Industry Excellence Reaches New Heights
It's never too often to showcase those individuals, companies and organizations whose conduct and accomplishments raise the bar for the cleaning and restoration industry in the eyes of both their peers and their clients. That's why a few moments of the recent Connections 2004 Trade Show and Exhibition deserve their own spotlight.
The Floor Covering Industry Foundation is dedicated to financially assisting those who are, or have been, affiliated with the floor covering industry who experience severe disabilities, catastrophic illness or other life-altering hardship. Governed by a board of directors representing a broad base of industry leaders covering all aspects of the industry, the FCIF's philanthropic efforts are accomplished with compassion, confidentiality and preservation of dignity for the individuals concerned.
The FCIF relies solely on donations to provide its grants. To help show its support for the foundation, the Connections Committee held an auction during the show that raised $11,000. In a statement, FCIF President and immediate past Chairman Christopher Davis said, "We are grateful to everyone involved at the Connections Trade Show for their efforts to coordinate such a successful auction and dedicate a portion of those funds to the foundation."
No one said they had to do it. There was no "must provide charitable event" disclaimer on the exhibit hall booking form. No, what I'd have to guess drove Larry Cooper, Dennis Iverson, Rosemary Schooley and the rest of the Connections Committee to organize such a thing is simple: there was no thought of doing otherwise. The opportunity arose to help the industry and they responded, no ifs, ands or buts.
I don't usually utilize this space for ICS to toot its own horn, but in this case I'll make an exception. Each year at Connections the magazine presents The ICS Cleaning Specialist Ralph Bloss Humanitarian Award to members of the industry whose actions produce outstanding benefits for mankind. This year that award went to Randall Linton, a Canada-based professional whose daughter Elisa suffers from Sanfilippo Syndrome, a genetic disorder. In 1999 Linton and his wife Elisabeth formed The Sanfilippo Children's Research Foundation, which to date has raised more than $1.2 million and helped initiate 12 research projects worldwide to find a cure for Sanfilippo Syndrome and its related disorders.
It's organizations like the FCIF and individuals like Randall and Elisabeth Linton that deserve the industry's recognition and respect. It's not just about the job; it's about the people that make it happen.