April 4, 2019 3:02 pm

Justin (back, center) with JA Bowl-A-Thon teammates, the “Punch Pins”

For the eighth year in a row, Justin Nelson from SM Energy participated in Junior Achievement (JA) Bowl-A-Thon, JA’s biggest fundraiser of the year and a top team-building opportunity for corporations in Colorado. He raised about $1,200 this year alone and because of his commitment to JA’s mission and core values.

“I believe that every young person should have the opportunity to be involved with JA,” Nelson says. “What JA provides to youth is key to their success not only in a global economy, but also in life.” This passion drives his fundraising efforts.

Nelson takes a unique approach to his peer-to-peer fundraising strategies and suggests that other JA Bowl-A-Thon fundraisers ought to go above and beyond as well. “Do more than send a generic email. Make it personal and explain why JA is important to you,” he says.

JA Bowl-A-Thon can also be a tool for company bonding. SM Energy bowlers raised over $33,000 for JA, solidifying their spot at the top of the JA Bowl-A-Thon company leaderboard. Nelson believes that their success comes from the camaraderie of fundraising together and working toward a common goal.

“People here at SM Energy really buy in and come up with fun ways to fundraise inside our office as well as getting outside donations. It gives us a reason to celebrate the success of reaching and exceeding our goals. JA Bowl-A-Thon really creates a culture of giving.”

Most importantly, Nelson always remembers to have a good time while celebrating hard work, because bowling is a way for SM Energy employees to enjoy themselves outside of the office and mix up the day-to-day routine. “You really get an opportunity to just relax and have fun with your coworkers.” Nelson and his coworkers certainly have earned the chance to do so.

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