East, West Coast Rivalry Benefits Injured Soldiers

Connecticut’s Westminster Tool and California’s M.R. Mold & Engineering have embarked on a friendly competition to bring public awareness to iWarriors, a program that donates iPads to wounded service members.

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It’s not exactly Tupac Shakur versus Biggie Smalls, but two mold shops competing to raise funds for wounded military personnel are certainly aiming to “represent” their respective sides of the country. In June, Westminster Tool (Plainfield, Connecticut) and M.R. Mold & Engineering (Brea, California) challenged each other to an “East Coast vs. West Coast” competition to bring public awareness to iWarriors, a program that donates iPads to soldiers from all branches of the U.S. armed forces. “The overall intent is to raise awareness and raise money,” says Westminster Tool President Raymond Coombs, Jr. “It’s bringing 70 people together on both sides of the country in the spirit of trying to do something small for people who make huge sacrifices for us.”

M.R Mold & Engineering is a silicone and plastic injection mold manufacturer that began fundraising for iWarriors in 2011. President Rick Finnie had the opportunity to deliver iPad gift packages to the Balboa Naval Hospital and Camp Pendleton. The company has since donated more than 60 gift packages to wounded soldiers. Fellow plastic injection mold manufacturer Westminster Tool is kicking off this year’s efforts in Plainfield, Connecticut by sponsoring a “5K Freedom Run” July 26.

The companies have until March 312016 to organize events, facilitate fundraising and collect donations for iWarriors. The president of the winning company will be forced to endure a pie in the face in retribution for their employees’ diligent efforts, according to the companies’ agreement. “We are trying to come up with creative ways to get more people involved, and M.R Mold and Westminster Tool are doing it together,” Coombs says.   

iWarriors was founded in 2011 by Tim Bartz, president of Minneapolis-area mold manufacturer Mold Craft, and his wife, Kim. For more information on the iWarriors cause, visit the iWarriors website. For more information on the iWarriors 5K Freedom Run and for pre-registration please visit www.iwarriorsfreedomrun.eventbrite.com

Both Mold Craft and Westminster Tool have appeared in the pages of MoldMaking Technology relatively recently. Mold Craft was the subject of a November-issue feature article detailing how business planning efforts led to dramatic improvements in quote-capture rate, among other benefits. Westminster Tool won our 2014 Leadtime Leader award, earning it an extensive video and feature article covering how the shop managed to dramatically expand capacity and services without getting overwhelmed by its own growth. 

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