Andy BILLIGHAM, Marian HUTNAN
Over 500 volunteers join in Our Kosice project
Five hundred sixty-four people participated on Friday, May 16th and Saturday, May 17th in the volunteer project called Our Kosice, which took place for the first
time on this scale in our city. Following on from the experience of the volunteer days at the Kosice steelworks and the Our Bratislava project, the activities here were organized by
U. S. Steel Kosice and the Pontis Foundation. The aim was to offer the employees of Kosice companies the opportunity to show their sense of belonging by giving some of their time and
work for a good cause and for public benefit.
The volunteers' assistance was eagerly awaited by seventeen not-for-profit organizations, whose staff also, far from remaining on the sidelines, actively joined in
getting ready and carrying out a total of forty activities altogether. Steelmakers and their families, employees of USSK subsidiaries and companies working in the city, students on USSK
scholarships, people from partner institutions, including senior citizens from the Autumn of Life civic association, sportspeople and disabled people alike, all of these were brought together by
the idea of helping others selflessly. On Saturday afternoon the volunteers met together at the Fun-Sports Area on Alejova Street. Most were full of emotions, and everyone certainly had the
feeling of work well done. For those who came there was tasty goulash and a well-deserved rest, made more pleasant by performances from Marian Cekovsky, Tomas Krak and Martin Krausz.
"This day has turned out marvellously," U. S. Steel Kosice President George F. Babcoke said to them, accompanied by his wife Kathleen. "The weather has
been excellent, and we've put in a good bit of work in several places," he commented, and thanked everyone involved in coordinating the various different activities. "It's especially interesting
and important to see how many people have come to lend a helping hand. The same goes for their family members as well. This is another result of the great partnership between the private sector
and the city. It's on these foundations that we're going to build our future together. These two volunteer days could not have happened without people like you. Without volunteers. Now that's
true of all of us here, but even so on this occasion we'd like to thank one of us here in particular," said the President, and called Roman Jesensky to the microphone to present him with a
Volunteer of the Year award. Mr. Jesensky has participated in all the volunteer events so far organized by U. S. Steel Kosice.
Special thanks go to the American managers at USSK who joined in the project with their wives and children. Just for example, William King and John Rogers helped
with the tents at the Zoo Camp; Matt Story, William Reder and Tim Martin planted trees at the Fun-Sports Area; Scott Conley and Tim West contributed towards the paints and wooden beams to make
new see-saws for the children at the kindergarten on Ludova Street, and towards soil and flowers as well; John Wilson and Brad Cramer painted the doors and the summerhouse outside at the school
on Vojenska Street; Pat Mullarkey and Michael Simko worked on the terrace and the yard of the geriatric institute, and Erik Hilinski helped at the dog sanctuary… Nor must we forget to mention
Company President George Babcoke and his wife Kathleen, who also supported the good cause by joining in the work one day at the zoo and the next at the geriatric institute. The participants in
the Our Kosice project were also greeted by City Mayor Frantisek Knapik: "I'm sure that useful prospects lie ahead for this project, and that in the future we will also reach other areas whaere
volunteer assistance is much needed."
Meetings with the President less than two weeks away
In less than two weeks time, from June 2nd to 6th 2008, meetings will be organized in the Handball Hall at the All-Sports Area in Kosice for the employees of
U. S. Steel Kosice and its subsidiaries with President George F. Babcoke and the top management of the Company. "We will be talking about issues of occupational safety, about how the
situation is developing on the steel market, in production and with capital investment," Ocel Vychodu was informed by Vice-president Human Resources Martin Pitorak.