At DuraTech, we firmly believe that empowering our Team Members to volunteer not only benefits the communities they serve but also enriches their personal and professional lives. Volunteering can become a journey of self-discovery, skill-building, and creating meaningful connections with the community.

Many of our team members dedicate their time and skills to causes close to their hearts – whether it’s animal rescue or supporting community trails. Here are some of their stories.

The Rotary Lights

Steven Klankowski, one of DuraTech’s Project Managers, has been an integral contributor to the Rotary Lights initiative since 2015. Steven is a core volunteer, working largely with the technical electronics and light thrower, and describes his efforts as a labor of joy. Prompted by his sister’s observation that financial limitations would prevent him from decorating his father’s home with Christmas lights, Steven turned to the Rotary Lights. He contacted the volunteer line and by the following week, his journey began.

Steven mentions the Rotary Lights initiative is actively seeking core volunteers – those who can commit to more than one weekend. They have a significant need for volunteers that are interested in throwing lights onto treetops from a 65-foot boom lift. You can find more details on the excitement here.

La Crescent Animal Rescue

Robin Oliver, a Customer Service Representative at DuraTech, volunteers with La Crescent Animal Rescue. Robin’s journey with the rescue organization began back in 2013, where she dedicated her efforts as a “cat cleaner.” In this role, she tended to the needs of the feline residents, ensuring they were well-fed, watered, had clean kennels and were surrounded by care.

In 2015, Robin’s passion extended to canine companions as she transitioned into the role of a dog foster parent. Since then, she has opened her heart and home to foster an incredible 13 dogs and 1 lucky cat. One fortunate pup, Kooper, found a furever home with Robin after a foster fail.

Beyond her fostering efforts, Robin contributes her time and expertise to further the rescue’s mission. As the chairperson of their Marketing Committee, she is involved in the rescue’s social media pages, like Facebook, Petfinder and Instagram. Robin has been averaging around 20 hours a week for the last few years with her marketing efforts alone. With the rescue being 100% volunteer-based, she likes to lend a hand where she can.  Looking ahead, Robin will be at the forefront of organizing their unit for the Applefest Parade.


A Diverse Volunteer Impact

CASA for Kids

Karen Dieringer, the Pricing Process Analyst at DuraTech, dedicates her time in multiple impactful ways. She is an enthusiastic volunteer with the YWCA La Crosse’s Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as CASA for Kids, initiative. Within the CASA for Kids program, Karen actively engages with foster children. Her commitment involves consistently spending quality time with her assigned CASA child, serving as their advocate both in their daily life and during court proceedings. Karen’s overarching objective is to ensure that every child receives appropriate and familiar representation in court.

From the Heart Food Pantry and Northside Children’s Clothes Closet

In addition to her involvement with CASA for Kids, Karen volunteers for the From the Heart Food Pantry and the Northside Children’s Clothes Closet. These essential initiatives are overseen by Trinity Church in La Crosse, WI and operate on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Karen undertakes responsibilities such as intake coordination, administrative tasks, and reporting for these programs.

The From the Heart Food Pantry sources its supplies from The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, playing a vital role in providing the community with nourishment through communal meals and food distribution.

Meanwhile, the Northside Children’s Clothes Closet had its origins in the efforts of educators at Northside Elementary around a decade ago. Evolving over time, Trinity Church assumed the responsibility of storing the clothing, expanding the program’s reach. Presently, the Northside Children’s Clothes Closet occupies six rooms within the church premises. Notably, the program actively organizes back-to-school shoe drives and winter coat and boots drives, contributing to the well-being of the community’s children.

Karen’s motivation to serve the La Crosse community is deeply personal. Having experienced the challenges of needing assistance herself, she extends a helping hand to those in need. Her outstanding dedication has garnered her a nomination for the Jefferson Award, an award recognizing individuals who prioritize the welfare of others. Remarkably, one of Karen’s CASA children’s mothers nominated her for this honor. For more insight into her impactful journey, you can watch her interview with WXOW.

How You Can Help

CASA for Kids is actively seeking volunteers to join their mission. Approximately 60 children are waiting for the support of a CASA volunteer. For those interested in making a difference, details about the CASA volunteer program are available here.

While From the Heart Food Pantry is not actively in need of volunteers, Karen suggests considering WAFER as a comparable organization.

Chaseburg Snowtrailers

Christa Berg, a Customer Service Representative at DuraTech, has been a dedicated volunteer with the Chaseburg Snowtrailers for the past five years, taking on the role of Treasurer for the last three years. The Chaseburg Snowtrailers organization maintains a remarkable 60-mile network of scenic snowmobiling trails during the colder months, cleverly repurposing farmland owned by local farmers that are using it for crops in the summertime. The farmers contract portions of their land to the Chaseburg Snowtrailers, who rely on volunteers like Christa to ensure the trails remain clear and well-maintained.

With a 50-year legacy, the Chaseburg Snowtrailers are deeply engaged in their community, contributing to lunch programs and food pantries. Their annual calendar features a handful of events, including a November steak fry featuring a poker run and a raffle, as well as the Trail Days event in January, showcasing a parade and a fundraiser.

Christa’s involvement with the Chaseburg Snowtrailers began when she attended a meeting with her boyfriend at the time, now husband, and says her favorite part of the organization is the people she gets to work alongside. As they continue to make a difference in the community, the Chaseburg Snowtrailers eagerly welcome new volunteers and members to join their efforts in maintaining trails and helping with events.

The importance of giving back

DuraTech strongly believes in empowering Team Members to volunteer, recognizing its benefits for both communities and personal growth. Through stories like Steven’s dedication to the Rotary Lights initiative, Robin’s inspiring journey in animal rescue, Karen’s contributions to crucial causes and Christa’s dedication to community involvement collectively showcase the how volunteering makes a meaningful change.

These stories not only highlight the substantial impact of altruistic actions but also shows the potential within every individual to create positive change. By nurturing a culture of volunteerism, DuraTech encourages others to embrace community involvement.

Read more on the culture of DuraTech Team Members here.