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Heat wave sparks fresh fund-raiser

July 26, 2012
Kylie Saari - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - For the past few years, Great Plains Transportation in Fairmont used the month of December to offer employees the option of wearing casual clothes in exchange for a food or cash donation to charity.

It has always been a success, so when owners Jan Bosma and Sherri Dejong's daughters, Ashley Dejong and Mindy Sheplee, had the idea to move the event to "Christmas in July," they agreed.

"It has been so warm," Sherri Dejong said. "People have been asking to wear shorts."

Article Photos

LIKE?CHRISTMAS — Lisa Meyer, of Fairmont, legal assistant at Great Plains Transportation in Fairmont, won the desk-decorating contest her employer sponsored for “Christmas in July.”

Typically, attire for the office is business casual, with no jeans allowed.

"There is such a long time between Christmas," Ashley Dejong said. "We are in the lull of summer."

Jan Bosma and Sherri Dejong decided to personally match the donations employees make to Youth for Christ or the Salvation Army, in exchange for a day of comfortable attire.

The fund-raising was part of a lead-up to the company's employee appreciation day, which included a weekly event, such as '80s day, pajama day and desk-decorating day.

And the employees responded.

Brian Jensen knows he is appreciated by his bosses, and the feeling is mutual.

"We just want them to know the employees appreciate what they do," he said.

On a recent day, the mood was light and cheerful at the office, a place that can be stressful sometimes.

"We work really hard here," Sherri Dejong said.

During the three weeks the 27 employees have been celebrating, they have raised more than $1,500 for their charities.



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