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On A Quest

By Harriet Kaufman, HCWS Volunteer








There are only so many ways of saying thank you. At times, words just are not enough. Such is the case with our family of friends at Quest Diagnostics.

After hearing about the loss of an employee’s beloved pet, Len Poikey – Managing Director for the State of Nevada’s branch of Quest Diagnostics – wanted to do more. He telephoned our own Harold Vosko and asked what he and his team of employees could do for Heaven Can Wait Animal Society. After discussing the needs of our animal community, they came up with a plan.

Quest Diagnostics employs over 1200 people, and the goal was to engage as many of them as possible. A committee was created, affectionately called the “Happy Tails Committee,” which is the company’s most supported committee of the other already existing five committees. The Happy Tails committee is a small, albeit dedicated group, with 23 members. However, the whole Quest business unit supports the cause to help animals and HCWS. For the past two years, they have set fundraising goals and organized mini-groups for event planning. In their very first year of raising funds in 2009, they were able to raise $13,500 alone! This year’s goal is a lofty $20,000, and they are already at the $16,000 mark. Extraordinary.

Some of the internal events the Quest employees plan are: a holiday tree ornament sale and placing a remembrance in their lobby for pets lost (very emotional) – where even Quest’s patients come back and place an ornament to remember their animal companions that have passed.  They have “Pies for Pets,” and hot dog sales.  They have a group that knits quilts with animal themes, and they raffle them off. 

At the Lake Las Vegas event over 200 Quest employees participated, and for the “Lose a Pound Walk” 130 people registered. More recently, Quest held a bowling event for HCWS at the Goldcoast Hotel and Casino, which was a huge success! $2,560 was raised, and 175 people bowled the night away. (See above photo.)

Quest employees have tremendous hearts. A group was created to send sympathy cards tofellow employees when that employee loses a beloved pet.  They even have a fund that has been established, donated by pathologists – to pay for spaying and neutering for pets of their employees! Wouldn’t it be great if every company did something like this for the animals?

When asked why Len chose to help HCWS, he stated, “Maybe as medical people we have a heart. It is personal with all our committee members. All of us have experienced the loss of a companion animal, and we think of them as family members. We are helping HCWS because we can, and we care about the community in which we live. We wish we could do more.”

Len and the “Happy Tails” committee dreams of the day when they can take their philanthropy nationally. Quest has 16 business units around the country and over 45,000 employees.  Just imagine the impact this organization can make as a whole.

If you believe your group or employer would be interested in organizing an effort to fund raise for HCWS and animal welfare, please give us a call. Only together can we put an end to some of the pain and suffering of our animal family.



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