Remodelers generally do well by doing good, and Clemleddy Construction was no exception in June when its participation in a 24-hour “Relay for Life” simultaneously raised money for cancer research and reinforced the company's strong image in its community. The walk-a-thon, sponsored by the American Cancer Society and held in 4,800 communities nationwide, put Clemleddy, of Hawley, Pa., on the front lines of a marketing approach that costs little but yields many positive returns.

Clemleddy's team, the “Clemsters,” raised about $3,500 for cancer research — a small but noteworthy piece of the whole raised nationally ($19 million in 2006). The biggest fund-raiser was a Cinco de Mayo party at the home of owner Craig Smyth. “We charged $50 a couple and had a hell of a time,” he says. Donations were also solicited from past clients, vendors, and trade contractors; donors of $100 or more received special thanks on the team's “Survivor's Saloon” at the Western-themed event.

Clemleddy's participation in the Relay for Life polished its local image as a company that cares — a perception shaped in the past through involvement with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Sponsorship also granted the company various forms of official recognition, including track signs and links on the Relay Web site.

The morning after: Clemleddy owner Craig Smyth (black shirt) with some of his  team after the 24-hour walk-a-thon.
The morning after: Clemleddy owner Craig Smyth (black shirt) with some of his team after the 24-hour walk-a-thon.

Finally, the event was a team-builder for the entire Clemleddy staff, 11 of whom joined Smyth in walking around a local high school track for 24 hours straight, beginning at 10 a.m. on June 9. It was tiring but fun. “Everybody was pretty pumped up,” Smyth says.

More information about the Relay for Life, including sponsorship opportunities, is available at www.relayforlife.org.