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Employees spend Day of Giving revamping ballpark, serving nonprofits

June 11, 2019 | Jeni Radik | community, OPPD employees, outreach
EMS_Open Door Mission’s Timberlake Outreach Center_homepage

A commitment to community service defines public power.

On June 7, more than 80 employees continued this tradition by participating in OPPD’s “Day of Giving.” Working closely with Food Bank of the Heartland, United Way of the Midlands, and Little Vikes Athletic Association, employees lived OPPD core value of honoring their community by working more than 240 volunteer hours.

Ballpark revamp

The largest project was the OPPD Power Park, home of Lil’ Vikes football team. The park is adjacent to OPPD’s North Omaha Station.

“This is not a one day and done deal, but an ongoing commitment to the community, living our values,” said Mike Ferm, director of Operations at OPPD.

NOS_Power Park_10North Omaha Station employees with specialized skills revamped the ballpark.

Cody Karre, manager of North Omaha Station, echoed Ferm.

“Their skilled labor made significant improvements and it was a great opportunity to do some amazing work for the neighborhood.”

The electricians, steamfitters and other personnel rebuilt the aging scoreboard, deteriorating backstop and weakened bleachers.

They painted the dugouts, bleachers and concession stand to match the home team’s colors – white, gold and blue. Volunteers also trimmed and freshened up the landscaping at the ballpark. The team has plans for more improvements throughout the year.

“The work performed made the park a safer and more comfortable environment for players and spectators, along with giving the community a fresher look,” said Karre.

Other volunteer efforts
  • Employees from Corporate Accounting, Senior Management’s executive assistants and Product Development & Marketing worked at the Food Bank of the Heartland. They sorted 12,350 pounds of potatoes, an average of about 233 pounds per person, per hour.
  • Public Affairs employees assisted the Cross Training Center by disassembling electronics for recycling purposes, sorting batteries into barrels and mowing a portion of their 6-acre grounds. The center helps youth and adults get jobs through character development, job-related training and work experience.
  • Energy Management System (EMS) employees volunteered at the Open Door Mission’s Timberlake Outreach Center in east Omaha. The center allows individuals and families to shop in their food pantry and donation store. Employees sorted and restocked donated clothing and household items and straightened up the floor while customers shopped. They also worked in the diaper stock room.

“I am honored to serve my community alongside my fellow EMS team members,” said Rick Stanger, operations system administrator. “The Day of Giving is another opportunity for employees to demonstrate that we care about each other.”

That same week, document services set up for the 2019 Golf Classic for the Omaha Home for Boys and served as event ambassadors, along with closing of the event. Proceeds from the tournament support the more than 300 youth served by the home annually.

OPPD’s annual Day of Giving is in conjunction with the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Public Power Day of Giving.

Rachel Chavez, control system specialist, volunteered at the Timberlake Outreach Center.

“I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to get out in the community to do something that helped improve the lives of people in need.”

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About Jeni Radik

Jeni Radik, a contributor to The Wire, is a jack-of-all-trades. A student at the University of Phoenix, Jeni is pursuing a communications degree, with a technology focus. She acquired the gift of gab as a cosmetologist, which she put to good use in other fields. She landed in the OPPD call center in 2008, graduating to Corporate Marketing & Communications. With 25 years’ worth of customer service skills, she morphed into a communications assistant, which is a good fit. When Jeni is not studying, she is spending time with her children, reveling with her grandchildren and bowling (she once rolled a perfect 300), among other activities.

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