At Poland Spring, we believe in giving back to our communities through volunteering, fundraising and sponsorships and are proud to support the work of the Dempsey Center by being a part of the annual Dempsey Challenge held on October 12th and 13th. The Dempsey Challenge is a two-day, non-competitive run, walk and cycling event that raises funds for The Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing founded by actor Patrick Dempsey, a Lewiston, Maine native. Poland Spring has been a part of The Dempsey Challenge since its beginnings in 2009, and this year more than 3,800 participants raised $1.1 million for the Center.
Not only was the company the official water and recycling sponsor once again of The Dempsey Challenge, but dozens of Poland Spring employees also joined the “Poland Spring Re-cycling Team,” raising $9,025.
Many of the employees who participated in the Challenge have been affected by cancer personally or have witnessed family members and friends battle the disease. Al McKinney, Northeast Transportation Resource for Poland Spring, participates in the Challenge each year to honor his father, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer last year, as well as his wife Judy, who is battling a rare form of bone cancer.
“The Dempsey Challenge is an opportunity for me, as a Poland Spring employee, to show my pride for our company and raise money to support The Dempsey Center, a cause that is very dear to me,” said McKinney. McKinney was the top Poland Spring team fundraiser for the second year and also was instrumental in team fundraising efforts.
In addition to their individual fundraising, Poland Spring employees were a big part of the Poland Spring cheer station where a group of about 60 employees, family members and friends converged at the entrance to the Poland bottling plant on Sunday morning to cheer for the cyclists participating in the 50, 70 and 100-mile rides. The super hero-themed cheer station featured a Zumba warm-up session, music, an appearance by Poland Spring’s recycling mascot Eco, a pancake breakfast and plenty of enthusiasm.
In fact, the Poland Spring cheer station caught the attention of Patrick Dempsey, who interrupted his bike ride to thank the company and our hardworking employees for all that they do to support Maine and the Dempsey Center.
“The cheer station at the Poland Spring Plant is a fun way to support the riders. The smiles on their faces and the thumbs-up they give as they ride by make it all worth it,” said McKinney.