Employees revamp Power Park, serve nonprofits

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EMS_Open Door Mission’s Timberlake Outreach Center_homepage
OPPD employees volunteer at the Open Door Mission's Timberlake Outreach Center on June 7, 2019.

Public power is defined by a commitment to community service. It has been a proud part of Nebraska’s history since 1946.

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.

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.

North 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. More improvements will be done 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 included:

  • 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 with troubled backgrounds get employment 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 where customers are allowed one package of diapers per child.

“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 Day of Giving is an annual event held in conjunction with the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Public Power Day of Giving.

Rachel Chavez, control system specialist, who volunteered at the Timberlake Outreach Center said, “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.”

Jeni Radik

About Jeni Radik

Jeni Radik, a contributor to The Wire, is a jack-of-all-trades. She is currently a communications assistant in Stakeholder and Community Outreach at OPPD. When she isn't working, Jeni is spending time with her children, grandchildren and bowling (she once rolled a perfect 300).

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