GAWDA Gives Back – A Program to Feel Good About

The GAWDA Gives Back (formerly known as NWSA Gives Back) program says something revealing and special about the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. Now in its third year, GAWDA Gives Back was conceived by Donna Mahoney and championed by NWSA President Dave Mahoney in 2000 as way of honoring and thanking our host convention city or community by tapping into the voluntary generosity of NWSA members to benefit a local charity or charities selected by the NWSA President and spouse. As Dave wrote when he introduced the voluntary charitable initiative:

Let’s not simply take away memories; let’s make memories for others as well. As a token of our appreciation for the things we take away, let’s leave something for those that will never have the opportunities that we have enjoyed. What better way to say thanks to the community for having us as their guests!

In its first year, through the voluntary support of NWSA member companies and individuals, NWSA Gives Back donated over $36,000 to the Maui Adult Day Care Centers and Hawaii Community Services Council to benefit seniors on the island. In 2001 and despite the cancellation of the National Convention following the tragic events of September 11, Sheron and Lyn Carter made a special trip to San Francisco to present checks totaling over $32,000 to Lincoln Child Center and Beating the Odds, two extraordinary organizations helping at-risk children.

As we look forward to the 58th National Convention at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, President Jim Madison and his wife, Kathy, are excited to be in a position to direct the proceeds of this year’s GAWDA Gives Back campaign to an Orlando charity that has special appeal to the Madison family. Princeton House Charter School is nationally recognized for its innovative and successful educational programming and therapy for 95 children ages 3-13 with autism or developmental delayed with autistic features. Princeton House’s innovative program joins typically developing children with autistic children in the Princeton House classrooms to provide “a wide range of opportunities for all students.” A GAWDA Gives Back gift will help Princeton House purchase needed equipment and learning materials at a time when they are planning to relocate to be able to expand their enrollment.

The GAWDA Gives Back program has an opportunity this year to reach an extraordinary milestone — wouldn’t it be wonderful to exceed $32,000 this year, for a three-year grand total of over $100,000! That would be an achievement worth celebrating, and feeling good about!

GAWDA Gives Back gives us an opportunity to look beyond ourselves to consider the needs of those less fortunate. It also makes a special statement about who we are as an organization and as thoughtful, caring people.

At the request of President Jim Madison, Dave Mahoney has enthusiastically agreed to chair the 2002 GAWDA Gives Back committee. To lend a hand with the work of the committee, please contact Dave Mahoney at or 518-465-5229 ext. 519. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to jump-start the campaign, please send your check payable to GAWDA Gives Back to GAWDA, 1900 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1443. Thank you once again for allowing GAWDA to ” give back” to Orlando, Florida, the host city for the 58th National Convention.