MRC Global’s 415,000-square-foot distribution center in La Porte, Texas, is always a hive of activity. It operates 24 hours a day, six days a week, sometimes more. More than 33,000 products shipped out of its doors in March 2022 alone.
But on this particular Saturday in May, the activities included moving tables, chairs, bounce houses and popcorn machines instead of large, automated valves. All the hustle is in preparations for the company’s bi-annual Family Fun Day.
Later that day, MRC Global employees and their families enjoyed the beautiful weather while kids ran from face painters to the petting zoo, then back to the bounce houses repeatedly. A corn hole tournament earned cheers and good-natured heckling from the adults in the crowd, and the smell of hamburgers and hotdogs grilling at the Balon travel pit was a constant invitation for families to sit down in the shade to enjoy lunch.
To quote one 7-year-old, “It was a great day.”
For Healthy Hearts
But the Family Fun Day event is more than just a chance to unwind; it is also one of the largest single fundraisers on behalf of the American Heart Association (AHA) in the greater Houston area. This year, MRC Global donated approximately $80,000 to support the AHA’s mission to help people live longer, healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke.
Family Fun Day is possible because of the generosity of sponsors from the PVF community. MRC Global put out the call to its largest suppliers. These companies stepped up and contributed to the effort. Any funds that go above and beyond the cost of the event and a sister event in Charleston, W.Va., are donated directly to the AHA.
“We represent the best in the business,” Jack McCarthy, senior vice president – supply chain, says. “I’m very proud of our long-standing relationships with manufacturers who not only share our business ethics and values but also our commitment to worthy causes such as the AHA. On behalf of all at MRC Global, I’d like to say thank you to all of our Family Fun Day sponsors.”
MRC Global has a long-standing relationship with the AHA, tied to the legacy of one of its founders, Lew Ketchum.
Ketchum was the beloved founder of Red Man Pipe and Supply, one of the two companies who would merge to form McJunkin Red Man and, eventually, MRC Global. On Sept. 20, 1995, he passed away unexpectedly after a heart attack. He was 60 years old. Red Man merged with McJunkin in 2007 and has since grown into the MRC Global it is today.
MRC Global strives to honor that legacy through its ongoing support of the AHA and the fight against heart disease.
“We are so appreciative of MRC Global’s longtime support,” says Karla Hoskin, AHA vice president – Heart Challenge. “The money raised today will fund lifesaving research, provide nutrition security and launch various educational programs such as CPR in our communities. We can’t thank MRC Global and the Family Fun Day sponsors enough for their support.”
Donations to the American Heart Association:
Save more babies and kids who have congenital heart defects;
Train thousands in lifesaving CPR;
Fund groundbreaking brain and heart research;
Champion health equity for all in our community;
Educate and build awareness for the benefits of heart-healthy living.
The AHA was on-site, leading live CPR training for both adults and infants, which was especially popular with new parents and grandparents who had little ones at the event. Nearly 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die. However, CPR can double or triple the chance of survival if performed immediately.
“Family Fun Day is a unique opportunity for us as a company to organize something to celebrate our employees and their loved ones, but also to change the dinnertime conversation by helping them experience why we continue to support the AHA,” notes Malcolm O’Neal, MRC global senior vice president – human resources.
To that end, every MRC Global employee in attendance was sent home with a box of produce from a local farm that works with the AHA to provide nutritious veggies in “food deserts” throughout the community.
“When we support the AHA, yes, we help fund lifesaving research, but we also help make sure that everyone can eat healthy no matter where they live or their financial circumstance,” adds O’Neal, who is also serving on the Heart Walk Leadership Committee. “That is something we can all relate to.”
To learn more about the AHA and the ways you can get involved, visit www.heart.org or join MRC Global at the Houston Heart Walk Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.
Bobbie Henze is MRC Global’s director of corporate communications.