Yellow Roadway Employees, Companies Show Heart with $260,000 Donation


Buoyed by significant participation from field sites and a dedicated team effort, Yellow Roadway Corp. raised more than $260,000 in this year's fund-raising campaign for the American Heart Associationwell ahead of its goal of $150,000and won the trophy for the highest corporate donation in the Kansas City area for the sixth consecutive year.

"That's about 30 percent more than we raised last year," says campaign co-chair Terri Thurnau, channel marketing manager for Yellow Transportation.

"Being the top contributor six years in a row speaks volumes about the quality of people who are part of the Yellow Roadway family," says Bill Zollars, chairman, president and CEO of Yellow Roadway Corp. "Our grand total is a reflection of their caring and generosity."

Tom Coones, manager of help desk services at Yellow Roadway Technologies (YRT) and campaign co-chair, said it was the combined efforts of Yellow Transportation field employees and general office employees that made the campaign such a success.

The field made a collective contribution of more than $54,000, well ahead last year's contribution of $47,050. Dave Corwin, vice president of technology infrastructure services, YRT; Dave Ebberts, manager, Enterprise Services; and Lisa Sangster, administrative assistant, YRT were in charge of coordinating the field effort.

The campaign at headquarters raised $206,000. It was fueled by a group of team captains who met regularly and maintained a high level of enthusiasm throughout the building.

"There are some dedicated and passionate people out there," Thurnau says, "and they really come through. The team captains were a great group of leaders."

The Heart Walk campaign raises money in several ways, culminating in a walking event involving thousands of volunteers, who collect pledges from friends, family members and co-workers.

In addition to participating in the walk, Yellow sponsored a silent auction, and formed inter-departmental teams that competed against each other.

Fund-raising ideas ranged from car washes and bake sales to breakfast feasts and hot dog lunches. There was even a "hair cut" competition among eight men at headquarters. Chris Reaburn, service marketing manager, was the contestant having the most donations made in his name. As the "winner," he received a military "buzz" haircut.

A raffle for an all-expense trip to Jamaica raised $4,000. Almost 60 percent of that came from raffle tickets bought by the field Rosie Berkemeier, financial planning and analysis coordinated the raffle. The winner was Sharon Burton, lead data entry operator in Enterprise Services. She won the trip on her birthday which also was her final day with the company. She was retiring after 27 years.

A golf tournament sponsored by Meridian IQ also was an enormous success. Paul Henry, also a campaign co-chair, organized the June tournament that raised $65,000, almost double what the tournament generated last year.

"I really enjoy these efforts, says Coones. "It's very rewarding to see people respond. Our job was easy. We set it in motion, and the people responded with great individual initiatives."

Heart Walk officials noted that Yellow Roadway has raised $724,890 in its six years of involvement in the campaign.

"It's important for people in the field to know that their contributions don't just go to the Kansas City area," says Coones. "The funds we raise as a corporation fund national research by the American Heart Association, research that everyone in the country benefits from."

The mission of the American Heart Association is to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular disease and stroke. Cardiovascular disease has been America's No. 1 killer since 1919, taking more than 930,000 lives each year. One person in the United States dies from heart disease every 34 seconds. And someone in the United States suffers a stroke once each 45 seconds, making stroke the third-leading killer and the leading cause of serious long-term disability.