Press Release: 08.15.2014

Building Community Ties

McCarthy Celebrates 150 Years of Building by Giving Back to Our Communities

How does a true builder celebrate 150 years of building America? By building, of course, and by giving back to the communities it serves. Under the firm’s Heart Hats community outreach program, more than 400 McCarthy and MC Industrial employees built a total of 150 bikes and wagons in our hometown of St. Louis and shared them with area children’s charities. Nationally, 1,600 employee-owners built more than 300 bicycles and 300 wagons for children in local communities across America. In total, 30 community and healthcare organizations are benefitting from these donations.

“Giving back to and strengthening our local communities is at the heart of what being a community-based builder is all about,” explained McCarthy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Bolen. “Celebrating our 150th anniversary is more than looking at past successes. This national Heart Hats effort offers an inspirational way to look to the future, brightening the lives of just some of those children who will help our communities grow and thrive going forward.”

McCarthy is one of the oldest American-owned construction companies with offices located throughout the country. Founded as a family-owned business in 1864 during the height of the Civil War, McCarthy is now the nation’s 9th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2014) with 2013 revenues exceeding $3 billion. McCarthy has called St. Louis home since McCarthy brothers John W., Charles and Timothy Jr. moved the young company to the city in 1917.

“McCarthy has been part of the fabric of St. Louis since its early beginnings and has been a trusted partner to many of the city's institutions,” said McCarthy Central Division President Scott Wittkop.

Wittkop and MC Industrial President Tom Felton kicked off the St. Louis teambuilding event during the firm’s annual Shareholders Meeting in St. Louis. After building, inspecting and decorating the items, employees conducted “quality control,” riding the bikes and pulling the wagons through an obstacle course before presenting them to children and representatives from the charities attending the event. Helmets and other toys were also donated.

Wittkop also took the opportunity to personally deliver some of the bikes and wagons to St. Louis-area children’s charities in a 1931 International open bed truck restored to resemble the trucks used in McCarthy’s early days. A similar truck is featured on the McCarthy 150th anniversary website. 

“Most wagons are being donated to healthcare facilities where they will be used to transport pediatric patients to make the ride a bit less intimidating than a wheelchair or gurney,” said Wittkop. “It was great to be able to see the faces of the kids and healthcare practitioners who were benefitting from these deliveries.”

McCarthy has a long culture of giving back to the community, annually donating millions of dollars in time, materials and services to charities in St. Louis and across the country.

Janice Bailey, vice president of St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation, commented that the wagons have already been put to great use in several hospital programs and service areas including the Joe Buck Imaging Center, the ambulatory clinic, the seventh floor and music therapy. 

“You should see the joy on the kids’ faces when they get to take a ride in one of these wagons — it’s priceless,” said Bailey. "We are so grateful to McCarthy. The company and its leaders have been extremely generous to Children’s for many years, and the latest gift of these wagons has brought such fun and happiness to our patients.”

Crisis Nursery CEO DiAnne Mueller said this about the deliveries: “Parents who seek Crisis Nursery services are often overwhelmed with parental and economic stressors. Thanks to the generous McCarthy donation, many parents can focus on building stronger families while their children play happily with their brand-new, shiny bikes and wagons.”

McCarthy also made a couple of deliveries in the Joplin, Mo., area, where the company is rebuilding Mercy Hospital Joplin. Rhonda Gorham, executive director of Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri, commented, “We don't have big government money that supports us. So when someone can bring something in that helps support our budget or helps support our program, it’s amazing.”

Listed by region, community organizations receiving donated items include:

Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, Children’s Haven of Southwest Missouri, Lydia's House, Mercy, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis Crisis Nursery, The Women’s Safe House, Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri

Boys and Girls Club of Sunnydale; U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation Programs; UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital; Kaiser Oakland Medical Center; Toys for Tots; Stanford Hospital and Clinics; CHOC Children’s; Orangewood Children’s Foundation, Roy W. Roberts, II Watts/Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego; Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital; Rady Children’s Hospital

Cardon Children’s Medical Center, UMOM New Day Centers, Maricopa Integrated Health Systems, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, Army Family Readiness Group, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Toys for Tots DFW Metroplex, Mi Escuelita Preschool

About McCarthy Heart Hats
McCarthy employees are as passionate about building better communities as they are about construction. The McCarthy Heart Hats community involvement program is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and recognizing McCarthy employees' volunteer efforts in a variety of causes to ensure real needs are being met in communities where employees live and work. In addition to recognizing outstanding employee volunteers and providing a company-wide paid volunteer day, McCarthy Heart Hats volunteers donate countless hours of in-kind services and monetary contributions to improve communities each year.

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