For Gary Ellerhorst, chief operating officer at Crown Plastics, Board AID for LIFEbeat is more than just another charity event. Over the past few years, Crown, a base-material supplier for a large percentage of the snowboard industry, has given substantial monetary support to the event. So why has the company been such a strong supporter of Board AID when they don’t receive any of the typical sponsorship benefits?
“First and foremost, Board AID is something the industry wanted to do,” says Ellerhorst. “We feel that we make a good living from the snowboarding industry, so we believe this is a good way to give something back. For us, banners and exposure aren’t important-giving back is. We didn’t want to sit around and wait for a million-dollar donor to come along, so we’ve given as much as possible because we know that every little bit helps.”
In addition, Ellerhorst has a personal interest in Board AID. His sister, Jan, runs Lydia’s House, a day care center for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children in the Cincinnati area.
“The primary purpose of Lydia’s House is to offer comprehensive day care services to HIV-infected children and children of HIV-infected parents,” says Jan. “HIV-infected children may be unable to participate in standard day care programs because of their fragile immune systems, number of daily medications, and the stigma attached to their disease. The financial impact of AIDS commonly exhausts the family’s monetary resources, making day care for HIV-infected and affected children an unattainable luxury. Our goal is to provide an environment where these children can be cared for physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.”
Gary Ellerhorst and Crown Plastics have gone above and beyond to not only support the industry, but a great cause as well. Through Board AID, they have been able to give something back to their consumers – with a personal touch.