Jeans Friday in Shelby Township offices raises money for local charities

By: Brad D. Bates | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 6, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Every Friday, Shelby Township employees raise a little green by putting on their blues.

For donations of $3 every Friday, workers in all township offices can wear blue jeans on the job, and while they enjoy the added comfort, local charities enjoy additional help.

“People from across Shelby Township — employees — pitch in money into that fund, and that money is allocated to an organization in Shelby Township,” Clerk Stanley Grot said.

The program, which is coordinated by Diane Seliwoniuk in the Clerk’s Department, took home its all-time haul when it raised $780 for the Shelby Township Lions Club.

“Our membership really appreciates that the wonderful people in the township offices have elected to direct their donations to our organizations,” Grot said as he read a thank-you letter from the Lions Club at the Jan. 15 Board of Trustees meeting.

“These monies will be used to buy food and household goods to assist approximately 100 families in Shelby Township that are in need.”

The record amount was gathered over Fridays in November and December, and it was held over two months, rather than the usual one-month span, as several Fridays saw closures because of holidays.

Grot said it’s not just employees within his department, or even just the municipal building, who take part, but everyone from Parks, Recreation and Maintenance employees to staff for the Police and Fire departments.

“It’s casual Friday, but it’s a good name, it’s Jeans Friday,” Grot said.

Seliwoniuk said that the program has been around for roughly five years, and has seen changes in that time.

“In the past, we’ve raised more because it was $5,” Seliwoniuk said. “The Lions amount is the largest amount since it was reduced to $3.”

Regardless of price changes or charity, though, Seliwoniuk said the perks of taking part in the program can make employees feel all warm and fuzzy.

“It’s really nice in the winter, because (jeans) are warmer,” Seliwoniuk quipped.