COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (October 7, 2021) — GAWDA President Abydee Butler Moore, her husband, Ryan, and their two daughters, Ivy and Coda, were joined by GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina to present a check for $126,960 to the Children’s Literacy Center (CLC) at GAWDA’s 2021 Annual Convention in Colorado Springs, CO.
CLC works with families in Colorado Springs communities to provide an effective literacy program that helps the struggling reader become a successful reader. Through one-to-one tutoring, each student gets personalized tutoring with long-lasting results
This year, in addition to the monetary donation, GAWDA members were also encouraged to donate children’s books with personalized messages inside them. Hundreds of donated books lined the front of the stage as the check was presented.
“I’m always blown away by the generosity and the commitment of our members to help those in need,” said GAWDA’s John Ospina. “ Each year they leave a lasting legacy in our host cities. It makes me so proud to serve this industry.”
Three representatives from the CLC stepped on stage for a tearful and emotional acceptance. Abydee discussed how passionate her family is about traveling and seeing the world and noted that often a child’s first opportunity to “see the world” is through reading.
“I thought if we get 100 books and $5-10,000 I would be thrilled. But I will say that $125,000 to our organization is a third of our budget. So thank you all,” said Development Coordinator Ann Sulley. “The impact that we will be able to make to the children of Colorado will be extraordinary. Thank you so much. These kids are 9-12 months behind in their learning thanks to COVID. So, what we will be able to do with this can’t be overstated. Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart.”
Following the acceptance, CLC’s Director of Education, Noel Wilson, described the mission of the CLC and how the volunteer organization works with the kids one-on-one to “take a big juicy bite out of that reading apple.” He once again thanked the organization and reiterated the monumental difference the donations will make.
GAWDA Gives Back was conceived by GAWDA Past President Dave Mahoney and his wife Donna as way of honoring and thanking GAWDA’s Annual Convention host community by tapping into the voluntary generosity of our members to benefit a local charity.
For over 75 years, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) has been dedicated to promoting the safe operation and economic vitality of distributors of industrial gases and related welding equipment supplies. Through its GAWDA Gives Back campaign, association members have donated almost $2 million over the last 17 years to 23 different charitable organizations in 14 communities across the U.S. Since 2013, GAWDA and its members also have provided scholarships totaling $226,000 to 113 young people interested in studies leading to careers in the industry. For more information, visit the association’s website at www.gawda.org.