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East Penn pushes Oelwein United Way over the top

United Way representatives and East Penn employees gather at the company’s Oelwein plant Tuesday to celebrate exceeding the company-wide fundraising goal.

East Penn Manufacturing helped the Oelwein Area United Way reach their 2018 fundraising goal with nearly 70 employees donating.

The company-wide goal for East Penn was $10,000, but they ended up raising $14,156. It was nearly $7,000 more than they raised last year. East Penn’s fundraising also helped the Oelwein Area United Way reach their fundraising goal for 2018.

Superintendent of manufacturing Troy Frederick came to the Oelwein facility in July 2017 with his wife, after close to 30 years of working at their Pennsylvania plant. His wife work in the human resources department.

Frederick said that he first started donating to the United Way while he lived in Pennsylvania after being introduced to the agency by co-workers.

“I think all of us here at this company make a good wage, and it doesn’t hurt to give back each week to help others that are in need,” Frederick said.

During meetings, Frederick and other employees encouraged their co-workers to donate for the Oelwein Area United Way drive.

“I think a lot of the people before they came here may not have been in such a good position,” Frederick said. “I think they realize the importance of helping out people that may need something.”

East Penn started their fundraising drive at the beginning of September and ended it the last day of December.

Project engineer Joe Bouska said it was a great feeling to exceed the company’s fundraising goal.

“It’s neat to give back to the community and the community has always been good to us,” Bouska said. “It’s great to see the community continue to grow and we can help out with that.”

Distribution superintendent Wade Holverson said he did not get involved with the United Way until he started working for East Penn. He added that company leadership helped make this happen.

“When you know their organization stands behind it and you heard from these fellows next to me talk about the importance of the company,” Holverson said. “The company values all of our employees and that we can all kind of jump in as a family. Our family company and we can all chip in and try to help an organization like this.”

Oelwein Area United Way board member Paul Schmitz said East Penn’s donations are greatly appreciated.

“They did a fantastic job of fundraising here and really put us over the top,” Schmitz said. “Everybody’s donations count, but East Penn has been a huge supporter and we really appreciate everything they do.”