Foster Elementary fifth-grader wins Bill Howe drawing contest

Posted: Thursday, June 8th 2017


Story provided by Bill Howe Plumbing

The culmination of our American Heart Association & Bill Howe Sponsored Drawing Contest; Why Bill Howe has a Mission to Give Back to San Diego. 

When we began Bill Howe Plumbing in San Diego, we had a clear goal to include community service in our mission. We have always believed that if we were to succeed in building Bill Howe into a great company, we had to commit to giving back. San Diego and the many communities from border to border are the places where we play, raise our children, and perform work. 

And as we grew from just Bill as the local plumber to 10 trucks, to 20, to now over 80 on the road each day, it became even more important to support our plumbers own San Diego neighborhoods. When our communities are thriving, then we are thriving. 

That is why we have dedicated our time, resources, and money to great local causes over the years, from our employee’s children sports teams to organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA).

Our support of the AHA started small over seven years ago, but has since grown to an amazing three-month long collaboration with our communities centered around healthy hearts to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. The AHA mission, and our own goal, is to help eliminate heart disease and we know it begins with our children.  

We began our “Howe Healthy is Your Heart?” Drawing Contest six years ago and we have loved seeing all of the entries each year. But more importantly, we are proud to have expanded the contest to include schools across the county. We are in our 6th year of the contest and it was our biggest yet. Over 50 schools participated and we had over 700 entries.  We also added a bonus for the Grand Prize Winner in the form of a $1,000 donation to their school. We know that our local educators are often faced with limited budgets for art and physical education and we wanted give a special gift to their school in their honor.  

The culmination of the contest is of course, the winners. We created six winning categories and today, we were proud to present our Grand Prize winner with a $250 Toys R Us Gift Card and the donation on his behalf to his elementary school, Stephen F. Foster in Allied Gardens. Our winner is Ethan R. a graduating fifth grader at Foster Elementary. On Monday May 1, we attended Foster Elementary and it was the best way to begin our week. 

Our winner’s message resonated with all of our team and focused on a central theme we can all agree is important, love and kindness. He says, “My heart is not healthy, but I keep it happy by showing love and kindness to everyone I meet.” He was our plumbers’ and office staff’s clear favorite, and we are so happy that we got to share in such a wonderful moment. 

Ethan is a bright and happy 11-year old who puts a smile on everyone’s face he encounters. We witnessed him in action as we joined Foster Elementary’s morning assembly to present his prize and the $1,000 donation to Principal, Karla Shiminski. Ethan high five’d, shook hands, and hugged us all. He has a smile for his classmates, and his classmates adore him. 

Ethan is also a heart survivor. He has experienced a heart attack and has had five heart surgeries. And though it saddens our hearts to know that he has suffered more than any child should, when you meet him, all you see is a big and bold, compassionate young man full of life. Meeting Ethan and his family, and seeing the joy he brings to his peers and people he meets has left us with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Ethan and Foster Elementary may have won an amazing gift, but we are leaving with something much more powerful and we will continue to pay-it-forward.  

This is why we get involved. This is why our communities where we live and shop, where our teams live and raise their families, where we send our children to school and they play in sports, or perform in music or the arts, where we connect with one another-this is so valuable. 

We would like to thank Ethan and his family for sharing this moment, Karla at Stephen F. Foster for allowing us to join the school assembly, and our San Diego community for continuing to support us and enable us to continue giving back. 

For more information about the Bill Howe Family of Companies’ community involvement, visit billhowe.com/ or call 1-800 245-5469.

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