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Day of Caring: Medrad workers give back to the community

| Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009

Medrad employees may have been helping others during the company's annual Day of Caring yesterday, but they got as good as they gave.

Taking a break from landscaping at the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches headquarters in Harrison, Joyce Fennell said she was thankful for the beautiful morning.

"We all work in offices, so it's nice to be outside," said Fennell, a Harrison resident and Medrad customer service employee.

Noting Medrad's employees are spread over many departments and regional offices, Regina Adamovits said the service projects offered them an opportunity to be together.

"It's nice to see people you don't see every day," said Adamovits, a West Deer resident who works in Medrad's accounting department.

Both women said being able to help organizations within their communities made the volunteer work more meaningful.

Fennell's church, Center United Methodist in Fawn, is part of the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches.

Fennell said Medrad employees frequently have assisted the association through painting, landscaping, cleaning and other efforts. This year, the 20-member crew moved a walled garden and widened the association's gravel parking lot.

Adamovits said she and her husband, Dan, usually try to pick projects in or near their West Deer home. This year they and about 15 other Medrad workers were painting the inside of Deer Lakes Community Church of the Nazarene on Saxonburg Boulevard.

"It's a nice way to give back to the community," Regina Adamovits said.

Friday marked the 10th year Medrad, a Warrendale-based medical device manufacturer with plants in Indiana and O'Hara townships, has invited its employees to spend a day volunteering. The company pays the employees as though they are at their regular jobs.

Medrad estimated about 800 employees participated in 50 projects across Western Pennsylvania. Additionally, Medrad facilities in Minneapolis, Japan, the Netherlands and Germany will volunteer in their communities.

"This year, in particular, we hope that our efforts make a genuine difference for these organizations, some of which are really struggling to meet the needs of the clients they serve," said CEO and President John Friel.

The projects generally are suggested by employees and local organizations, or recommended by the United Way, which organizes Day of Caring events nationwide.

Medrad employee Judy Aldridge, a West Deer resident and member of Deer Lakes Community Church of the Nazarene, said she suggested the project at her church last year.

"We're happy to get any help we can get," Aldridge said, noting a large proportion of the congregation is older.

The church once was in Pittsburgh before it was damaged in a fire. The building was moved to West Deer in the 1960s and could use some updating, Aldridge said.

"We're trying to make everything brighter and cleaner," she said.

Linda Roman, a secretary and emergency assistance coordinator at the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, said the Medrad assistance has been vital over the years.

"This was a big job," Roman said of the parking lot expansion. "They're a great bunch of people."

Additional Information:

How to help

For information about Day of Caring events organized by the United Way and Pittsburgh Cares, call 412-471-2114 or e-mail dhorgan@pittsburghcares.org.

The organizations sponsor Day of Caring projects from April to December.

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