Pipeliners ... Santa's Helpers
Associated Pipe Line Contractors, Inc. recently held a toy drive and a food drive for a local church on their pipeline project in Sarver, PA. Associated is currently underway with a job for NiSource Midstream for the Big Pine Pipeline Project. On November 28, 2012, all of the employees brought gifts to work. Employees of Associated Pipe Line Contractors donated many, many toys plus a cash contribution. Jim Privett, of FJP Consulting, Inc., also donated cash and many toys. There were also some anonymous cash donors, as well, from Houston and within the Associated Pipe Line Contractors employees group.
There were 8 Marines from Bantam Marine Corps League, Detachment 743, on hand to accept the toys. They arrived in full uniform and were overwhelmed at the sight that lay before them. The pipeliners on the spread had toys piled on tables and on the ground. Approximately 280 employees from Associated Pipe Line Contractors, North Spread, participated along with about 20 people from the inspection and gas company side. Jim Privett, Director of Project Management, for NiSource Midstream, offered a prayer and Kevin Berryman, Superintendent, for Associated Pipe Line Contractors, thanked the employees for having such generous hearts and the Marines for coming before them.
The Toys for Tots representatives were amazed. They said when they came to the yard, they expected more of a “junk yard” atmosphere but were amazed by all of the equipment and organization. There was a crowd of people, with a mass of toys piled before them. They said they were overwhelmed at the sight.
A presentation was given thanking the Marines for their service to our country and for working so hard to have an avenue for children to receive a gift at Christmas. At the end of the ceremony, Kelly Hearn gave the signal “Toys Up!” and everyone lifted two or more toys high in the air. The Marines had no idea they had even more toys than what they saw before them. There was a look of awe on their faces and they later told Kelly, after many hugs and thanks, that it was everything they could do to keep from crying. Many had tears in their eyes, right along with all of the employees. Kelly stated, " It was one of the greatest moments I have ever experienced in my life." The feeling among the crowd was mutual – it was all heartfelt and genuine. It was important. It was Christmas at its core. It was Americans at their best.
To see tough pipeliners, men and women, tear up and bow their heads is quite a sight to see. They all became as soft as marshmallows, for that moment.
It took around 10 pickups and cars to get the toys to the Toys for Tots headquarters in Butler, PA. The Associated Pipe Line employees helped load and unload the toys. The Marines said they have never had such a generous donation and toys of such high quality. All of the Marines said they almost burst out in tears when the toys were lifted up.
A pastor from the Cabot United Methodist Church was also present. The Associated Pipe Line Contractors spread also contributed food to their food bank. Jim Summers, of Associated Pipe Line Contractors, donated $250.00 worth of food, alone. They had to load the food onto a flatbed truck with a forklift and then go to their church to unload it for them. Pastor Matthew Judd was thinking he would arrive and pick up the food in his car. Needless to say, they were very grateful.
The Butler Eagle Newspaper graciously took the following photos and sent them to the Associated Pipe Line Contractors spread.
Kelly Hearn said, "We have a great bunch of people here. Office staff, inspection, the gas company, laborers, operators, welders, helpers, journeymen, teamsters, mechanics, management…everyone was completely gung ho and proud to do this. It makes me cry thinking of the overwhelming generosity that filled the day here!"