Suffolk Construction team members gather for a group photo at the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston. Suffolk, participating in each Boston Corporate Challenge since 2000, built Camp Harbor View, this year's race beneficiary..
Special ties to race beneficiary give a 'buzz'
to Suffolk Construction at Corporate Challenge
BOSTON, June 9, 2008 - When Camp Harbor View is introduced to the sold-out crowd at the 25th annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge on the Boston Common on June 26, one team will feel a special connection to the race's official beneficiary.
At this time last year, Suffolk Construction was racing the clock and battling formidable challenges to keep to an ambitious 100-day schedule. The company's goal was to build a day camp on an island in Boston Harbor in time for underprivileged Boston children to enjoy during the summer. They succeeded, and the first campers arrived on July 2, 2007.
This year, the camp - which consists of a 14,100-square foot main building, a 1,712 square foot beach house, a 1,500 square-foot pavilion, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, three soccer fields, and a recently added swimming facility - is opening its doors on Boston Harbor's Long Island to more children. The Corporate Challenge is helping, with JPMorgan making a donation to the camp for each of the more than 12,000 participants entered in the 14th consecutive sellout.
"Camp Harbor View was unique in so many ways," said Dan Antonellis, Director of Communications for Suffolk Construction. "From a logistical standpoint it was an incredible challenge building an entire camp on an island in the middle of Boston Harbor. Even the construction materials and equipment couldn't be delivered to the site by conventional means - over 60 barges were used to transport materials to the island across the harbor.
"But Camp Harbor View was a unique project in many other ways. It actually brought people together from various walks of life - government, non-profits, local businesses and kids - and created an incredible environment of collaboration and cooperation. Everyone involved dedicated an extraordinary amount of their time to make the vision for the camp a reality. And everyone seemed to go above-and-beyond the call of duty. In fact, some subcontractors even slept in tents overnight at the camp just so they could continue their work at the crack of dawn every morning to help ensure the camp would be open for the kids by summer."
For Suffolk Construction, which has entered every Corporate Challenge in Boston since 2000, this year's tie to Camp Harbor View makes this a special race.
"There is definitely a 'buzz' in the air this year because of the affiliation with Camp Harbor View - so many people at Suffolk played a prominent role in the planning and construction of that amazing camp," said Antonellis. "The Corporate Challenge is providing many of them an opportunity to stay involved with the camp in some way and continue to make a positive impact on these kids."
Given the story behind this year's beneficiary, it is also fitting that entry into the Corporate Challenge is through teams only.
"There's no question that Camp Harbor View was the epitome of a team effort," said Antonellis. "From the moment Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and local philanthropist Jack Connors asked Suffolk CEO John Fish to help them construct the camp, Suffolk's project team kicked into high gear and committed itself to completing the project on schedule."
Suffolk's headquarters are located in Roxbury. That was another reason the company, named one of Boston's best places to work, tried so hard to make the opening of Camp Harbor View a reality shortly after last year's Corporate Challenge in Boston.
"We're a city business and we have always had a strong connection to the inner city neighborhoods," said Antonellis. "Our employees understand the importance of giving back to our surrounding communities and making a positive impact on people.
"There's no question that Suffolk's participation on the Camp Harbor View project stirred up some emotions within our organization," Antonellis added. "Some of us were lucky enough to have an opportunity to actually meet some of the kids who were going to attend the camp that first summer. Just seeing the smiling faces made the whole effort incredibly worthwhile."
On June 26, Suffolk Company Captain Jessica Mccarthy will lead a 51-person team into this year's Corporate Challenge. Among those running will be Mike Phelps, son of Suffolk Construction's Peter Welsh, a former member of the Boston mayor's staff who helped get the Camp Harbor View project off the ground.
The ties to a special race beneficiary at this month's JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in Boston will run deep indeed.