Mercer owner operator team has a passion for charity
(Louisville, KY) November 13, 2007– Although Tom and Debbie Berkel spend most of their days hauling freight across the country, they still find time for charity. On the 18th and 19th of October, the husband and wife owner operator team hosted their second annual charity auction at Mercer’s corporate headquarters in Louisville, KY. The auction raised a total of $3,000. All proceeds were split to fund the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Special Olympics charity organizations.
Last year, the Berkel’s auction raised nearly $1,000 for the “Longest Truck Convoy” event on the behalf of the Special Olympics.
“As owner operators, we’re always on the road,” says Tom Berkel. “We don’t usually have the opportunity to be involved in the community or attend church, so raising money for charity is our way of giving back.”
Over 150 Mercer contractors and employees attended the two-day auction, which showcased 182 items ranging from a new Dell computer, to Christmas lights, to a NASCAR coffee pot. Collecting the items proved to be a time consuming task, since each item was carefully acquired through intensive bargain shopping. Debbie, an avid coupon clipper, spent an entire year collecting items for the auction. “The items were bought online using rebates, discounts, and coupons,” says Debbie. “I love a good bargain!”
Debbie’s passion for charity and cutting costs is a result of the hardships she experienced in her past. “My father died when I was fifteen. Money was tight, and for three months we lived on charity donations from the police department, fire department and Catholic Church. They brought us used toys, food … everything,” she remembers. “Those people gave to us, now it is my time to give back.”
In addition to the auction’s success, the Berkels truly enjoyed the experience. “Mercer people have hearts of gold,” Debbie says. “It amazes me how everyone came out to participate. It was the perfect opportunity for everyone to get great deals, yet at the same time feel good about where their money was going.”
Each year, Mercer participates in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walkathon to raise money for a cure. In addition to the Berkels’ auction contribution, Mercer raised $1,501. Staci Thomas, organizer of Mercer’s participation in the event, says, “We could not have done this without the Berkels. The auction was fantastic and their enthusiasm to help others makes them a great asset to this company.”
Next year, the Berkels plan to continue their efforts by hosting another auction at Mercer. The future proceeds will go to the St. Joseph Children’s Home of Louisville as well as the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign.
Mercer offers one hundred percent support, one hundred percent of the time with a great family atmosphere. For more information about joining the Mercer family, call 800-433-0904 or visit www.mercertown.com.