Business gives a big hug of a PFD surprise to DNR wardenIt could be considered a member of the coat family.
By: Joanne M. Haas/Bureau of Law Enforcement, Superior Telegram
It could be considered a member of the coat family. Its purpose is to be worn like a comfortable hug, protecting the person underneath.
So it fits that Gunderson Cleaners, known in the Fox Valley region as the company which does the annual Coats for Kids winter campaign, decided to ask its customers to scour their – in this case, garages – for another kind of outerwear.
The result was a lot of donated life jackets of all types that took Recreational Safety Warden Jeremy Cords of Green Bay a couple of trips to collect. “I bet she had 250 in a pile for me,” Cords says. “This wasn’t anything I or the DNR asked for. She called me right out of the blue.”
‘She’ is Nicole Glisczinski, marketing director for the Gunderson Family Companies – whose slogan is ‘Helping you Build a Better Community.’ Or, in this case, helping you stay in your boat and afloat.
Glisczinski says the company -- which operates all types of professional cleaning operations in Menasha, Appleton, Wausau, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids and Waupaca -- wanted to do more for the communities where its businesses operate in addition to the annual and successful Coats for Kids. So Glisczinski got busy.
“We have so many lakes and rivers that people enjoy, and people come up north to enjoy being around all this water,” Glisczinski says. “We know from some research that people do not wear their life jackets.”
Cue the big sigh from wardens who work hard to spread the safety message of the life jacket, and the big cheer from wardens who appreciate The Gunderson Family Companies effort to help others on the water.
“We knew that if we tell our customers about the situation that they would donate them,” she says of the late summer donation campaign. A life jackets also is called a personal flotation device or a PFD.
And they sure did.
Cords says the donated life jackets will be put to good use by DNR boating instructors and as loaners. “This is really a company leading by example. It’s helping others and I thought it was a terrific surprise that we can really use to help a lot of people stay safe on our waters,” Cords says.
Glisczinski says the company is built on a sentiment from its founder, Gary Gunderson: “Appreciate where you are and give back to the communities that have been good to you,” Gunderson says. “Our mission is to actively reach out to those in need and give back to those who have given so much to us.”
To learn more about life jackets -- or PFDs -- please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/boat/pfd.html