Workers display their styles for charity event

FAIRMONT – The offices of Great Plains Transportation Services and Partners Funding in Fairmont took on a unique look Wednesday as employees decorated their desks for charity.

They worked in Barbie and Ken’s house, surrounded by garden produce, in a jungle and behind a row of guitars. One employee was having a tailgate party.

The event was part of the companies’ “Jeans for Charity, Christmas in July” campaign. For 25 days in July and August, employees can dress in jeans or shorts for a fee of $2 per day or two canned food items. If they opt to wear tennis shoes or flip flops, the cost is an additional dollar or one food item.

“We started right after the Fourth of July,” said Ashley DeJong-Stensland, the companies’ legal assistant, who developed the campaign. “This is the third year we’ve done this.”

The companies’ owners, Sherri DeJong and Jan Bosma, will match funds raised by employees. The money and food items will then be donated to local charities and food shelves.

In 2012, the first year of the summertime event, $1,909 and 163 food items were collected. Last year, $2,775 was raised, and some of those funds were sent to help the victims of the Moore, Okla., tornado. The companies have clients in that area.

“It’s a great team builder,” DeJong-Stensland said. “It’s fun to see everybody get into it.”

At the end of the 25 days, an employee appreciation day is held to honor the 31 full-time and part-time workers at the companies.