During the holidays and year round, charity abounds throughout CTA

By: Travis Estvold
25 December 2014

In a 1908 speech, Sir Winston Churchill posited, “What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?” More than a hundred years later, the sentiment holds true, embodied in the pioneering spirit and frequent selfless acts accomplished by the hardworking professionals at CTA on behalf of their local communities.

The following list represents only a small sampling of what our teams and team members have achieved in recent months:



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_FoundationCommunitiesEach of the past five years, the Austin office has sponsored a family through Foundation Communities. “This is the most amazing organization!” administrative assistant Cheryl Peak raves. CTA’s adopted family this year included a physically disabled 69-year-old woman and her developmentally delayed 33-year-old son. The woman does not drive and uses a taxi to get to and from the store, so her only request was gift cards to nearby stores HEB and Walmart. However, the CTA team hoped to fulfill more than just her needs. After some coaxing from her property manager, the woman finally admitted she would love some comfy slippers, and her son would enjoy shirts emblazoned with superheroes. Done!



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_YellowstoneBoysAndGirlsRanch_PresentWrappingCTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_NewmanElementary_SantaAndElvesCTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_NewmanElementaryVisitFor the ninth straight year, CTA’s very own Santa Claus and elves paid a December visit to Newman Elementary in Billings, the firm’s adopted institution through the Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools’ Partners in Education program. The group of amiable architects and effervescent engineers provided gifts to students, gave away candy canes, and played games and sang with the kids. Back during the week of Thanksgiving, the Billings office also donated 22 turkey dinner baskets to Newman families. And in early December, over at the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR), a team of nearly 20 CTA employees and family members wrapped gifts for youth residents, collected during YBGR’s annual Christmas shopping trip.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_Boise_ToysForTots_2CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_Boise_ToysForTots_1CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_Boise_RakeUpBoiseA handful of Boiseans and their families donated time in late November to Rake Up Boise, helping clean up the yard and street of a 101-year-old community member. Coordinated by administrative assistant (and holiday enthusiast) Kendra SantaCruz, CTA’s office on the 8th floor of the Zions Bank Building also served as a donation drop location for the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation. Toys were collected for children in need throughout the month and during a First Thursday stuff-the-lobby collection effort. Nearly 140 toys were collected, and several members of the Boise team volunteered at local air base Gowen Field to help package the presents for deliveries to recipient families. Greyson Ugrin, son of Boise architect Greg Ugrin, summed up the team’s motivation, saying, “We wanted to give and help collect toys to make sure every kid gets a Christmas present.”



Jenny Bennett is a volunteer for Bozeman’s Kiwanis Closet (formerly Stuff-A-Bus), a local charity outlet where families in need can acquire free school supplies and clothing. She recently won an award from the organization for her participation. Check out this video about Kiwanis Closet, produced by Kiwanis International:

[vimeo 105979033 w=200&h=112]

Alongside several members of his church, Jacob DeNeui helped install new flooring in the trailer of a local single mother. And for Thanksgiving, he and some friends aided a local family. Their recent medical bills had left the family homeless and without the means to travel to North Dakota for a new job, so DeNeui and his group raised enough money to help the family purchase bus tickets.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_Gillette_CampbellCountyChamberofCommerce_AwardsBanquetAs part of his involvement with the Gillette Rotary Club, Karl DeCock helps pick up litter on an adopted street every year. He also serves on a Campbell County Chamber of Commerce committee board, and this year co-emceed the Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_UnitedWayOfCascadeCounty_logo The Great Falls office donates to the United Way of Cascade County, and staff regularly volunteer to assist with programs like Preserve the Park(s) Day and Graduation Matters. CTA’s Director of Environmental Services Keith Cron helps affect change by sitting on the boards for United Way and the City of Great Falls Community Development Block Grant. “It always feels amazing when you can accomplish a project that benefits everyone in the community,” he says.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_PigsOfHelenaMechanical designer Jay Listoe is a member of PIGS of Helena, a volunteer culinary group that prepares appetizers and meals for many charity activities every year. “We are a group of guys doing some pretty great things for our local charities and really enjoying it!” Listoe says. “Our dinners can raise anywhere between $2000 and $5000 at a live auction.” The organizations they’ve supported includes Big Brothers Big Sisters; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Helena; Helena Food Share; Exploration Works; Florence Crittenton; and the Helena Symphony.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_RotaryLogoAs part of her duties as president of the Rotary Club of Evergreen, Robbie Mathiason recently distributed dictionaries at East Evergreen Elementary School, her fifth time doing so. Montana’s Rotary District 5390 has a goal of furnishing every third grade student in the state with a dictionary. “Literacy is a very important issue for Rotary — not only here in Montana, but worldwide,” she says. Mathiason is also a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and aided a supplies drive for Evergreen School District’s HEART [Homeless Education And Resources Together] Locker program.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_FraserValleyFootballClub_sponsorshipThis year, Cushing Terrell was a contributing sponsor of the Fraser Valley Football Club’s U14 girls team. The squad overcame back-to-back season-opening losses to finish strong, then went on to win the British Columbia Soccer Provincial Cup Championship, advancing to nationals at Prince Edward Island in October.



CTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_TrigStarCTA_HolidayVolunteering2014_GeorgeBornemannLand surveyor George Bornemann has been putting his survey expertise to good use benefitting local youth. This summer, he utilized CTA’s survey-grade GPS equipment to help lay out six fields of varying sizes on behalf of the Livingston Youth Soccer Association. (They thanked him by taking out an ad in the local newspaper.) Bornemann also annually assists with the Trig-Star national math competition in the Gardiner and Livingston School Districts every year. CTA is a local event sponsor, and Bornemann has been visiting local pre-calculus classes for the past seven years to talk about careers in surveying, administer the TRIG-STAR test, and present subsequent awards. “The contest is a way to show students the practical value of what they are learning in their trigonometry and algebra classes,” he said. In January, Bornemann will also be presenting to the Gardiner High School ag class about the Public Lands Survey System and how GPS works.



CTA_BrawlOfTheWild_CanTheCats_CanTheGriz_headerIn support of the annual Can the Cats/Can the Griz charity events, and in conjunction/competition with the Bozeman and Livingston offices, the Missoula team recently helped collect more than 900 canned and non-perishable food items for donation to their local communities’ food banks. (See the recent blog post here.)


Safe and happy holidays to one and all!

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