GAWDA Member Businesses Contribute to Two Local Children and Family Causes
Wailiea, MAUI, HI — The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) presented member-donated funds totaling $187,765.32 to two Maui community organizations as a hallmark of the association’s 72nd annual convention and the 16th year of its GAWDA Gives Back charitable initiative.
2015-2016 Association President Bill Visintainer and his wife, Debbie Visintainer, presented checks to representatives of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui (for $93,882.66) and to The Neighborhood Place of Wailuku (for the same amount, $93,882.66). The check presentations took place at the opening session of GAWDA’s annual business session last week before an audience of more than 800 GAWDA members and guests at the Grand Wailea Resort in Wailea, on Maui.
GAWDA Gives Back is a charitable-giving program that dates back to 2000. GAWDA Members contribute funds each year, in the spirit of leaving behind gifts of goodwill and tangible resources to be put to use in communities that are host to the group’s annual business meeting. Each year, GAWDA’s leadership selects community organizations whose good works can benefit from receiving “found resources.”
$2 Million-Plus Over 16 years
Fundraising occurs throughout the year, culminating in a presentation at the annual convention. In the 16 years since the program began, including 2016, two dozen organizations in 13 different communities across the United States have received funding.
This year, GAWDA chose two organizations that focus on helping the children of Maui and Maui family members of all ages. According to GAWDA 2015-2016 President Bill Visintainer, who is president of Atlas Welding Supply of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the funds “will provide much-needed resources to keep service programs going strong, and by doing so, providing hope, healing and much-needed support for worthy people who are striving for positive futures despite significant life challenges.”
Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui
At the convention presentation, Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui CEO Kelly Pearson told the GAWDA audience how the contributed funds will be used for her organization’s Youth for Unity Program. Its focus is on cultural diversity and it works to engage parents and family members in activities designed to promote diversity and combat prejudice, bigotry and discrimination. The program also teaches conflict-resolution skills, how to prevent bullying and how to enhance self-esteem. More information on the Youth For Unity program and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui is available at www.gawda.org. and at www.bgcmaui.org.
The Neighborhood Place of Wailuku
GAWDA leaders also presented a check to The Neighborhood Place of Wailuku. The organization said it will dedicate the funds to its Child & Family Service’s Stronger Families Fund, and the monies will be drawn down over the next few years to address pressing needs as they arise. “GAWDA’s generosity is making a significant impact on Maui families now and into the future,” said Howard Garval, president and CEO of Child & Family Service. “We are in awe of the compassion of this group of business leaders from around the country; their transformational investment in a community in which they are considered guests is a true example of the Aloha Spirit in action,” he added.
The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is comprised of independent distributors and supplier firms serving the gases distribution and welding industry that are located throughout the United States, and some internationally located members.
Founded in 1945 as the National Welding Supply Association (NWSA), the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) has represented the distributors and manufacturers of welding supplies and materials for more than 70 years. The trade association serves 545 members who are gases and welding supply distributors, manufacturers, independent manufacturer’s representatives and individuals, and it is the major trade association representing the industrial gases and welding supply industry. GAWDA is dedicated to achieving two goals for its members: safe operation of welding equipment and supplies (including compliance with government regulations) and economic vitality of distributors of welding equipment and supplies).
GAWDA’s next annual convention is scheduled to take place in New York City October 1 – 3. For more information about the Association, visit www.gawda.org.