The award ceremony recently took place at the Marion Rotary Annual Awards Dinner on a night dedicated to awarding Rotary members, as well as giving grants and scholarships to teachers and students.
“For the first time in its 60 years of giving the Citizen of the Year award for service to the community, instead of giving the award to an individual, the Marion Rotary Club has chosen a group of employees as its Citizen of the Year,” said Dr. Dana Chamberlain, a local dentist and Rotary member. “Utility Marion employees were chosen for the incredible impact their UECC program is having all across southwest Virginia and beyond.”
Utility Employees Changing Communities (UECC) is a program conceived and initiated by the Marion plant employees in 2017.
“Every week, Utility provides one free meal to all employees based on the previous week’s collective efficiency results. The better the result, the better the meal,” said Jerry Sheets, plant manager at the Utility Marion facility. “UECC came about in March 2017 when employees had the idea to forgo every fourth week’s meal and instead donate the collective value of that meal to public schools, senior citizens, and special needs children.”
Through the UECC program, Marion’s 1,200 employees have donated $442,582, delivering checks to 79 public schools in 23 counties throughout four states. Additionally, every check donated by Marion’s UECC program is hand-delivered by a Utility Marion employee, the company said.
“It’s an honor for Marion employees to receive this award,” Sheets said. “After two years of UECC, there is simply no way to fully convey the impact and lasting impressions it has indelibly imprinted on so many of us at Utility.
“The fact that our work as trailer builders can translate into providing things that make a positive difference in the lives of children, teachers, administrators, parents, seniors and special needs kids—how do you really capture that in words? I cannot.”
The Rotary Club of Marion is one of 32,000 Rotary Clubs, which make up Rotary International. Their mission is to bring understanding and peace through humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programs.
For more information on the Rotary Club of Marion visit rotaryclubofmarion.com.