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What’s The Story With Those Pink Flamingos?

What’s The Story With Those Pink Flamingos?

MPL slider image 4“What the heck is the deal with all those flamingos?”  We get the question all the time, and its a great question with a fun answer.

The story starts in 2012 when Preferred Insurance was celebrating our 100th anniversary. As part of that celebration, we decided to make 2012 the “Year of Giving Back”.  We started Quotes4Causes (giving $10 to charity for every quote we give) and vowed to get more involved in our great community and raising money for local charities.

One of our favorite charities was and still is Serving Friends And Families Ministries, and we were looking for a way to raise a little money for them.  Hillary Staugler was doing an internship with us at the time and I asked her to look for some ideas.  She surfed the web for a little while till she found something crazy enough to get my attention.

Flamingo Flocking Is Born

Or this is what Hillary came up with!

We created 10 flocks of flamingos and different volunteers at different charities were in charge of each flock.  They started by putting them in a few yards, along with a sign saying “You’ve Been Flocked!  Call Preferred Insurance”.  When the people would call in we would tell them that for a small donation of $20 to the charity, we would send out our “technicians” to remove the flamingos.  However, we don’t have any cages for the flamingos, so they needed to tell us whose yard the technicians should move the flamingos to…and the whole cycle would start over again.

That summer, with the help our great community, our lovely pink ladies raised over $3,000.  They also became our mascot and gave our agency a new favorite color – pink of course.  The flamingos still go “flocking” for multiple organizations every summer, and they pretty successfully annoy enough people to not be forgotten.

The neatest thing about this story however, is how the experience changed us, Preferred Insurance Center.  When 2012 –  “The Year Of Giving Back”  came to an end we knew it had been a great year.  All our fundraising and getting involved had given us a new purpose and energy.  We were better people, in a better agency, with a better attitude.  There was no going back.

From 2012 to the present (2015) our partners, clients, neighbors and flamingos have helped us raise or give over $75,000 to local charities.  Our new attitude has put smiles on a lot of faces, and we have grown from 6 team members to 13.  It’s been a crazy ride on an awesome pink rollercoaster here in God’s theme park we call Life.  If it sounds like fun, give us a call, we’d love to have you come along for the ride.  Just hop on, put your hands in the air, and scream like a girl till you’re stomach hurts from laughing.

Fill Your Happiness Bank

Fill Your Happiness Bank

Couple Old HappyThis is one of those things you read on the internet and you have no idea if the story is true or not.  The cool thing is that, in this case, whether the story is true or not doesn’t matter, the lesson is certainly true.

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffured and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.  After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.  “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied.  “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how thefurniture is arranged.. it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories  I’ve stored away just for this time in my life.  Old age is like a bank account: you withdraw from what you’ve put in. So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.”

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2 Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5 Expect less

#PeferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Pastor Randy & Trisha Christian

#PeferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Pastor Randy & Trisha Christian

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Awarded By: C.A.L.L. Food Pantry Pastor Tim Clutter

Randy & Trisha tirelessly serve God spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the inmates at the Mercer County Jail, the attendees of their twice a week “Against All Odds” addiction reform sessions, their twice a week church services at “The Lords Church” as well as serving as Chaplain of the Mercer County Sheriff Department and the Celina Police Department. Randy also serves on the Board of Directors of CALL Ministries and the Mercer County House of Hope. Trisha also leads a Bible Study at the Mercer County House of Hope. I am sure I missed some ministry but this gives you an idea of how they both serve God as Jesus’ Hands and Feet in this community.

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award:  Tim Simmons | Coopers Farm

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Tim Simmons | Coopers Farm

Nominated By Marty Krieg 10/20/14

Tim has always been there to help us out. Thanks To Our Yanks has sent over 2,500 care packages to local soldiers serving in harms way over the past 8 years. These packages all contained turkey jerky. Tim provides us with the ground turkey and makes sure that every mouth can enjoy the turkey jerky. I call him and within a couple days he has it delivered to Southside. Which is very convenient for us. And the jerky making starts.

And to the owners of Cooper Farms for donating the turkey meat each month. Thank you, you go above and beyond!

If you only knew how many soldiers have raved about the turkey jerky, they simply love it. I know it puts smiles on their faces, when they get a package, just knowing there is turkey jerky in there. They appreciate it and always makes their day.

You truly deserve this award. Thank you for your past support and I hope you continue your support.

You are the best!!!

God bless,

Marty Krieg

 

Cancer Association of Mercer County | Teri Ross

Cancer Association of Mercer County | Teri Ross

Let’s get involved! We all need a hand at some point in our lives. Whether it’s minor or something as big as finding out the news you have cancer. Cancer Association of Mercer County (CAMC) makes it easy, whether it’s financially or just giving time, to help others facing cancer. Go to CAMC website ( www.camc-ohio.org/ ) to find out how you can get involved and help others in their time of need!

Below Teri Ross shares her cancer journey and how CAMC helped Teri  through this experience.

I retired the end of May in 2013 after 35 years of teaching.  I was looking forward to retirement.  I had a sore under my tongue that I had been seeing my doctor about.  I had taken medicine and had a biopsy done on it.  The biopsy came back negative for cancer.  My family doctor sent me to an ENT.  I did another round of medicine, but it did not take care of it.  So the ENT doctor did a more extensive biopsy.  That revealed that it was cancer -Carcinoma, (smokers cancer), I had never smoked or chewed tobacco in my life.  My doctors told me that cancer cells are in your body and the right conditions turn them into full blown cancer.  So less than 2 weeks after retiring I was dealing with cancer.  The 26th of June I had surgery where they removed 1/3 of my tongue and 11 lymph nodes.  Two of my lymph nodes were infected with cancer.  That meant I would have to go through radiation.  I had 30 treatments at 7:30 every morning in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Radiation took a toll on my body.  I lost 50 pounds.  I have also lost my taste and the amount of saliva that I produce.
I had a fellow teacher who told me about the Cancer Association of Mercer County.  She had gone through cancer and really appreciated their help.  I contacted them.  They were able to help cover many of the unseen expenses that I acquired during my treatments.  Such as mileage, dietary supplements, doctor co-pays, radiation costs, and many more.  I am now cancer free, but continue to see my doctors and dentist every 3, 4, and 6 months.  The cancer Association is still helping me deal with these co-pays.  The greatest benefit I receive from them is a friendly smile and an ear to listen to me.  They have truly been a blessing to me and my family.  I am now on a fixed budget, and the added expenses are being covered by them.  I am truly thankful to the Cancer Association of Mercer County.

– Teri Ross

 

 

 

Cancer Association of Mercer County | Raygen Kramer

Cancer Association of Mercer County | Raygen Kramer

As we all know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. In lieu of sharing just breast cancer stories we would like to shine a light on a very special organization right in our backyards! Cancer Association of Mercer County (CAMC) goes above and beyond to help those in need during their trial of cancer. CAMC was created solely for the purpose of helping cancer patients of Mercer County survive their disease physically, emotionally and financially.

Below Dayna & Ben Kramer share their story of their little girl Raygen’s fight (Raygen Strong) against cancer and how CAMC has aided in their time of need.

Raygen just complained of belly aches often but we thought she was just being a kid trying to get out of something. She had horrible night sweats which we didn’t think anything about it at the time.  Raygen was diagnosed on May 20th 2013 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.  Worst Day Ever. On that night she was doubled over in pain so Ben took her to Joint Township ER.  After multiple test and scans they transferred us to Dayton Childrens. There they did more test and scans to determine what stage she was at.  Since she was 4 and it was in the bone marrow.  It was Stage 4.

We went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy – stem cell resection. surgery to remove the tumors on November 7th.  Following that she had her Stem Cell transplant and radiation.  After all these were completed Raygen was on a new clinical study called Antibody Immunotherapy.  This is another 6 rounds of multiple drugs that help kill off any cancer cells.  They explained it to us as primer and paint.  She would go in 1 week and get the Interleukin (primer) – this would adhere to anything that could be cancer.  The next week we would go and get Chimeric Acid (paint).  The paint would then go to wherever the primer was and attack it and kill it off.  During this time she was on a shot along with Accutane.

Her last set of scan on July 31st showed she was still NED (No Evidence of Disease).  She has another CT Scan set for October 23rd.  If there is nothing new – they will not do the MIBG scan.  They don’t want to subject her to more nuclear med or radiation if they don’t have to.  Just pray they don’t see anything.

CAMC has helped us a great deal.  They helped us with our mileage to and from Dayton and Columbus.  We use wet wipes to wipe Raygens face and hands after lunch and everything – they were more sterile than your normal wash cloth. They also helped provide juices/food that Raygen would actually eat (pediasure – Ensure – Yogurt etc.). Not only did they help with all of that, but they helped reimburse us for her meds that she had to take. They were there for us when we needed it. And for that we cannot Thank them enough.

Thanks,

The Kramers – Raygen – Dayna – Ben & Myla

 

 

 

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Cathy Yaney

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Cathy Yaney

Making A Difference Awards are a great example of what the #PreferredMovement is about.  If you think these are neat, you need to join the #PreferredMovement  and get involved.

Awarded By: Becky Kunk 09/29/14

I believe that big, valiant acts are amazing, but that living each day with integrity, hard work, respect, and kindness can also make a huge impact on the world. Cathy works the drive thru window at Coldwater McDonald’s in the morning. She is one of the kindest, happiest, and most genuine ways to begin your day. Many other people that I’ve spoken with know who she is because of the wonderful way she interacts with all people. To summarize a quote I recently read, “What a wonderful world this would be if we all just treated one another with a little more kindness than is necessary.” Cathy is someone who comes to mind as treating others with that kindness…making Coldwater a happier place, one order at a time!

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award:  Marty Krieg

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Marty Krieg

Marty KreigNominated By Valerie Gerlach 09/19/2014

Marty puts countless hours into the Thanks to Our Yanks program, both raising money and sending packages to our troops. My son, daughter and son-in-law have all benefited from these packages, which brought them great joy during a time when they needed it most, while being stationed overseas. Many other Mercer County service people have also benefited from her (and the program’s) hard work and dedication to our military.

I couldn’t think of anyone better to receive this award. Marty has a big heart, and is a warm and loving person.

Valerie Gerlach

 

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Tim Thornton

#PreferredMovement Making A Difference Award: Tim Thornton

Awarded By: Kate Springs 09/08/14

I choose Tim because he is one of the most kind hearted, considerate, carrying, generous and loyal people I know.
Tim’s wife, my mother in law, has been dealing with a serious medical condition for several years. He never shows any frustration or anger toward working a strenuous full time job, doing household chores, driving to and from medical appointments (along with the stress that accompanies them) all while being a great husband, dad/father in law, grandfather and friend.
Tim will go out of his way to help someone in need, no matter the circumstances. And, while being the great person he is, he never expects anything in return!
I believe it’s fair to say that I will likely not meet another person like Tim Thornton!