Oh how I love community!
There is no better feeling than giving back to the people and places that give so much to you. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned we had been asked to assist in manufacturing parts for an exhibit at the La Habra Children’s Museum, located right around the corner from our facility. I have been to that museum many times myself, and have even taken my own children.
The children’s museum was building an exhibit called the “Ocean Zone”, which focuses on the different depths and zones of the ocean, and how each one supports its own life forms. Not only does the exhibit focus on life undersea, but it also aims to teach children about conservation, and the harmful effects of global warming.
Our lead estimator Steve Prog, who has been with us since 1989, managed this project with the museum curator, Lisa Reckon. Lisa has been involved with the museum for 17 years, and is very excited about this particular exhibit and its potential to raise environmental awareness. Regarding global warming, Lisa said “The exhibit gives kids some suggestions about what they can do at home to reduce their carbon footprint to make a contribution to the solution – very empowering for kids!”
As a custom manufacturer of plastic and rubber, our company was able to extrude semi-rigid PVC to create the kelp leaves surrounding exhibit. Lisa explained how the kelp would be used by saying “The environment is immersive, meaning you are surrounded by the elements, almost as if you were part of the exhibit. Walking in, you pass through the entryway, which has some of the kelp strands, and pass UNDER a boat and small pier to establish that you are part of an underwater world. The kelp strands are in several 11’ tall clumps throughout the exhibit, and feature fish and other creatures among the leaves, to reinforce the underwater atmosphere.”
When visiting this exhibit, the children can also dress up in fish and squid hats (how cute!) and interact with various plush sharks, whales, squid, seals and sea turtles for imaginative play.
This isn’t the first time we have helped manufacture custom parts for the museums exhibits. We have previously created other kelp structures for an ocean themed exhibit. In a ”Super Heroes, Super Jobs” exhibit, we ran some rubber sheet stripping for use on a fire engine, and created molded rubber chips for use in “planters” where the kids grew “plants”. Also, for a construction zone exhibit, we supplied the EPDM rubber discs that the kids used in the heavy equipment dig pit.
Our company is family owned and operated. Since my grandfather began Vip Rubber in 1961, we have a long history of connecting with new customers who ultimately turn into friends. We treat our customers, community and our employees well, and truly want to see everyone thrive. We have never sent an invoice to the La Habra Children’s Museum, and absorb the cost for all of the work we do for them. I don’t know a lot of companies who do this, knowing there will be no measurable return on investment. I am so grateful to know we are company who simply gives from their heart because they love and support healthy community growth.
CFO Kathy LeClair, who is a second generation owner, explained Vip’s commitment to investing in community. “When we moved to La Habra, we had a family agreement that we would support as many La Habra events we could.” She continued on to say “For the museum project, manufacturing the kelp was a relatively simple job. It was right up our alley, so we jumped on board!
I am proud to be a part of the third generation at Vip. Proud to know we genuinely care, and are not simply a business looking to turn a profit. We are a company that truly cares about the outcome of customer projects. We are real people who love what we do.
The Ocean Zone exhibit will run March 28, 2017 – January 7, 2018.
For information on the La Habra Childrens Museum visit online | www.lhcm.org
Cindy LeClair is the Vice President of Marketing at Vip Rubber and Plastic Company in California. Cindy is in the third generation of family ownership and has over 10 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. She is passionate about helping others and aims to educate and connect customers with the right resources. Should you want to get to know Vip Rubber and Plastic better as a potential supplier, do not hesitate to reach out to Cindy.