The best way to start a new year is to look back at and remember the greatest parts of last year. While 2016 was not all perfect, there were plenty of fun, heartwarming, successful, and happy moments company-wide at Darling’s.
We asked our team: “What was your favorite Darling’s moment of 2016?” As shared by our employees, we’re counting down seven of our favorite Darling’s moments of 2016:
Hearing great artists in our own backyard
“The Jimmy Buffett Concert! I had a great time, it was a great show.” – Mike R.
Thanks to our naming rights sponsorship of the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, the area’s most beautiful concert venue, Darling’s provides customers and team members with the opportunity to enjoy our VIP tent experience. We got to hear great music from some top-level acts like Luke Bryan, Dolly Parton, Dave Matthews Band, Journey, and more!
Opening brand new facilities
“The weeks of dynamite in Augusta!” – Jason W.
After a fire in 2014, it was evident that our Augusta facilities needed an upgrade. This upgrade required careful planning, removing Ram Mountain, reconstructing our parking lots, constructing a brand-new building, and demolishing our old building. After almost a year of construction, our beautiful, brand-new facility opened this fall.
Helping organizations in our community further their mission
“A young man wrote me about the possibility of a van donation. It was decided that they should have a van. Their excitement and gratitude was beyond what I have experienced.” – Ron R.
Through our vehicle donation program, we were able to help several more deserving organizations obtain safe transportation to help achieve their goals. We were proud to offer support to great organizations like:
- The Game Loft in Belfast – provides a safe place for youth of the Midcoast region to gather, and provides a variety of activities
- Adopt-A-Block in Houlton – provides a variety of services to the Northern Maine area, including summer camps, gently used clothing, and a food pantry
- Boy Scouts of America’s Katahdin Area Council in Clifton – provides outdoor experiences and leadership skills to youth in our area
- Shepard’s Godparent Home of Bangor – offers a crisis center for young women who are pregnant and in crisis, offering housing, education, counseling and medical assistance
Handing out free ice cream to help our community
“My girlfriend and I dressed up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while we worked a Halloween event, and every kid dressed as a ninja turtle we saw had the biggest smiles on their faces!” – Devon B.
Our Darling’s Ice Cream for a Cause truck, which hands out free ice cream in exchange for voluntary donations for worthy causes, has been on the road since 2012. It seems like every year is busier, and this year is no exception – we made 314 stops and raised just short of $65,000. (Fun Fact: since 2012, the ice cream truck has been to 1194 stops and raised $221,655 dollars!)
Joining together to help make a difference in our communities
“I like that we got involved in the Coats For Kids program this year, and had a successful campaign in a short period of time. This company is really great about rallying together for our community.” – Andy K.
Our team worked together on a number of projects and events to help raise money, awareness, and donations to help kids, families and organizations in our community. Just this fall, we collected coats, hats, and mittens for Coats for Kids; collected toys for Toys for Tots; and raised money to buy presents for the Children’s Center of Augusta‘s Holiday Giving Tree!
Having fun while working hard
“My favorite is our entire VW/Audi Crew in matching ugly Christmas shirts.” – Kim C.
Our team always finds ways to have fun together during the work day (and sometimes after!) – and this year was no exception. Halloween costumes, Ugly Sweater Contests (to benefit Champion the Cure Challenge), and a winning performance of “Greased Lightning” at The Grand‘s Grease Lip Sync Contest were just a few of the great memories from 2016!
Sharing our knowledge with our community
“The Touch-A-Truck event!” – Laurel W.
Our team members are a wealth of knowledge, and we are always proud to host events that allow us to share this with our customers and friends. This year was our 2nd Fire Safety Touch-A-Truck event, and featured trucks from over a dozen local fire departments!
Helping our customers find their dream vehicles
“Being able to stay true to who I am, and still sell cars.” – Mike H.
Teaming up with our customers to help our community
“NEVER have I worked for a corporation that is more generous, caring and giving.” – Buffy W.
We were proud to be able to support an incredible amount of organizations with help from our customers, via donations from each sale. In 2016, we were able to help groups like Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope, Maine Troop Greeeters, House in the Woods, Salute of Service, Maine Veterans Project, Good Shepherd Food Bank, and over 65 high school Project Graduation programs around Maine.
Having our team’s hard work recognized
“The announcement that Darlings is one of the ten best places to work!” – Ken W.
2016 saw Darling’s Auto earning several awards, thanks to recognition from tremendous organizations in our community, as well as recognition from our manufacturers. In just 2016, we were pleased to earn:
- Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce‘s 2016 Business of the Year Award
- Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce‘s 2016 Top Drawer Award
- 2016 Top 10 Best Places to Work in ME
It will be hard to top a year like 2016, but we’re hoping 2017 will be even better. Do you have other favorite Darling’s moments of 2016? Share them in the comments!