Pinewood Derby raises $25,000 for local charities

Beyond Autism receives funds to support renovation project

On Friday, May 5, Jokake hosted the 2017 Pinewood Derby benefiting Beyond Autism and other local and national nonprofits. With several employees and sponsors in attendance, this year’s derby raised more than $25,000 for multiple charities, nearly tripling the previous year’s efforts.

A number of charities were submitted for consideration by the Jokake employees. Beyond Autism was submitted by Executive Council 70 member Project Manager Nico Rochwalik in an effort to raise funds for the renovation of their new building. “It’s always fun to work with a charity that has a need directly in line with our expertise,” says Rochwalik. “After touring the space to look at some of the construction needs of the project, I had the pleasure of meeting the founders of Beyond Autism, Michelle and Tim Puopolo. As I learned about the goals and challenges Beyond Autism was facing, I knew I had the opportunity to help with more than just the construction of the school.” Nico and the rest of Jokake helped raise $25,115, a portion of which will support the construction of Beyond Autism’s non-profit school dedicated to educating children diagnosed with autism.

“Events like the annual Pinewood Derby really highlight how Jokake employees come together for work, fun and community,” Pat Baldwin, Jokake Director, says. “As a company, giving back to the community, especially to causes our individual employees are passionate about, is at the core of who we are – it’s a natural part of our culture. We tend not to make a big deal about how our employees give back to the community because they do it in so many ways; this annual fun event is just one example.”