Giving Back — Snowboard Companies Donate To Charities. Appeared August 1995.

“We’re not trying to push how much we’re giving or doing, but that we’re doing it. We’re trying to make a difference,” says Pill Snowboards Marketing Director Jennifer Copeland about the company donating a portion of profits from three board models to various causes. The charities the money will go to are; Reading Is Fundamental (R.I.F.), the Humane Society, and Farm AID.

Pill isn’t the only snowboard company helping out others. Donating a percentage of profits is something others are doing as well.

With a projected number of board sales at 10,000, Haz-Mat will give two dollars per board sold next year to the Save the Whales Foundation. Owner Donald Cassel says he was spiritually motivated to do something good after going through some rough times. “My head was like scrambled eggs, I was a basket case for two weeks. Something snapped inside me, and I decided instead of holding onto the negative energy, I was going to turn it positive.”

Because the name Haz-Mat gives the impression of being involved with hazardous materials, Cassel wanted to get involved with something environmental.

“Even though Haz-Mat is ominous sounding,” says Cassel, “we promote the opposite, and we show these bad things in order to make people aware of what could be our destiny if we don’t do something for our future, be it saving an endangered species, the forests, or whatever.”

Ride Snowboards is doing something a little different. Buy a Ride condom, and half the profit will go to benefit AIDS organizations. Debbie Murphy, Ride’s public relations manager, says it seems logical. “So many kids are into snowboarding, and younger and younger kids are having sex and not being very responsible about it.” Murphy says it’s a cool promo item. “You have to care about the people you’re doing business with, because if they don’t take care of themselves, they won’t be around to enjoy your products.”

Ride also donates boards and bindings to be auctioned off for the Starlight Foundation, an organization that grants last wishes for terminally ill children and teens.

Are there business advantages to these programs? Sure. Copeland hopes it will give kids an extra incentive to buy their boards. She says it’s cool for kids to have a cause. Cassel admits it is good publicity to be a ‘green’ company, and hopes it will entice other companies to get involved. “We can’t make a difference by ourselves, but if other companies follow suit, maybe ten or even a hundred more, then it will make a big difference.”

As far as plans to continue the programs, Murphy says Ride will continue selling condoms. Haz-Mat and Pill will probably change causes yearly, but keep donating to a charity.

If you are interested in finding out more about these companies’ programs, they can be reached at: Haz-Mat (310) 822-4567, Pill (208) 622-1010, Ride (206) 222-6015.