The Ergon family was introduced to the American Cancer Society’s Real Mean Wear Pink (RMWP) campaign when Larry Tomkins, Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions VP – Southeast Region, was nominated to serve as a RMWP ambassador in 2020. RMWP campaign ambassadors across the nation commit to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, and the organization has raised more than $40 million since its inception. In just two years, Larry and Ergon have raised over $100,000 in the ongoing campaign for breast cancer research and patient support.
In early 2022, Ergon received four awards from the American Cancer Society in recognition of funds raised for the 2021 breast cancer campaigns. In addition to company awards, Tomkins received ACS recognition for ranking fifth in the nation among individual contributors for his efforts in steering our 2021 fundraising initiatives. “None of this would have been possible without the Ergon family, our partners, our friends and other generous donors,” Tomkins said.
A Fundraiser Close to the Heart
Tomkins had never led a personal fundraiser before his RMWP nomination. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it, but then I thought about my mother-in-law,” he commented. Tomkins’ mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, just before he married his wife, Tracy. “That took a toll on the whole family, but I’m glad to say she’s a survivor and has had the opportunity to have a wonderful relationship with my children. We have been blessed, but for some families, that hasn’t been the case.”
Tomkins used his opportunity as an RMWP Ambassador to get Ergon Corporate involved. Upon receiving the OK for Ergon’s participation, Tomkins enlisted others at the corporate headquarters to be part of a committee to help with fundraising.
Ergon Employees Dare to Care
One of the fundraisers the committee came up with was the 2020 Dare to Care Halloween Costume Contest in which employees could dress up in their favorite workplace-appropriate costume in exchange for donations toward Tomkins’ RMWP campaign. This was the first contest of its kind at Ergon, with winners receiving certificates and everyone getting to let loose and laugh a little for a good cause. In addition to the contest, those who donated $10 were entered in a drawing for a pink YETI cooler.
Thanks to generous donations during the costume contest, as well as countless others who donated on behalf of Tomkins, Ergon raised nearly $46,000, and Tomkins was recognized as number eight in the nation for individual contributors for 2020.
The Tradition Continues
The Ergon family had come to look forward to donating for a cause while dressing up for a laugh. The Dare to Care contest resumed in 2021, and although Tomkins was not officially a part of the RMWP campaign, he did enter Ergon as one of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fundraising teams.
This time around, in addition to raising $62,000, many Ergon family members also came out to participate in the ACS-Mississippi’s annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. “The teamwork and dedication have been mind blowing to witness,” said Tomkins.
For the Love of ACS
Ergon and other top performers of the 2021 donation year participated in an additional fundraiser to kick off 2022 called “For the Love of ACS.” Ergon was recognized as a top performer of the top performers, contributing $5,440 in donations. “We really want to break last year’s $62,000 record,” said Tomkins. “This fundraiser provides us the opportunity to get an early start on fundraising and has already been a great help toward us reaching this goal.”
National Cancer Survivor’s Awareness Day is June 5. If you would like to contribute toward Ergon’s 2022 breast cancer awareness fundraiser, email Larry.Tomkins@ergon.com.