Nonprofits Receive Donations From Contractor’s Team Building Activity

Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 25, 2022 – For the fifth year in a row CD Barnes Construction has held a NCAA Tournament team building activity with their employees, consultants, and clients. While the activity is based on NCAA basketball brackets and team bonding, it always ends in a donation to a charity or non-profit organization of the winning team’s choice. This year was no different.

This year’s first-place winning team was CD Barnes’ accounting consultants, Eric Smith and Howard Cutler, both shareholders and CPA’s with BeeneGarter. Eric and Howard chose to donate the $1,000 to the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI). Founded in 1913, ABVI is one of Michigan’s oldest non-profits. ABVI provides resources and tools to help people who suffer from blindness and visual impairment to navigate and thrive in a sighted world when surgery and medications are no longer an option. These resources help visually impaired people remain independent in their homes, and be productive employees, students, and members of their communities. One of the reasons Eric and Howard chose ABVI for the donation was because of their own personal experiences with family members who suffer from visual impairment. Eric’s late grandfather suffered from macular degeneration and Howard’s daughter was born with a visual impairment. Furthermore, Eric has held various positions on ABVI’s board since 2006.

NCAA Donation 2022
Pictured from left to right is Howard Cutler, BeeneGarter – Linda Zizos, AVBI – Eric Smith, BeeneGarter


In addition to the first-place team’s donation and cash prize, the second, third, fourth, and last-place teams also won cash prizes. For the first time this year though, the third-place team, CD Barnes’ legal consultants, Aileen Leipprandt and Jill Miller, of Hilger Hammond, decided to donate their $250 winnings to the be nice. Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. The be nice. program focuses on creating a positive culture, increasing mental health referrals, and increasing behaviors that prevent suicide. Aileen and Jill said they chose the be nice. organization because mental health issues are on the rise and be nice. plays an important role in educating communities on mental health.