Springfield Plastics launched its Fourth Annual Drain for the Cure campaign in October, which has resulted in a donation of $73,236 for the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University in Springfield.

“When we first started four years ago, we had a couple of employees and a couple more family members close to the company who had been recently diagnosed with cancer,” explained Jennifer Furkin, vice president of operations for Springfield Plastics. “Two of them were already at stage four at the time of their diagnosis. As a company, we were wanting to make a contribution towards the effort to fight cancer, but wanted to do something on a larger scale.”

The Drain for the Cure campaign started in 2014 in an effort to raise money for cancer research when Springfield Plastics offered to match any donations from their employees, customers, vendors and shareholders. “The first year, we started with $10,000 to see what the interest would be, and ended up donating a total of $22,000,” said Furkin. “So then, we decided to increase the match each year to see if we could keep the interest there.”

“It’s pretty overwhelming, the amount of support we get. Even community members ask us each year if we’re going to be doing it again. Cancer is something that hits everybody pretty close to home — we all know somebody fighting it or who has fought it in the past,” said Furkin.

Since its inception in 2014, the campaign has raised over $188,000. A check for $73,236 from this year’s fundraising efforts was presented to Simmons Cancer Institute on Dec. 4.

Steve Baker, president of Springfield Plastics, stated, “We could never have imagined that we would reach the total we did this year. It is with utmost gratitude that we thank all those who contributed. We are honored to be part of such an outstanding community that has come together to support this deserving cause.”

The Simmons Cancer Institute serves cancer patients by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through medical education, biomedical research, patient care and community service.

Springfield Plastics, Inc., based in Auburn, is a Midwest manufacturer that has created plastic pipe solutions in the agricultural, residential, commercial and highway markets since 1978.