By: Jada Ackerman, Director of Public Relations & Customer Service
Christmas miracles are real! I’ve seen them numerous times over the past 15 years of working on the annual Giving Tree project. I know there are real-life santas and angels throughout our rural communities. Sometimes we see them and sometimes they remain a mystery, but one thing I undoubtedly know, is they do exist.
This year, the real santas of the BVTC Giving Tree didn’t come down from the North Pole. Rather, they traveled a short distance West with a tremendous surprise for our program. A company by the name of Vestas – maybe more commonly referred to by us locals as the “wind farm East of Beattie”, stepped up BIG. Literally!
Vestas held a companywide 10K daily step challenge from October through November this year. During the four week competition, (which expanded across every Vestas maintained wind farm in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the headquarters in Portland, Ore.), each team was encouraged to complete as many steps as possible. The purpose of the competition was to bring Vestas teams together to get some exercise, compete as a team, and achieve daily step averages of 10,000 or more. At the end of the competition, the top four teams could donate to the charity of their choice, on behalf of Vestas.
During the competition, the Marshall Team walked a total of 294 miles, for a total step count of 629,467! During their walks, they covered the entire Blue River Valley Trail from Marysville, Kan. to Beatrice, Neb. Team members also walked nature trails and their hometowns in the evenings. This dedication by the Marshall team won them the opportunity to make a $2500 donation to the BVTC Giving Tree.
Their donation helped purchase gifts for children not originally adopted from an area tree. They helped purchase coats, hats, gloves, warm blankets, winter clothes, and toys. Children from newborn to 18 years old will have presents under the tree this Christmas thanks to the dedication and generosity of the Marshall Team from Vestas.
Throughout the delivery and distribution of packages, I have seen smiles on the faces of moms, dads, and children that would light a thousand Christmas trees. We have seen tears of gratefulness and emotions that have overcome me and my staff. This. This is what Christmas is all about. This is the true meaning and spirit of giving. Thank you, Vestas, for flying in on your sleigh and spreading Christmas cheer throughout our area!
From all of us at BVTC, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!!