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Heery International Foundation Gives Two Inaugural Grants to Southern California Organizations

Richard Dilday and Jodi Reese Kurp of Heery International present a grant to Don Rodriguez and Oscar Hernandez of the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach.
The Heery International Foundation, the charitable arm of the construction management and architecture firm, has given two of its first three grants to employee-nominated organizations in Southern California. The Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach and Santa Monica-based One Voice were selected from among more than 40 nominations, and each has received $5,000 to assist with their missions.

“Our foundation focuses on three primary areas—children and education, homebuilding, and the environment,” said Rob Chomiak, Heery vice president and west region manager. “The Boys & Girls Club has been important to our Long Beach office for years, and, with this donation, they’ll be able to build spaces that will make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. One Voice’s scholars program resonated with our foundation board because it’s targeted directly at urban schools, one of our main specialties.”

Jodi Reese Kurp, a 13-year Heery employee and board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach, nominated the club for a restroom renovation at its Eastman/Fairfield Club location. Dubbed “The Potty Project,” Kurp’s plan includes converting the unused locker and shower portions of the restrooms into much-needed quiet activity rooms, as well as gutting and rebuilding the toilet and sink areas. She is currently working with contractors and manufacturers for labor and materials donations that will enhance the Heery International Foundation donation.

“As a part of its Facilities and Operations Committee, I know that the Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach has very little money set aside each year for wear-and-tear repairs and maintenance,” said Kurp. “In fact, the cost of these restroom repairs alone exceeds the annual budget for all club locations. More than 6,000 children use these restrooms each year, so we’re pleased that we’ll be able to fix and upgrade the facilities.”

Kevin Arneal, a project manager who’s been with Heery for more than 10 years, nominated One Voice’s College Scholars Program, which serves approximately 150 low-income high-school, college and graduate students every year. The scholars come from some of Los Angeles County’s most gang-ridden, drug-infested neighborhoods, and most are the first in their families to go to college. In fact, less than half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District graduate from high school, and fewer go on to college. Yet all of the program’s participants are admitted to four-year colleges, and 95 percent graduate from college. The funds from the Heery International Foundation will be used to purchase books and airline flights for approximately five college juniors in the fall of 2010.

“One Voice’s College Scholars Program has one of the highest success rates of any college access program,” said Arneal. “I believe One Voice’s goals to provide financial and educational assistance to the underprivileged is an important step in improving lives and communities.”

The Heery International Foundation was established to provide employees nationwide with a way to pool their collective resources for the purpose of making meaningful grants to worthwhile organizations. Heery employees have the opportunity to support the company’s foundation with payroll deductions; employees also nominate and select the beneficiary organizations.

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