Flying Under the Radar - and that's OK

If you follow this blog regularly (and we hope you do), you’ve undoubtedly read about some well-publicized community outreach by Grounds Maintenance Services.

You might have seen mentions in the media, too. Frankly, we’re glad to publicize initiatives like the C.A.R.I.N.G. Group, the GMAC Benefit Golf Outing and our first-ever food drive. These are team efforts involving not only GMS, but many customers and fellow businesses. We want their involvement known, as we all work together to better our community.

It pretty much ends there – at least as far as tooting our own horn.

GMS regularly makes donations - of time, money and materials - to different causes. You might see the results regularly and never know. It’s OK. We’re glad to fly under the radar.

When compiling nomination material recently for a national community service award, though, we had another thought: What if our customers do care? What if they want to know that some of their money is going right back into the community?

Well, here’s your chance to find out. As we had all the information at our fingertips, here’s a rundown of GMS’s other donations and involvement in the past year.

We don’t bring this up to pat ourselves on the back. Rather, we want to reinforce that our commitment to Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI, is real – and that appreciation for our customers is genuine.

  • April 2014: A GMS crew freshened up an outdoor butterfly garden at Swanson Elementary School. The three-hour project involved weeding, pruning and adding new mulch. The garden had fallen into overgrown disrepair prior to 2013, when GMS owner Todd Ruedt and some of his relatives personally spent two days fixing it up. The 2014 project, and others in the future, promise to keep the garden a bright welcoming fixture at the school.

GMS community service in Brookfield, WI

  • September 2014: GMS donated design and installation services to create a new butterfly garden at an elementary school in Wauwatosa. A company crew removed sod and prepared a new planting bed, ready for plants to be added in spring. GMS will volunteer at the school teaching students how to plant different species, using the new garden. The school will also use the area as a fund-raiser for people wishing to make memorials.
  • October 2014: GMS donated plants and labor to create landscaping around a new outdoor concession stand serving the athletic complex at Brookfield Central High School.
  • November 2014: GMS donated plants, labor and landscaping materials for a new entrance sign at the campus of Brookfield East High School. The donation will grow larger in spring when a GMS crew adds perennial plants around the new sign.
  • Cheering on: GMS donated $1,500 to help send the Junior Lancer Cheer Team to a national competition in Orlando, Fla., in February 2015.
  • Kicking it out: GMS donated three sets of practice jerseys, valued at $1,000, to the Brookfield Soccer Club.
  • Elmbrook Education Foundation support: The Elmbrook Education Foundation funds scholarships and innovative educational programs in the Elmbrook School District.
    • GMS owner Todd Ruedt became Vice-President of the EEF in June 2014. He headed a business outreach committee that generated $62,000 in donations for the EEF Ladies Night, its biggest annual fund-raiser.
    • GMS donated a $6,000 prize package to the EEF Ladies Night.
    • Ruedt served as chair of the Activities Committee for a communitywide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Elmbrook School District, held in July 2014. The many events raised more than $32,000 for the EEF.
    • Ruedt is heading a committee organizing an inaugural golf outing in May 2015 to support the EEF’s Endowment Fund.

So, there you have it. GMS is always open to other opportunities to help our community - don’t be afraid to ask. Working together, we make our area a better place to live. You’ll have to spread the word, though; most of the time, we prefer not to talk about it.

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