By Summer Richie and Lauren Price
Save and protect American lives. Those five words hold great meaning within Elbit Systems of America’s (Elbit America) mission and core values. For more than 10 years, Elbit America, a leading homeland security, defense, commercial aviation and medical instrumentation company, has been a supporter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) – the largest nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for blood cancer. After a two-year hiatus, Elbit America employees volunteered at the Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival (Ribfest) in Merrimack and raised more than $12,000 for LLS.
The entertainment-filled event was hosted at Anheuser Busch Brewery, located directly across the street from Elbit America Merrimack Operations. Due to scarce parking offered at the event, those who were unable to find parking were welcome to park in Elbit America’s parking lot for a $10 donation to LLS. Elbit America employees volunteered in three-hour shifts over the span of the three-day event, ultimately raising more than $12,000 for LLS. Elbit America Senior Supplier Quality Engineer and Ribfest event coordinator, Harold Gill said events like Ribfest not only integrates core values but also gives employees a chance to connect on interests outside of corporate work.
“Ribfest is an example of how Elbit America employees have the willingness to give and commit to core values such as Making a Difference and Doing the Right Thing beyond our daily work,” Gill said. “Elbit America’s support of LLS, proves that we commit to our company values by providing a platform and opportunity for employees to share philanthropic interests and highlight a family atmosphere.”
LLS is on a mission to cure blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, while improving the quality of life for patients and their families. The successful nonprofit has invested more than $1.3 billion to research since 1949, offers free education and support to those affected by blood cancer and advocates for the development of new, innovative treatments.
Elbit America supports a handful of other fundraising efforts for LLS, such as Light The Night - a nationwide, communal walk where friends, families, schools, corporate teams and sponsors come together to “bring light to the darkness of cancer.” Annually, the company encourages employees at all sites to sign up for a walk in their area and create personal fundraising efforts for the event. Elbit America Manager of Transactions Services and a coordinator for LLS related activities, Penny O’Donnell said working with LLS has provided valuable experiences and opportunities for her.
“I have met amazing people who not only work for LLS, but who are also blood cancer survivors,” O’Donnell said. “Hearing their stories has helped me gain perspective into others’ lives and the struggles many have dealt with and overcame. Elbit America supporting LLS shows that our company is interested in being a part of the community and strengthening the communities in which we work and live.”
Elbit America conducts all company efforts with the goal to protect and save lives; at LLS, the mission is similar. Elbit America’s HRIS Coordinator April Killoran said the work LLS does positively impacts many aspects of patients’ lives and Elbit America’s continued support for the nonprofit goes beyond expected corporate responsibility initiatives.
“I believe that LLS holds similar core values as Elbit America. At Elbit America we are encouraged to Be Bold, Be Open and Make a Difference,” Killoran said. “LLS is also bold, open and makes a difference in their mission to finding new treatments and cures for a variety of cancers. Life can get very busy and finding time to help charity organizations tends to take a back seat. Having the opportunity to help a wonderful cause like LLS while incorporated in the work setting is extremely beneficial for everyone involved.”
To learn more about Elbit America’s continuing support to LLS and other corporate responsibility efforts, please visit https://www.elbitamerica.com/corporate-responsibility. To donate or find ways to support LLS on their journey to end blood cancer, visit https://www.lls.org.