August 2008

Giving back

Home is where the heart is

Sandvik Mining and Construction recently sent 10 employee volunteers from the United States and Canada to help support  Habitat for Humanity’s 25th annual “Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project” in the Gulf Coast.

This five-day event was attended by the former U.S. President and his wife as well as thousands of volunteers from around the world. The purpose was to construct and rehabilitate 60 houses and frame up 48 more in the host cities of Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi. In addition, the event hoped to raise awareness of the ongoing recovery efforts taking place along the Gulf Coast in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As part of the event, houses were also built and repaired by volunteers in several communities in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama. In total, more than 250 houses will be built or rehabilitated by the end of the year as part of Habitat for Humanity’s 2008 Carter Work Project.

“Sandvik is happy to have participated in this very worthy cause,” said John Remakis, the company’s marketing manager. “People all over have been moved by the determination of this region to rebuild homes and communities in the wake of the hurricanes. Sandvik’s involvement in the construction industry made it a natural fit for us to participate, and we were especially fortunate in being able to send a highly motivated group of employee volunteers.”

A real gem

As part of the Polish the Gem cleanup campaign, the city of Yellowknife and Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. unveiled the Madvac S300 Sidewalk Sweeper on June 27, 2008. According to Mayor Gordon Van Tighem, this is “more than just a piece of machinery. The Madvac should become a symbol of Yellowknife’s ongoing commitment and pride in a clean capital city. Let's keep our gem polished!”

Diavik President Kim Truter reports: “For our part, Diavik employees recently participated in the spring cleanup and helped celebrate with a barbecue on Main Street. As with our other community projects, we are once again pleased to partner with the city to purchase the sidewalk sweeper, which will help polish our city.” Diavik’s other community support endeavours have included the SideDoor Youth Centre, the Shorty Brown Arena, the Bailey House Transition Home and, most recently, the Territorial Dementia Facility.

The play’s the thing

The children of the Crowsnest Pass community of Blairmore, Alberta, will soon have a playground to boast of to visiting friends and cousins. Their state-of-the-art space will feature a crumb-rubber safety surfacing made from recycled-tires, making it completely wheelchair accessible. Elk Valley Coal is contributing $60,000 to its construction. The company will also help fund similar facilities in the three British Columbia communities of Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie. Lori Groat, project coordinator, teacher and member of the Isabelle Sellon Parent Council said: “The children have been without a playground here for many years and we are excited to move toward a new facility that will encourage healthy activity for children in a safe, fun environment.”

“We are proud to contribute to legacy playground projects in the communities where so many of Elk Valley Coal's employees live,” said Doug Stokes, vice president of operations, adding, “Safe and environmentally friendly playgrounds reflect values that we embrace both on and off the job.”

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