East Hartford Company Demonstrates the Spirit of Giving All Year Long

Kelser Corporation Hosts Holiday “Dress Down Days” to raise funds for Lung Association

(January 7, 2014)

Management and employees alike at East Hartford-based Kelser Corporation have long been strong supporters of the American Lung Association and its mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Not only does the company sponsor and recruit a team to climb in the Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climbs in both Hartford and Springfield, MA, they have been hosting their own Kelser Charity Challenge for the past 14 years with all proceeds going to the Lung Association. As the holiday season approached this year, Kelser President & CEO Barry Kelly challenged the company to boost its already substantial giving by donating to the Lung Association in exchange for the opportunity to dress down at the office. Much to his delight, there were a lot of takers - so many in fact that the company reached the fundraising goal it set for itself in early December instead of in mid-January as had been planned.

Kelser-Springfield-Climb-photo
Kelser employees at the 2013 Fight for Air Climb in Springfield.

“The work the American Lung Association does here in the community is something our whole company feels very strongly about and that’s why I wasn’t surprised that so many employees stepped up to meet this challenge, ” said Barry Kelly, a member of the American Lung Association’s Leadership Board in Connecticut. “During this holiday season of giving, we as a company felt this would be a fun way to be comfortable and casual each day while giving back to an organization and cause we care deeply about. We’ve been supporting the Lung Association for more than a decade now because we recognize that all of us have a stake in making sure the air we breathe is clean and our lungs are healthy.”

Kelly said he came up with the idea for the dress down days after Kelser raised more than $17,000 at the Kelser Charity Challenge held back in September at Indian Hills Country Club in Newington. He thought it would be great if the company could donate an even $20,000 and the idea of involving employees in a dress down day promotion that included a company match for all gifts seemed like a fun and efficient way to achieve that goal. He sent an email to employees announcing the promotion and employees were asked to donate $2 for each day they wanted to dress down or $70 to dress down through the whole promotional period which started on October 26 and runs through January 22. The effort has already raised nearly $2,000.

“We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous generosity of Kelser Corporation and its dedicated team of employees,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “The financial support that Kelser has committed to support the research, education and advocacy we are doing to fight lung disease has helped us in a significant way. Beyond the financial support Kelser has given us, the moral support and enthusiasm that company employees bring each year to their Kelser Charity Challenge and to our Fight for Air Climbs is truly inspiring. We are blessed to have a partner like Kelser working with us to further our important mission.”

Over the last 14 years Kelser Corporation has raised more than $170,000 to benefit the American Lung Association through its Kelser Charity Challenge. The annual golf tournament has become extremely popular, selling out each year. This year’s golf challenge raised a record $17,000 that the company will supplement with the additional funds raised through company-sponsored dress down days. In 2013, Kelser also raised more than $5,600 for the Fight for Air Climb at CityPlace in Hartford and more than $6,000 for the Fight for Air Climb at Monarch Place in Springfield, Massachusetts. All funds raised at the Fight for Air Climbs support the Lung Association’s research, education and advocacy to help beat lung disease and find a cure.