Fishing Tournament Raises Nearly $14,000 for Make-A-Wish®
The 19th annual fishing tournament at Hawk’s Cay, hosted by City Electric Supply (CES) Regional Manager Mike Bertone, raised nearly $14,000 for Make-A-Wish®. In the two years since the partnership began, the tournament has raised approximately $30,000.
Learn more about the exciting event and how much it means to one returning customer.
A Partnership that Makes an Impact
“CES customers, vendors, and employees from all across the Florida Region come together for this fishing event and a couple of other trips every year,” said Bertone. “All the events we do are to help build strong relationships with our contractors.”
During the last two years of fishing tournaments, CES has partnered with Make-A-Wish to hold a charity fundraiser. Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit that helps grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses. Last year, a portion of the funds raised went toward surprising an 18-year-old Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor with a brand-new fishing boat.
“My favorite memory from last year was giving away the boat to Victor. My family always helps run the fishing tournament, and then for them to be there with me to grant the wish to Victor was the best,” said Bertone.
One CES Customer’s Deep Ties to Make-A-Wish
The community feels deeply connected to the mission to give back to children, especially CES customer Buell Electric, Inc. Vice President of Service and Marine Departments Jade Schweiberger. He not only loves fishing but has a history with Make-A-Wish too.
“When I was 15, I got diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” said Schweiberger. “So, I feel it’s my duty to be there for people going through it.”
Make-A-Wish offered Schweiberger a wish as he received treatment. But because the doctors gave him a 98% survival rate, Schweiberger asked to give his wish to another child.
“I passed it on to a younger kid receiving treatment in the room next to mine,” said Schweiberger. ”He had stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, and hemophilia. He didn’t have family, so Make-A-Wish did something great for him.”
Perhaps that kindness made more of a difference than Schweiberger thought. He said that the other young boy survived as well.
And Schweiberger has experienced more good fortune since. Though told he would never have children due to his cancer treatment, he and his fiancé have a three-and-a-half-year-old son, which he called “a complete surprise but overwhelming joy.”
Paying it Forward
CES and Schweiberger first met when Buell Electric needed a new supplier. Today, one could consider them kindred spirits.
“Honestly, the best thing we ever did was switch to CES about five years ago,” said Schweiberger. “CES has gone above and beyond by always including me in the fishing tournaments. To be part of this event that donates to cancer when I was a Wish Kid myself gives me goosebumps.”
Bertone said he simply likes to entertain and bring people happiness.
“A contractor told me, ‘I do X amount of business with you, and I didn’t think I meant that much to City Electric Supply.’ Whether you do a dollar or $100,000, if you’re a customer, you’re important to us.”