Reading time ( words)
In many ways, Firstronic's approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is traditional. Its team supports local recycling programs, blood drives, charitable organizations near its Juarez, Mexico plant and other worthy causes. However, Firstronic's most significant annual fundraising event, a Golf Scramble and Banquet in support of the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) that is held each July, has a personal element. President and CEO John Sammut’s son, Chase, died from a brain tumor.
Chase was five years old when he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, anaplastic astrocytoma grade 3, in his brain stem. John and his family exhausted every available medical alternative in their fight to save their little boy. At seven years of age, Chase earned his angel wings after a long and difficult fight. Chase would have been 17 this May and it is in his memory that the team at Firstronic helps raise money to help other children fighting battles against tumors by supporting CTF.
“Prior to Chase’s diagnosis, I had no idea what families with this condition had to deal with. We didn’t know about CTF at the time because like many charitable organizations that deal with diseases that impact a small percentage of the population, they aren’t widely known and don’t have the resources to conduct large scale awareness campaigns or fundraising efforts,” said Sammut.
The team at Firstronic liked the idea of supporting a charity where their efforts really did make a big difference, and in 2015 the First Annual Firstronic Golf Outing and Dinner was held. Suppliers signed on for sponsorships and the company’s customers, employees and suppliers signed up for teams. The 2015 event raised $10,000 and the 2016 event raised $15,000. Firstronic has set a $20,000 goal for the 2017 event. However, this year, the company also wants to raise awareness of CTF as it expands fund raising efforts.
“In the past, our funds were raised primarily from corporate sponsorships, golf fees and dinner tickets. Firstronic donated $3,000 on top of the funds generated from the event plus supplied the labor to organize and hold the event. This year, we wanted to encourage individual contributions and promote this effort as widely as possible to help tell CTF's story to a larger audience within the electronics manufacturing community. This charity makes every dollar count, and as anyone who has had a child with neurofibromatosis will tell you, we need more research into treatments for the tumors this condition causes,” Sammut added.
Individuals can make contributions on Firstronic's page at CTF.
About Firstronic LLC
Firstronic LLC (www.firstronic.com) provides advanced electronics manufacturing services and optimized supply chain solutions for companies in a wide range of industries including automotive, industrial and medical device. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, Firstronic has a 35,000 square foot facility, state-of- the-art equipment and a 70,000 square foot facility in Juarez, Mexico. Its Michigan facility was named a 2016 IndustryWeek Best Plant, due to its industry-leading Lean manufacturing practices. It also supports companies needing access to global manufacturing locations via JV operations in China, India and the Czech Republic, in addition to its JV with the Lacroix Group.
About The Children’s Tumor Foundation
The Children's Tumor Foundation (www.ctf.org) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide living with neurofibromatosis (NF), a term for three distinct disorders: NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. NF causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities, and excruciating and disabling pain.
NF affects one in every 3,000 people, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined. The Children’s Tumor Foundation funds critical research into neurofibromatosis. In addition to benefiting those who live with NF, this research is shedding new light on several forms of cancer, brain tumors, bone abnormalities, and learning disabilities, ultimately benefiting the broader community.