Fairmount Minerals wins IAAP community relations award

Therese Dunphy

June 21, 2012

Pat Gende, a reclaim operator at Fairmount Minerals’ Wedron Silica sand-mining facility, holds the Community Relations Award the site earned from the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) for its outstanding community involvement in the region. Gende is joined by Linda Hiltabrand, left, and Jim Bastian, members of the IAAP’s Public Information and Education Committee.

Fairmount Minerals‘ Wedron Silica sand-mining facility has earned the Community Relations Award  from the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) for its outstanding community involvement in the region, according to the IAAP.

The Wedron Silica facility received the IAAP Community Relations Award after its employees took part in regular activities that represent Fairmount’s sustainable development (SD) mission of people, planet, and prosperity or “3 P’s.” The facility produces high purity, round-grain silica sand.

The IAAP award is intended to “encourage more and continued public outreach efforts by its members.” The trade association serves the stone, sand, gravel, and non-coal industrial mineral mining industry in Illinois. IAAP officials presented the award to Wedron Silica at a luncheon earlier this year.

“We’re grateful to be part of such a great community, so we give back to the residents and organizations in the Wedron area whenever we can,” said Becky Andrews, Illinois Regional Sustainable Development Coordinator for Fairmount Minerals. “The entire team at the Wedron facility makes giving back an everyday priority.”

Wedron Silica has donated materials and employees to create a 2,000-foot-long walking path and install more than 1,000 feet of split-rail fence at Wedron Park during the Wedron Silica Summit Day of Caring, and cleaned up 2 miles of highway on Route 71 and Route 23.

The sand-mining facility has helped fund educational programs at schools in Ottawa and Serena, a mobile computer lab for students in Harding, the At-Risk Pre-School program at Ottawa Elementary School, the traveling Lincoln Exhibit at the Ottawa Scouting Museum, and hosted educational tours for schools from Rutland, Serena, and Sheridan.

“Students know so much more about the geological formation, mining, and end uses for the unique materials under our feet after visiting the Wedron Silica mine for educational programs,” said Shawn McKinney, outreach manager at IAAP.

Wedron Silica and its employees have also helped organizations throughout the community:  they’ve donated to the Community Food Basket’s Freezin’ for a Reezin’ food drive; stocked shelves at the Marseilles Ministerial Association food pantry; helped the Easter Seals of LaSalle and Bureau counties by conducting an AED/CPR first-aid class and donating equipment and supplies; volunteered at the Relay for Life, Community Food Basket, and Salvation Army events; and replaced lighting fixtures for the Youth Service Bureau and a bridge at Camp Tuckabatchee.

The Wedron Silica facility’s complete corporate sustainability approach is detailed in the 54 page 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report at Fairmount’s website: http://goo.gl/NK4yE.

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