And the Winner Is…

We asked for your stories and nominations for friends, family, co-workers, anyone who you thought deserved to be celebrated.   And the stories poured in!

Thank you for sending in your nominations. It was a really hard decision.  The stories were so great!  Here are our winners (and their stories!) by state:

ALABAMA WINNER:  Achiever’s League, Hueytown, AL

I would like to nominate our Achievers League in Hueytown Alabama. We have on average 35 to 40 physically and mentally challenged boys and girls (some wheelchair bound) who get together once a week to try to enjoy a ball game. Everyone hits a home run and the smiles are endless. For 2 hours a week the parents enjoy watching their kids on a field and forget about therapy, doctors appointments  and what the future holds. Please consider these precious children and their dedicated parents.

TEXAS WINNERS

DALLAS: Jenna Kampfschulte

I am nominating my boss, Jenna Kampfschulte, for the pop cart give-away. She is one of the most special people I know – she inspires everyone in our office, and has a huge heart. She recently planned our first all company offsite event in Wisconsin, where we all had the opportunity to grow closer and reflect on how far we have come in recent years. Without her, none of that would have happened. We are a stronger team now, because of her.

In the picture, you can see her with two of her children. On the left is Quinn, and on the right is Julian. Not pictured is her husband, Kurt and her oldest daughter, Casey. Julian was sick with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), and passed away in October at the age of 8. Jenna has worked with all of her heart to make sure that other families don’t have to suffer a loss from this awful disease.

On February 15th, 2017, Julian’s Law was filed, and house resolution was approved. This law would require obstetricians to add ALD to the list of genetic diseases newborns are screened for. ALD is treatable only if caught early, and if this testing was in place when Julian was born, he may still be here with us today. The Kampfschulte family is at a critical point in getting ALD screening funded – they have the support of the House, and now are working on convincing the Senators that make up the Budget Finance Committee to fund this law. You can go to the Facebook page Snuggle Julian to hear more about Julian’s story and see how you can help.

In the short time that I have known her, Jenna always has gone the extra step to care for those around her. The last time I was sick, she drove to my house and surprised me with two grocery bags full of feel-better foods. For our offsite event, she tie-dyed shirts for everyone in the company. She makes everyone in the office laugh with her witty jokes. I am so grateful to have her in my life, and I know countless others feel the same.

Since she always surprises us, I want to do something for her. I’d love to surprise her with a Steel City Pops cart one day at work, and then invite everyone from our office building to come and share these awesome pops with us!

FORT WORTH WINNER: Tanner Shaw

Tanner is an amazing husband, father of three (!) little boys, friend, neighbor and community volunteer. Oh, and also a medical student who – in addition to all of his other responsibilities – is just finishing his first year of medical school at UNTHSC.

Tanner has not only (almost) finished his first year of medical school, he has ROCKED it! Even with his rigorous school schedule, Tanner finds time to help others and spend time with his family. Often that means that we have to come to him, and with Steel City Pops right down the street from his school, we have enjoyed many quick visits and treats with Daddy there.

And when he’s spending all of those hours at his second home on campus, he’s found a second family in his cohorts to study with and give support. I think that Tanner and the Class of 2020 and their families all deserve to celebrate with the best treats in Texas!

HOUSTON WINNER:  Parker Bell

I would like to nominate my five-year-old son, Parker. He suffers from the genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis (NF). NF causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, as well as many other symptoms. In Parker’s case, he was born with a broken leg. He had corrective surgery at 2 1/2 and learned to walk for the first time just before his third birthday. We had been told the leg would most likely never heal, but so far the surgery has been a success. Although he will need more surgeries in the future, 3 years later he now swims, plays soccer and is a yellow belt in karate. He endures frequent MRI’s to monitor tumors and many, many doctors appointments, and he does it all with a smile on his face.

For the past 2 years, I have poured my heart into being the organizer for the annual Houston NF walk. We have raised over $160,000 towards a cure, and we’ve provided a fun and worry free day for our fellow NF families. We also strive to raise awareness in the community about this genetic disorder that affects 1 in 3,000 people!

I would love to win this contest for him and have the Steel City Pops cart at our event this year. Parker is a HUGE fan of your pops and it would be great to see him get a chance to share them with his fellow NF warriors! He is the happiest, kindest little man, and in my eyes, there is no one more deserving than my amazing hero!

AUSTIN WINNER:  Austin Ridge Bible Church

We work at Austin Ridge Bible Church in the Students department. We get to hang out with students from 6th-12th grade and we think we have the best job in the world! We love what we do and we truly love the kids we interact with on a daily basis. Our kids are ultimately who we want to win the pops for, although you better believe we’ll be sneaking some too.

On Sundays we average around 100 students in our middle school ministry and around 100 in our high school ministry – that’s already roughly 200 of the 300 pops! We also have adults who are attending church on Sundays on both sides of our youth building, so if Steel City was set up outside our building there would be plenty of eyes seeing our Steel City party . The other pops we would put to use for our kids’ parents or friends to enjoy too. What better way to make someones day a little brighter than with a Steel City Pop!

If we were to win, in addition to Sundays we also have events on Wednesday and occasionally Thursdays and we have kids come visit us at our office almost every day of the week during the summer, so we have multiple days/ ways we could enjoy these delicious pops, and we would love to dream up a Steel City event with you!

We love to have fun with our middle school and high school friends and we think adding Steel City Pops to the mix would be a great fit. We hope you’ll consider this crazy group!

KENTUCKY WINNER:  St. Joe’s Children’s Home

I can think of no better group to receive the pop cart than the kids and staff at St. Joe’s Children’s Home! These wonderful kids have endured some traumatic experiences in their little lives and are at St Joe’s to receive treatment for their difficult histories and blossom into the charismatic, loving children they are at their core! Part of their treatment process involves getting exposure to new, positive experiences that they haven’t had the opportunity to encounter. I think witnessing the benevolence of a community business and getting some yummy treats to boot could help these kiddos on their journey to learning that there are compassionate adults in this world who want them to feel cared for and loved. It would also be a great treat for the staff who work so hard to provide a safe, loving home for the kids.

As a St. Joe’s volunteer, I took one of the girls to Steel City for the first time yesterday and she loved it! She couldn’t wait to tell the other kids about it when we got back. Please consider this terrific group for this generous prize!