2015-09-18 / Community

Business helps make wishes come true

By Duke Harrington Staff Writer


At an Aug. 20 “big check” ceremony held at the Arundel offices of AIM Recycling USA, Rebecca Leaming, third from left, development manager at Make-A-Wish Maine, accepts a $30,000 donation from AIM employees, from left, Michael Zaitlin, Dick Belisle and Howard Whitney. The money raised by AIM will help to fulfill the wishes of five Maine children this coming year who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. (Courtesy photo) At an Aug. 20 “big check” ceremony held at the Arundel offices of AIM Recycling USA, Rebecca Leaming, third from left, development manager at Make-A-Wish Maine, accepts a $30,000 donation from AIM employees, from left, Michael Zaitlin, Dick Belisle and Howard Whitney. The money raised by AIM will help to fulfill the wishes of five Maine children this coming year who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. (Courtesy photo) ARUNDEL — After just five months of raising funds, an Arundel business has become the top new donor to Make-AWish Maine, and one of its top five donors overall.

AIM Recycling, located at 224 Portland Road in Arundel, began raising money for the Maine chapter of the Make-AWish foundation in April. At an Aug. 20 ceremony, the company handed over a check for $30,000.

According to Make-A-Wish Marketing Director Sonya Purington, the donation will be enough to fulfill wishes for five Maine children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

“AIM Recycling eyes one goal – to become a world leader in recycled materials, but we know that accomplishing this starts at a local level,” said Dick Belisle, AIM’s director of mobile operations. “Since we opened our five metal recycling locations in Maine, our goal has been to help others in local communities in which we’ve expanded. Make-A-Wish and their mission to grant a wish to sick kids was an easy choice. We know the money raised will go to good use.”

Based in Montreal, AIM — short for American Iron & Metal Co. — entered the New England market in 2013 when it bought five sites in Maine, including the Arundel location, from OneSteel Recycling.

According to Belisle, the company raised the money for its Make-A-Wish donation through a variety of efforts, including a raffle for a new truck, a golf tournament and at donation stands set up at events around the state. AIM also gave $1 for each ton of metal it recycled from April to August. That program, Belisle said, demonstrated as much about the generosity of Mainers as his company.

Many of AIM’s customers asked that proceeds from their entire load be donated to Make-A-Wish, he said.

“They would see the Make-A-Wish sign and wanted to help as much as they could,” Belisle recalled.

“AIM represents the very best in a community minded company,” Purington said. “Their team has worked tirelessly around the state to raise funds. In fact, their donation is the single-largest received this year from a new donor business. Each time we connect with them, they’re serving up yet another measure to raise funds for Maine kids. It’s inspirational.”

But AIM hasn’t just raised money for Make-A-Wish, it’s also played a hand in making a few wishes come true. The company, which this year took over sponsorship of the Oxford 250, the region’s signature stock car race, has offered multiple opportunities for “Wish Kids” to get pit passes and behind-the-scenes tours on race day, Aug. 28.

“We’re eager to see where we go from here,” said Rebecca Leaming, development manager at Make-A-Wish Maine.

Since it was founded in 1992, Make- A-Wish Maine has granted more than 1,200 wishes to sick children. With AIM’s recent donation, the foundation expects to make dreams come true for 70 Maine children during the coming year.

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