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Over 300 New Backpacks for Livonia Kids

6 Sep

Years ago, when they were running Wright’s Hardware on 5 mile, Livonia Treasurer Dennis Wright and his wife started a back-to-school initiative to supply needy Livonia children with school supplies. Since then, the program has grown, and the Wrights now partner with Livonia’s Goodfellows and City Hall.  This year, a whopping 320 kids received new backpacks, shoes, and other supplies thanks to donations from many local businesses and organizations including Valassis and The Livonia Youth Commission.

Alpha was excited to take part in a program with so much hometown pride–the donations were raised in Livonia, the supplies were purchased here, and everything is given to kids of our local community. We hope all have a great school year!

AlphaUSA leads effort to Save The SS United States

3 Jul

Photo courtesy of Nick Landiak and the SS United States Conservancy

60 years ago today, the SS United States, the greatest ocean liner ever built, departed on a record-breaking maiden voyage. A week later she returned home to a hero’s welcome and ticker tape parade. Once air travel became the preferred means of transportation, the SS United States was eventually taken out of service. She has passed from owner to owner and now sits in Philadelphia, slowly deteriorating. Once the pride of a nation, the vessel is close to being lost forever.

In February of last year, the president of Philadelphia-based TurnaSure introduced AlphaUSA’s president, Chuck Dardas, to the SS United States Conservancy‘s  “Save Our Ship” movement to preserve our nation’s flagship.  As a company we were immediately drawn to the superliner and her story.

The famed naval architect William Francis Gibbs designed the superliner. Constructed entirely in the United States she served a dual-purpose.  In peaceful times she would be the world’s finest passenger liner, but if called upon,  she could be converted to a troop carrier in two-days time, transporting 10,000 troops anywhere in the world.  The ship that bears the name of this great land became an inspiration to this veteran-owned company.

The ship was built to be a “super” liner, at the cutting edge of technology — the largest ocean liner constructed almost completely of aluminum and she broke speed records on her maiden voyage. To this day, the SS United States still holds the record for fastest transatlantic passenger travel, and to this day she is a manufacturing and engineering marvel.

Feeling a strong affinity for the industrial-know-how and American Pride that went into creating the SS United States,  AlphaUSA took on the Conservancy’s effort as its own.  Charged by our attendance at TEDx, and moved by local Detroit crowdfunding efforts, we suggested a unique online fundraiser. The Conservancy liked the idea, and looked to AlphaUSA to turn it into a reality.

For over a year now, AlphaUSA has been leading the design and outreach efforts for Save the United States, a national campaign to restore America’s Flagship, a groundbreaking fundraising experience that will teach new generations about the ship and allow supporters to take part in her restoration in a very personal way.  After all the hard work, we can’t believe it will finally launch to the public this month.  AlphaUSA is proud to be a part of this historic effort and looks forward to inviting our local community to get involved in her restoration.

Over $137,000 in support

15 Feb

We continue to follow the story of Larry Nehasil, the fallen police officer who served Livonia for over 20 years.

Larry’s death has been met with an outcry of support for the family and many efforts to show appreciation for Larry as well as our Police force and Firemen. Even weeks after the tragedy, support for the family is still going strong:

  • Last week, a Livonia resident and former classmate of the officer, presented the idea that a park be named after Officer Nehasil.
  • Last Friday, February 4th, the Livonia Jaycees hosted an event at One Under Bar and Grill, with all proceeds benefitting the Nehasil Family. It was easy to see the community support from the many attendees to the multitudes of donated silent auction prizes.
  • Last Saturday, February 12th, more than 500 people attended the In Memory of a Hero benefit for Larry’s family.
  • This coming Friday, February 18th, at the Livonia, Brighton, and Canton Buffalo Wild Wings 20% of sales from all three stores will be donated to the memorial fund (promotion must be mentioned for donation to be counted).

The Larry Nehasil Memorial Fund has over $137,000 in it already, with many more fundraising efforts ongoing.  To get involved, click here.

Honoring Officer Nehasil

28 Jan

Last week,  Livonia Police Officer Larry Nehasil was killed in the line of duty, investigating a burglary.  Larry followed a suspect into the backyard, shots were fired, and both officer and suspect were found dead.

The loss of Officer Larry Nehasil has struck a heartstring with many in our community, and has reminded us that our police force takes the risk of life for us every time they go to work.

The community has reached out in a multitude of ways offering support to Larry’s family. Read about these heartwarming community efforts in today’s Observer.  Alpha is taking part in the efforts of the Livonia A.M. Rotary and Chamber of Commerce, who have worked together to organize the PATROL for Us (Police Always Taking Risk Of Life for Us) pledge-a-thon challenge. The pledge-a-thon is designed with a snowball effect in mind. Each participating organization impacts the amount the other organizations will donate, growing and growing a larger overall donation (to take part click here). Some organizations have already stepped up to the challenge. Among the first were Merribowl LanesMid-5 Auto Supply, and Big Boy.  In March, we will be wrapping up the Pledge-a-thon at Merribowl, where they will be hosting an event in support of the Larry Nehasil Memorial Fund.

We encourage you to get involved with these efforts and to keep a look out for more updates!

Inch-vesting

4 Jan

“Investing” brings to mind a large financial commitment in something valuable, bringing in profit over time. However, a more innovative approach could be small.

Mary Lorene Carter and Jerry Paffendorf are the brains behind Loveland and the apparent inventors of micro-investing. Their idea: everyone can help revitalize Detroit by purchasing a single inch of the city, receiving a little deed in the mail. Inches are purchased online, viewable on a virtual map, and directly accessible via a drive to the city. Anyone can have a stake in the city “microhood”.

Loveland teaches a common lesson for any project: the effectiveness of working piece by piece. Last week at the Livonia A.M. Rotary Club meeting, members discussed some seemingly overwhelming social issues. Then Chuck, fellow rotary member & Alpha’s COO, cited the Loveland micro-investing concept, to encourage members to simply “do what you can”, nothing is going to be solved in one swoop.

We can all be challenged to inch-vest in our own communities, not to literally buy a chunk of vacant lot, but to give a piece of free time or make a small donation to a worthy organization.

You can help grow the value of your own community, inch by inch.

screen shot of a "microhood" from the Loveland website.

 

Heart of the Hero

14 Dec

Jessica Drakeford, Alpha Administrative Assistant

Alpha is a veteran-owned military supplier and many of our employees have served or have family in the service. When we hear about sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, it hits home.

We recently heard such a story through fellow Rotarian Roger Moore, a former marine. This October, Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Jack Barghusen was injured by an IED while serving his second tour in Afghanistan.  Shrapnel struck him on the left side of the body, injuring his face, leg and most severely his arm. Jack endured a nearly eleven hour surgery to reconstruct his arm, the first of many he will undergo.

It is men like Jack to whom we owe thanks, for protecting us and our country. Alpha and the Livonia AM Rotary are working together to express our sincere appreciation for Jack’s sacrifices. With the help of the Madison, Wisconsin Horizons Rotary, we will be presenting Jack with a Heart of the Hero Award and proclamation, created to honor his selfless actions and willingness to put himself in danger, in the name of Freedom and Justice.

Alpha's Chuck Shimko signing in the facility.

Help for Cameroon, Shipped From Livonia

10 Nov

Dr. Stanley Ngeyi grew up in the small village of Bawock in Cameroon and is now a professor at Madonna University. A few years ago, Bawock had been virtually destroyed by an attack from a neighboring village, leading to scarce resources and a damaged hospital. Dr. Ngeyi became very aware of how in need his village was and knew that with help he could make a change.

Through the Livonia A.M. Rotary Club, Dr. Ngeyi connected with many Livonia businesses. At Alpha we are working with him to assist in finding solutions. We’ve collected gloves, gauze, scissors, thermometers, etc. Two weeks ago, a load of these medical supplies shipped from our facility, and that’s just the beginning.

Soon more medical supplies, including exam tables and wheelchairs, will ship as well.

Alpha is about solutions, even for Cameroon.

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