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    Community Outreach 2013



    Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist, was named SOLitude's 2013 Volunteer of the Year. Shannon received the Volunteer of the Year award for her year round commitment to her philanthropic passions, 288 volunteer hours and her enthusiasm for seeking out new opportunities for SOLitude to help others. 
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    The SOLution Stats for 2013:
    - Dollars Donated: $21,540 ($16,500 in 2012)
    - Hours Volunteered: 798 (350 hours in 2012)
    - Under Resourced Families Helped: Over 2,225
    - Plastic Pesticide Containers Recycled: 5,770
    - Recycled Cardboard/Plastics/Paper: 15,960 lbs.
    Good Feelings Created: IMMEASURABLE!

    SOLitude "adopted" 3 families this year through the HOLiday Cheer Program. These VA and PA families were nominated by local elementary schools and staff members. In addition to company-funding from SOLitude, the 3 families received gifts from their wish lists that were purchased and donated by SOLitude employees. 
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    SOLitude partnered with the B-Strong Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides meals, gift baskets, and encouragement to families with children who have been diagnosed with cancer. This year, we donated $870 in video games to add to B-Strong's donation to the oncology floor at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

    Through the Little GOBBLERS program, SOLitude donated $2600 in turkeys and grocery store gift cards to 137 under resourced families. The 10 elementary and middle schools located in VA, NC, DE and PA all identified a need within their schools and were extremely grateful for SOLitude's assistance this time of the year.
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    We joined CAI members at their Annual Volunteer Day at Food for Others in Fairfax, VA. Food for Others is the largest direct free food distribution network in Northern VA. We assembled Power Packs, which are given to elementary school children so they have meals over the weekend.

    The Hampton Roads staff was joined by local insurance company, Morgan Marrow, at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. 560 bags of food were prepared for less fortunate elementary school students as part of the Foodbank's BackPack Program. Thanks to our loyal partners for joining us in being "part of The SOLution!"

    Congratulations to our Volunteer of the Quarter, Q3, Lisa Richards! Lisa is a staple at all Northern VA team volunteering activities and found a passion volunteering at the Raptor Conservancy in Falls Church, VA. She cleans cages, prepares food and conditions the injured birds to fly once released back into the wildRead More

    Kenilwork Park in Chester County, PAUtilizing a portion of a grant from the Schuylkill Highlands Landscape Conservation Initiative, a swale planting of 1400 plants was recommended, organized and executed by SOLitude's Environmental Scientist, John Phelps, as part of a greater park and watershed remediation at Kenilwork Park in Chester County, PA.
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    We completed the restoration plan for a recreational lake at Camp Holiday Trails, a camp for kids with special health needs. An aquatic weed, watermeal, covered the lake, making it unsuitable for recreational activities. Labor & materials were donated by SOLitude & trusted partner, Valent, to improve the water quality
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    JT Walk Camp Grom Project We were proud to support the JT Walk fundraiser in Virginia Beach to benefit ALS Research and the Camp Grom Project. This event and fundraising campaign was a true success! There were more than 6,000 walkers, $1.3 million in donations and climbing, over 175 sponsors and 60 teams!

    Dog Dayz Dyes Our long time aquatic ecologist & 2012 Vol. of the Year, Shannon Junior, is very involved with helping dogs find their forever homes. She enhanced her ongoing charitable efforts by creating and selling Dog Dayz Dyes tie-dyed dog bandanas & t-shirts, where 100% of the sales go towards helping the Madison County Animal Shelter in VA. 

    Brad Harris and his adorable son, Ford, spent some daddy/son volunteer time picking up trash at the Walnut Creek Wetland "Big Sweep" in Raleigh, NC. Over 40 volunteers joined Brad and Ford in being "part of The SOLution" to beautify Raleigh's urban wetland.

    Wounded WearA special thank you to our new social media followers in the month of July. With your support, SOLitude donated $380 to Wounded Wear to benefit and recognize our wounded heroes and families of the fallen. Thank you for joining us in being part of The SOLution!

    Annual Dog Bowl Pottery Painting ContestTrina Duncan volunteered with the VA Beach SPCA at Color Me Mine, where they had their Annual Dog Bowl Pottery Painting Contest and donated half of their day's sales to the SPCA. Henley, a 6 year old pit bull mix who is currently up for adoption, definitely enjoyed all of the attention!
    Visit The VBSPCA Facebook Page

     Brookside Fishing Event at Lake Ashby in Warrenton, VALead Fisheries Biologist, Dave Beasley and wife, Sarah, volunteered at the annual Brookside Fishing Event at Lake Ashby in Warrenton, VA. They measured and recorded the fish that were caught. Each age group had 1 lucky winner for the most inches caught. It was a fun day for all! 

    Canine & Wine Event at Sharp Rock VineyardsThe Northern VA team volunteered at the Canine & Wine Event at Sharp Rock Vineyards. 100 human & canine guests attended, including 3 dogs rescued by SOLitude staff. The event raised hundreds of dollars for the Local Animal Shelter, and best of all, redtick coonhound Samantha found her forever home at the event.

    Congratulations to Aaron Cushing, SOLitude's Volunteer of Quarter 2! Aaron fully embraces SOLitude's company culture & The SOLution program, while sharing his knowledge and love of nature with others. He volunteers both with the Northern Va team and individually, while finding new ways to improve each event.

    Marc Harris spent his Saturday morning cleaning up the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach through the Lynnhaven River Now organization. 15 kayaks collected 12 bags of trash. Thanks to Marc and his fellow volunteers for being part of The SOLution!

    2013 Family Youth Casting Call SOLitude sponsored & volunteered at the 2013 Family Youth Casting Call in Wash., DC. Our fisheries team stocked the pond with 2,000 bluegill & bass to help these amazing kids have an enjoyable fishing experience. Getting kids outdoors, active & hooked on fishing! 

    Roadside Clean Up London Grove, PAEvery spring, John Phelps volunteers in a 1/2 mile roadside clean up near his home. John's time is recorded with the Township of London Grove, PA and they receive credit for their MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit.

    National Forest Foundation Earth Day/Arbor Day A special thank you to all of our new social media fans and followers from the 1 LIKE = 1 TREE campaign. In conjunction with The National Forest Foundation, SOLitude planted 100 new trees in your honor. Thank you for being part of The SOLution with us! 
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     Friends of the Rappahannock River Clean Up Aaron Cushing and his supportive wife, Lisa, were out at the Friends of the Rappahannock spring river clean up in Fredericksburg, VA. They picked up a ton of broken pieces of glass and bottles and even saved a baby snapping turtle in the midst of cleaning up around the river.

    Brandywine Creek in West Chester, PAMarc Harris, Greg Blackham, Tracy King and John Phelps canoed down the Brandywine Creek in West Chester, PA, cleaning trash from in and around the water as part of the Brandywine Valley Association's annual creek cleanup. Our group cleaned a stretch of 3.75 miles of the creek!

    Avon Grove Green Day event in Avondale, PAJohn Phelps, Environmental Scientist, volunteered his time at the Avon Grove Green Day event in Avondale, PA. He talked with several attendees about the benefits of vegetated swales and pond buffers and even found some time to enjoy this fun and educational event with his family ... bonus!

    Dogapalooza Adoption EventThe Northern Virginia team volunteered with adoptions at Dogapalooza. Shannon Junior, Aaron Cushing and Jeremy Haley helped walk and show off the dogs at the Madison Shelter & Old Dominion Humane Society booth. 38 dogs were adopted from the booth and a total of 307 dogs and cats were adopted at the event!
    View more photos here 

    Volunteer of the Quarter, Q1, Marc HarrisCongratulations to our Volunteer of the Quarter, Q1, Marc Harris! Marc spent several Saturdays rebuilding homes with the Habitat for Humanity, in addition to helping out at the local Foodbank on several occasions. As a new employee, Marc has certainly embraced our company culture right out of the gate!
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    Madison County Animal Shelter Adoption EventShannon Junior volunteered with the Madison County Animal Shelter and took 4 dogs to PetSmart for an adoption event. In the photos are Mazzy, who Shannon decided to adopt herself, and Walker, a hound. Shannon recorded 77 hours of volunteer service in just four months.  
    Visit the Madison County Facebook Page 

    Camp Holiday Trails Lake RestorationWe completed phase one of the lake restoration plan for a lake at Camp Holiday Trails, a camp for kids with special health needs. All labor and materials were donated by SOLitude and AquaMaster. The new aerator will improve water quality and help return it to a usable state for the children!

    Graves Mountain Heritage DayThe Fredericksburg team volunteered at the Graves Mountain Heritage Day, which was a fun-filled day of fishing and activities for kids over 12. Over 100 kids stopped by to see the big fish in SOLitude's tank! Our volunteers educated kids about the environment and electrofishing and even helped them catch fish.

    Graves Mountain Lodge Watershed DayShannon Junior, Aaron Cushing and Lisa Richards taught the importance of watershed conservation to over 100 Madison County, VA 6th graders at Graves Mountain Lodge Watershed Day. The SOLitude team spent most of the day in rubber boots teaching kids how to use a kick seine and identify some interesting aquatic invertebrates.

    Virginia Peninsula FoodbankSOLitude's Hampton Roads team is on roll this year! They were at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank helping to stuff bags of food for the BackPack program. Kyle Finerfrock and Marc Harris even used their handyman skills to help put together a new filing cabinet for the Foodbank's office staff.

    Annual North Augusta Border Bass InvitationalSOLitude's Matthew Phillips joined our partner, Fishiding, at the first Annual North Augusta Border Bass Invitational in Georgia. He spoke with the various student angler teams about fish cover and their future career paths. North Augusta Fishing Team (NAFT) goals are to promote environmental conservation and to get kids outdoors. Learn more 

    Virginia Peninsula FoodbankThe Hampton Roads staff was at it again at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. They prepared 612 bags of food to be stuffed into the backpacks of less fortunate elementary school students as part of the Foodbank's BackPack Program. Way to be "part of The SOLution" team!

    Virginia Beach SPCA adoption eventOur business manager, Trina Duncan, received awesome news that six of the dogs she and the other Va Beach SPCA volunteers took to a Petsmart adoption event last weekend were adopted this week, including Marley. These dogs will all sleep a lot better this weekend in there new 'forever homes.'

    Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton RoadsFisheries Biologist Marc Harris used his handyman skills and volunteered with the Habitat for Humanity of South Hampton Roads to help rehab a house in Portsmouth, VA. Several families are currently undergoing the selection process and one will be selected to purchase and live in the home.

    Brandywine Valley Association Polar PlungeJohn Phelps and Gavin Ferris represented SOLitude as we sponsored the 2013 Brandywine Valley Association Polar Plunge to support the BVA's efforts to protect and conserve the natural resources of the Brandywine Valley. Gavin took the plunge into the 38 degree water and was a semifinalist for the classiest plunge attire.

    Virginia Peninsula FoodbankThe Hampton Roads team prepared 286 bags of food, at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, for underprivileged children in Title 1 schools to take home for the weekend. We also sorted several boxes of donated food items for local churches and organizations to select needed food items for local residents in need.

    Madison County Shelter's Petsmart adoptionShannon Junior volunteered at a Madison County Shelter's Petsmart adoption event. New employee Aaron Cushing and his wife Lisa didn't waste any time adopting a new family member after moving to Fredericksburg! This six-month-old pointer mix, Vancouver, was named after the town in Washington state that they just moved from.

    Contact us to learn about our upcoming volunteering opportunities and how you can get involved.

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