CFMA Donates Supplies To
Troops Serving Abroad

August 17, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Construction Financial Management Association of West Michigan (CFMA) recently donated 80 boxes of personal supplies to the Marines for distribution to local troops stationed abroad.

Members of CFMA handed over supplies to local Marine officials on Aug. 9 at Owen-Ames-Kimball's supply yard, 801 Century Ave. Following the donation ceremony, CFMA and Marine officials transported the 80 boxes for shipment overseas.

"At a time when public support for the war may be negative, the support for the troops is positive," said CFMA Board President Anita Rathbun. "It is evident with the contributions received," she added. "In addition, we've received feedback from troops that the supplies we're sending them are very much appreciated."

"The idea of collecting items to send to American troops stationed overseas started at a monthly CFMA board meeting in 2006, as part of the group's effort to give back to the community," said CFMA Promotion Committee Chairperson Theresa Sickles, who is employed by longtime CFMA supporter Beene Garter. "Board members voted to take this initiative on as a year-long program after receiving a tremendous amount of support from CFMA members."

Members started bringing items to the monthly meetings, using a needs list provided by the West Michigan Military Family Support Group, which coordinates such volunteer efforts for local groups.

The donation effort, now called "Support the Troops," had already collected and shipped 15 boxes prior to the most recent shipment. CFMA member Owen-Ames-Kimball opened its facility for storage and sorting of the supplies. Some of the items collected include personal hygiene items, clothing, magazines, CDs, and other household supplies that are hard to come by overseas.

A recent challenge between two member companies, the law firms of Miller Johnson and Smith Haughey, helped CFMA collect enough supplies to fill 25 large boxes, and other members contributed to fill 80 boxes. The local law firms challenged each other to see which firm could collect the most supplies.

"All of us at Miller Johnson were so grateful to have this opportunity to participate in CFMA's Support the Troops effort," said Jeff Ammon, managing member of the firm, and chair of Miller Johnson's construction practice group. "The men and women who are serving us overseas deserve our sincerest gratitude, and this is the least we can do. Our thanks to CFMA for organizing this important effort."

Established in 1989, and maintaining 130 local members, CFMA of West Michigan is the source and resource of construction financial management in West Michigan. It unites individuals having financial responsibilities in the construction industry. CFMA of West Michigan provides a forum through which the association's members can meet to network and exchange ideas. The organization promotes and encourages leadership within the construction industry, as well as within CFMA. The local organization develops and coordinates educational programs dedicated to the purpose of improving the professional standards of the industry and enhancing the value of construction financial managers to their respective companies.

The organization is involved with several charitable activities. Aside from the troop donations, CFMA is active with the annual Toys for Tots effort and Walk for Life.

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