While their products may be known for being rough, tough, and durable out in the field, SunnySide Supply has a definite soft spot – helping people in need.
This fully integrated supply company that predominately serves the oil and gas industry has been a distributor of general and industrial safety supplies for more than 30 years. And during that time, owners Paul and Nanette Battista have been committed to a “hands-on approach to service and giving.”
“Our community involvement is almost second nature,” Paul remarked.
For instance, in celebration of the company’s 25th anniversary, Paul and Nanette decided to do something special – host a Carhartt fashion show fundraiser for the local chapter of Autism Speaks. The charity was chosen as a way to show their support for a customer who had an Autistic child.
Another of their favorite charitable activities was inspired by a different child – their own. When the couple’s daughter was a high school junior, she expressed an interest in attending Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, a summer camp that teaches students from all across the Commonwealth real-world business skills (which encompass everything from research and development to marketing and inventory management). Upon her return, she insisted that her dad consider serving as a “company advisor.” Although the role required an intense 80-hour commitment during the week, Paul was hooked and spent one week for the next five years volunteering for the program.
“What has made this country really strong is the free enterprise system . . . Business in not just about numbers, and this experience shows kids the other career opportunities that are available,” he remarked. Today, the company annually sponsors two PFEW scholarships for Fort Cherry High School students.
Paul has also dedicated his time and talents to serving as Board Chairman of the Mt. Pleasant Township Municipal Authority, spending countless volunteer hours working to bring sewage lines to the community. Although it doesn’t sound glamorous, it is an important $19 million project that will provide a much-needed service to many people.
In her free time, Nanette is on the Loan Review Committee of the Washington County Council on Economic Development, a non-profit that is dedicated to strengthening the local business community.
So, when the Chair of the Hickory Apple Festival needed someone to be responsible for the event’s “bank,” the Battistas were quickly identified as the family for the job. “It was wonderful to be considered trustworthy enough to be asked,” Nan commented. Paul added, “There was a void, and they needed someone to step up. It’s a great thing for our kids to be able to share in this experience of community service.”
Other local organizations SunnySide has helped in different ways over the years include Washington City Mission, FFA, 4-H, Arc Human Services, Washington Jazz Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
But the company’s good works have not been limited to causes in their own backyard. When parts of our country have been devastated by hurricanes and tropical storms, SunnySide has stepped into action – helping to get vital supplies from point A to point B as well as making financial contributions.
Due to the increased activity in the oil and gas sector, the company had a particularly good year in 2012 and made two separate donations to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. “We saw such a need and had the financial resources to be able to offer that support,” Paul stated.
“We aim to instill pride, a good work ethic, and volunteerism into all that we do. We would like SunnySide to be known for taking care of the community.”