this time.
Most everyone I speak with today can recall exactly where they were and what they were doing when the 9/11 attacks took place. But do we remember everything that came after that tragic day? Following the motto “the greatest tragedy is being forgotten”, The Wounded Warrior Project strives to aid vets, and their family members, through a variety of programs.
5 - austin conrad
For over a decade my wife Courtney and I have been advocates and supporters of RISE Inc. dating back to her working there as a summer job through college. When I was introduced to their organization and mission I was overcome by their enthusiasm and passion for helping what is a historically underserved population. In 2016 I was lucky enough to oversee their exciting addition and renovation which to-date is one of the highlights of my career. Please visit their website and look into the amazing work they do and consider supporting them!
6 - Tim Ehlerding
Nearly 30 years ago my Father passed away from cancer. The three years he battled this disease became a turning point for many in my family, including me. We now have a daughter actively engaged with a national pharmaceutical firm to find a cure through immunotherapy, a son-in-law working tirelessly with cutting-edge technology to assist individuals facing this disease, and with myself a re-commitment to live each day with passion and joy.
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana provided much-needed assistance to my Father through transportation assistance, consultation, and equally as important much-needed support to my Mother as she helped Dad. Every year, starting nearly 50 years ago, Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana helps nearly 4,000 individuals with cancer in the eleven counties of Northeast Indiana. This organization is entirely supported by charitable gifts and 100% of the funds raised stays here in our community. Along with transportation, Cancer Services offers financial assistance, support groups, wigs, and a personal advocate who supports and encourages those battling this disease.
7 - Kyle Lagemann
Muscular Dystrophy Association
When I was in middle school, I befriended a young man with Muscular Dystrophy. Most people with this disease are bound to a wheelchair for life: with bones that are as brittle as glass, skin as fragile as tissue paper, and muscles that are so underdeveloped that they can hardly lift their own arms and turn their own head.
One day at lunch, my new friend and I watched a YouTube video of a father, physically carrying his quadriplegic son across the 140 mile-long Ironman Triathlon course in Kona, Hawaii. That video was a real tear-jerker… Given our proximity to the situation, we immediately looked at each-other and said “We should do that someday!”
Oddly enough, my friend could not lift his own legs nor did he have the strength to even change his own clothes. Our ignorant plan was for me to tow him in a life raft for the 2.4 mile swim, pull him on a bicycle trailer for the 112 mile bike ride, and push him in a wheelchair for the 26.2 mile run. All of this; just as the father and son team had done in that YouTube video.
Now, most people know about my crazy hobbies and adventures; all of the month long cycling trips, or the destination marathons that I do for “fun”. But, what you don’t know, is why I do it…
Muscular Dystrophy weakened my friends immune system to a degree in which he was not strong enough to fight off the common cold – and it claimed his life at the age of 12.
Now, I was never a runner, and I never used to be a cyclist. I never saw myself as “big and strong” enough to attempt something as simple as a local 5K run.
However, 2 years after my friend passed, I had this grand epiphany. I had remember that conversation during lunch about doing races together when we got older, about attempting to do an Ironman side-by-side. I had realized, that the best way to respect the death of my friend, was keep the promise that we had made. On that very day, I started training for the Ironman Triathlon… And I never stopped.
To this day, the biggest part of my identity comes from cycling all over the world and running races in the most exotic places. All of that identity came from the conversation that he and I had during lunch on that day in 7th grade.
I’ve realized; we all take our physical state for granted. No matter how hard we physically push ourselves.. No matter how many miles we run… No matter how broken, tired or sore we may feel after doing something difficult, we will never feel as helpless as that young man with Muscular Dystrophy felt every single day.
I try do something physically difficult every day because I never want to forget that.
It would mean a lot to me if we made a donation to MDA in his parents name.
8 - Denise DeMuyt
DeKalb Humane Society
Founded in 1975, the DeKalb Humane Society is committed to being a no-kill shelter and serving the DeKalb County area by promoting animal adoption, education on responsible animal ownership & welfare, and raising awareness of animal neglect & abuse.
Every day, DeKalb County’s animal shelter houses nearly 100 cats and dogs, and monthly facilitates dozens of adoptions by loving families looking to provide these companions forever homes. Currently the Society is constructing a new facility, easily accessible and designed with the needs of the pets as the primary driver. This is our local shelter that supports our local needs. As a local builder and member of the DeKalb County community, I look forward to this program supporting our community partner.
10 - Nick Alwine
Forgotten Children Worldwide safeguards orphans and vulnerable children from poverty, abandonment, and the evils of human trafficking. We are currently introducing over 500 children without a father or mother to a caring world while breaking the downward cycle for these children through education & discipleship, self-sustainability & microfinance, water & wellness, clothing distribution, orphan home construction, and child sponsorship.
As a faith-based organization, FCW works with indigenous partners in India, Nepal, Uganda, and Malawi, with 100% of funds donated going directly towards the holistic care of an orphaned or vulnerable child.
11 - Joe Kinder
I have chosen Honor Flight Northeast Indiana because this program is one way where we can say “Thank You” to the many veterans who have served our nation when heroes like them were most needed.
Honor Flight Northeast Indiana raises funds and provide volunteers to transport veterans from WWII and all wars after directly from Fort Wayne to our Nation’s Capital. The focus of the Honor Flight Network is to pay tribute to America's heroes that served during WWII, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars, followed by veterans of more current wars. These veterans pay nothing for this trip because Honor Flights are 100% funded by community donations from generous individuals, corporations, foundations, and other groups who wish to be an important part of honoring these heroes.
13 - George Mouchaham
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital headquarters is located in Memphis, TN with branches all over the Nation. It was founded in 1962 by Danny Thomas. It is a pediatric treatment & research facility focused on children's catastrphic diseases, particularly Leukemia and other cancers. Majority of funds come from generous donors. I chose St. Jude because it is 100% free to all patients. No one is charged for their care. Please support by voting for St. Jude.
14 - Kyle Wilson
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
I choose the JDRF - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation because my wife's father and two sisters were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Her sisters from a very young age. They provide funding for research to find a cure, finding ways to improve type 1 lives, and provide a group to work with the government for assistance with regulators and health plans. The JDRF website also provides vast amount of information about the disease and lots information on where to get assistance.
15 - David Rosswurm
Noble County 4H
4H inspires the next generation of Indiana citizens by providing life-changing opportunities for kids throughout our state. I chose to support this organization because I’ve witnessed how it impacts children and provided them life-skills that will benefit them well into the future.
With the Noble County 4H program, positive youth development is a focus taking place through community clubs, afterschool programs, school enrichment programs, camps, workshops, local clubs, and other special programs. Supporting our local 4H program helps our children achieve their dreams and goals through hands-on learning, projects, and the assistance of numerous dedicated 4H volunteers.
16 - Amber Souder
The charity that I chose is aHUS Foundation which has a personal impact on my life. aHUS stands for Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome which is an extremely rare blood disease that causes blood clots to form in your blood vessels. These blood clots then block regular blood flow to your kidneys, heart and other vital organs. Only 1 in a million people are diagnosed with this disease and in July of 2020 I was one of those after being admitted to the hospital with kidney failure. From there I found out that I would need an infusion treatment for the rest of my life, every 8 weeks to be exact. Most individuals who have this need treatment forever.
aHUS Foundation is a team of advocates who have been through the experience of finding out what aHUS is and how it will affect their daily lives. They are patients, parents, relatives, friends, and supporters of those of us living with aHUS. They help doctors understand and respond to aHUS and invest in research that improves the quality of life for us. There are still so many unknowns of this disease. My mutation is a genetic one meaning it was passed onto me at birth, it stayed dormant until 2020 when some unknown situation made it flare up (stress or a cold). What this also means is it’s possible I passed this onto my children. This foundation means more to me than you can ever imagine as there are only a couple of treatment options available for me (an infusion every other week or one every 8 weeks) and more money for research means hope that one day there will be more treatment options for me and possibly even a cure.
17 - Kyle Lock
Central Noble Food Pantry
I chose the Central Noble Food Pantry, located in Albion, because of the great work I have seen this organization provide to people in need. The Food Pantry offers nonperishable food, frozen meat, bread, fresh produce, hygiene items, and other supplies free of charge.
Each Friday, the pantry serves dozens of families, with demand continuing to grow for the organization’s services. Hundreds in our community face hunger daily, especially those who are challenged with low-income situations. The Pantry provides these people with healthy food options, and even more important the understanding that someone cares for them.
18 - Bruce Blaker
Wrestling builds character, teaches kids how to overcome obstacles, handle their emotions, respect authority, the importance of being a good teammate, and that success has to be earned through hard work and determination. The life skills and success principles that young wrestlers develop while learning to wrestle are very valuable in progressing in life. The DeKalb Middle School Wrestling Program is important to me for several reasons, including the multiple students who have been positively impacted by this program.
These students at DeKalb are learning to work very hard, make tons of sacrifices, and dedicate themselves to the extreme demands that this tremendously difficult sport has to offer. With your support and encouragement, these children will reap the many benefits gained by participating and will not only succeed in the game of wrestling, but also in the game of life.
19 - Carl Swalls
Construction Family Assistance Foundation
Construction Family Assistance Foundation, located in Indianapolis, IN, was created to ease the burden and allow families to begin healing in the most difficult of times. The CFA Foundation provides financial assistance to individuals or families affected by a construction related incident or loss of life, beyond what is covered by worker’s compensation, other insurance, or settlements. In 2010, a committee was formed by the Metro Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety (MICCS) to develop a plan to establish a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization. In 2015, MICCS rebranded as the Coalition for Construction Safety (CCS). That same year, the MICCS Foundation changed its name to the Construction Family Assistance (CFA) Foundation to better express who we are and what we do. As the BCA Safety Committee Chairman, I, with support of the Committee, have established the CFA as our charitable organization.
21 - Brian Linker
Fort Wayne Urban League
As a Union Bricklayer I have worked on many projects in the Fort Wayne area. The Urban League has always been a memorable project for me as I met my wife during the time we were laying brick for the Urban League. As most construction jobs go for the workers, you don’t always know what you are building or even what it may stand for. As a Union member I was educated in my field through my apprenticeship class and the Ivy Tech classes I took. The Union provided me with the knowledge and skills of a trade, and also the union companies with an employee trained and ready to work. The Urban League provides a wide variety of services to not only individuals looking to better themselves but also employers seeking to develop an inclusive workforce. Through Young Professionals they inspire and uplift the community, to Personal Services that helps with job leads and free resume assistance. Although I am not a member of this organization, I am grateful for the work it does to change lives in the Fort Wayne community.
22 - Brian Schemahorn
Riley Children's Health
I chose Riley Hospital for Children because every child deserves world-class pediatric healthcare. Whether a child needs primary care for routine health and wellness, or specialty care for acute or complex conditions, Riley provides this best-in-class care here in Indiana. I know for a fact that hundreds of children from Northeast Indiana have benefitted from the services of Riley Hospital.
Riley is Indiana’s largest and most skilled pediatric system, with over 50 locations across the state. The Riley Team delivers and coordinates healthcare for every child because they possess the expertise in all areas of pediatric health. I chose Riley Hospital to provide children from Northeast Indiana, and throughout the State, access to the best and brightest physicians, healthcare providers and researchers.
23 - Samantha Dunn
I chose Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities. Turnstone offers pediatric therapy and physical therapy for those with disabilities. I have chosen Turnstone for my charity because of an amazing family, now friends, I have met through my kids’ elementary PTO. Gage a video gaming, and hilariously fun loving 10 year old, was born with cerebral palsy. Gage attends Turnstone for physical therapy, assisting him to navigate in an uneven world, and helping him to keep up with his pup Scout.
24 - Tyler Wolfe
Liv it Up
Childhood cancer is something that impacts families all over the world. It doesn’t care where you live or what your background is. It can flip worlds upside down with 3 simple words- “you have cancer”. I have chosen to represent the Liv It Up foundation because I have had the honor of watching someone who heard these words as a young child and chose to not only attack it with courage, but impact thousands of others throughout her process. Olivia Stoy has been an inspiration to thousands both locally and across the country. Through her battle, Olivia has created her own path and impacted numerous children and families through her commitment to helping others with the Liv It Up foundation and Riley Children’s Hospital. The Foundation selects 1-2 families every year as the focus of the annual Liv It Up Block Party in Angola, IN. This event not only contributes financially to the chosen families, it also gives these children a chance to have an evening focused on them aside from the trials attributed to childhood cancer. In addition to that, Liv It Up also encourages families across the country to apply for up to $5,000 from the Foundation to create family normalcy. Some choose to use these funds for a much-needed family trip or fun additions around the house such as a trampoline or swing set that allow the children to escape from the daily grind of treatment. To date, Olivia and the Liv It Up Foundation have given to 70 families across 10 states since their start in 2019. I could not be more honored to represent the Liv It Up Foundation and hope you will choose to support Olivia and the thousands of kids she has and will impact through her foundation.
25 - Eric Pedersen
Founded in 1998, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) drives discoveries for new treatments, accelerates groundbreaking clinical trials, and fuels the most robust data-driven initiatives in cancer research. The goal of the MMRF is to find a cure for each and every patient diagnosed with multiple myeloma. By directing 90% of the total budget toward research and related programming, the MMRF focuses on three main categories – immunotherapy, investment, and data – with groundbreaking initiatives blazing a trail in the quest to cure multiple myeloma.
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells, the white blood cells that make antibodies. By replacing healthy cells in the bone marrow with cancerous cells, the body’s ability to fight infection is greatly decreased. I’m supporting the MMRF because of my own personal fight as a multiple myeloma patient.
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