The legacy of John Ruan lives on through his business, his family and, perhaps most importantly, his generosity. To celebrate Ruan Transport Corporation's philanthropic founder, Ruan employees will participate together in a variety of volunteer activities throughout July as part of Founder's Days.
"Although we lost our founder in February, John Ruan's legacy and the values for which he stood remain a core part of our organization," Ruan's Chairman and CEO John Ruan III said. "In recognition of our heritage and 78 years in business, we are thrilled to celebrate Founder's Days once again."
John Ruan, who endowed the World Food Prize, an organization that honors the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world, valued giving back to the communities Ruan serves. Founder's Days offers current employees the opportunity to do the same while spending time together and continuing to foster the Ruan philanthropic spirit.
"This month-long commemoration is intended to honor all Ruan team members, beginning with my father, for their dedication to their work, their families and the communities in which they live," John Ruan III said.
Each Friday in July, Ruan corporate employees may sign up for one of four different volunteer opportunities in Des Moines (listed below). Team members at Ruan's 162 terminals across the United States are encouraged to organize and volunteer in their communities as well.
Founder's Days will officially kick-off July 1 when Ruan recognizes its 2009 Driver of the Year at a ceremony at Principal Park prior to the Iowa Cubs vs. Omaha Royals baseball game. One of 12 regional winners, all of whom are flying in from across the United States, will be honored as the Driver of the Year, as determined by Ruan's executive committee. During the game on July 1, the 36-story Ruan Center will be illuminated with red lights at nightfall that will continue to glow throughout July in celebration of Ruan's heritage.
"I believe there is no better time to celebrate our best, most accomplished professional drivers than on the anniversary of our company's founding, when Ruan Transport Corp. was the promising business of one determined, hard-working driver," John Ruan III said of his father.
The Founder's Days volunteer activities are as follows:
Location: Youth Emergency Services and Shelter
Activity: Ruan employees will spend time with youth residents of the shelter and engage in group games and activities.
Location: Des Moines Botanical Center
Activity: Ruan employees will assist in the maintenance and grooming of the outdoor gardens and landscaping, as well as pruning in the greenhouse.
Location: Orchard Place
Activity: Ruan employees will help the landscaping and maintenance teams with hedge trimming, gardening, mulching and painting.
Location: The Des Moines Playhouse
Activity: Ruan employees will assist with set building for the upcoming production of "The Drowsy Chaperone" and enjoy performances by the youth educational program.