Volunteer Program: Matt McCarville
The Alliant Energy Foundation recognizes and rewards the invaluable gift of time that is generously donated by so many employees and retirees of Alliant Energy (and its family of companies). Through our Volunteer Program, participants that dedicate their time and efforts to support causes and events in their communities are qualified to provide grants of up to $400 annually to eligible charitable organizations of their choosing. Grants are awarded once per year for as few as 50 hours of volunteer work per 12 month period.
In 2011, employees and retirees of Alliant Energy were awarded $122,900 in recognition of their 89,264 volunteer hours. The Points of Light Foundation places a value of $20.85 on each volunteer hour. Using this equation would mean a financial impact of more than $1.86 million going back into our communities through the volunteer service of our employees and retirees.
Matt McCarville, gas technician for Wisconsin Power and Light Co. (WPL), has donated his time and talents to enrich the community of Brodhead, Wisconsin. As a proud parent to three children (Erin 28, Shaun 25, and Ryan 22), a committed volunteer, and as an individual living with Lou Gehrig’s disease, Matt personifies kindness and optimism.
Matt has participated in the Foundation’s Volunteer Program since it began in 2001, and has logged 5,287 hours through 2011. According to the Point of Light Foundation’s equation, Matt’s investment of time and energy into his community would be valued at almost $110,224. However, those familiar with Matt’s community activism would say that number is low. Matt’s volunteerism includes: coaching youth and high school sports (softball, baseball and basketball); involvement with the Booster Club; serving as zone chairman, as well as on the board of directors and as previous President for the Lions Club; helping with the building of the new park pavilion and spearheading the incredibly popular concession stand for Brodhead sporting events.
One of the volunteer projects Matt’s most proud of coordinating is the installation of field lights at the high school ball diamond. City employees, electricians and WPL coworkers donated their time and expertise to ensure safe and successful electrical operation. Matt said, “To see student athletes enjoying the park on warm summer nights or after the early hours of winter dusk is a wonderful reminder of what a dedicated group of volunteers can accomplish.”
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. As Matt battles the adverse effects of the progressive disease, his gratitude, positivity and generous spirit remain intact. When asked what advice he’d give others, either in life or with regard to volunteerism, Matt exclaimed, “never underestimate what you can do!”