HydraForce and US Bank Make
Toys For Tots Donation
In Memory of Cpl. Fernando Suarez III

On Friday, December 4, HydraForce and its banking partner, US Bank, honored the memory of HydraForce employee Fernando Suarez III with a donation to the U.S. Marine Reserves Toys for Tots. Suarez, a manifold assembler, passed away unexpectedly in a car accident on May 29, 2015 at the age of 23. He worked part-time for HydraForce while attending Lake County College for a degree in criminal justice. Suarez also served as a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, where one of his favorite activities was the Marine’s annual Toys for Tots drive.

Honorary Chairperson Gudelia Suarez
and the Suarez Family

“Fernando was an outstanding man,” said Rey Hernandez, Supervisor of the Manifold Assembly Dept. “He was mature beyond his years. He had that ‘OO-RAH’ Marine attitude. If you needed something done you could tell him and he would get it done. He was kind and thoughtful and it's because of his big heart that HydraForce started collecting toys for Tots. In addition to being an outstanding Marine who lived his life by the Marine Corps values, he was the kind of guy who would bring out the best in you. His time spent here with us in the Manifold Assembly Department was much too short. Even so, I am grateful to have met him. I am sure that I can speak on behalf of HydraForce Inc. when I say it is an honor to start this tradition on his behalf”, he stated.

In addition to the toys collected by employees, a financial contribution to Toy for Tots will be made by HydraForce’s banking partner, US Bank. “We are delighted to be able to support the HydraForce Toys for Tots drive in honoring the life of one of their outstanding employees who also proudly served our country,” said Phil Salter, vice president in Commercial Banking at U.S. Bank”.
“It is fitting that our donation is being made as we celebrate our 25-year relationship with HydraForce.”

“We were very proud of our employee, Fernando Suarez, and the work he did for Toys for Tots through the U.S. Marines, and are very pleased to honor him in this way with the Toys for Tots program,” said Joe Reifenberg, HydraForce Chief Financial Officer. “We also thank US Bank for augmenting our donation with their charitable contribution,” he added.

“Fernando grew up with HydraForce and we were saddened to lose him so early,” said Jim Brizzolara, HydraForce President. “He was born just two years after his mother, Gudelia, joined us and we saw him growing up each year at our company picnics and open houses. One of my fondest memories is the day Fernando nominated HydraForce as a Patriotic Employer and brought certificates from the Secretary of Defense for me, his supervisor, and our human resources manager – in full military dress! We lost not just an exemplary employee, but an exemplary person.”


The HydraForce Toys for Tots drive was chaired by Gudelia Suarez, Fernando’s mother and a 26-year HydraForce employee in the Valve Assembly Dept. Toys For Tots began in 1947 when a Los Angeles Marine Corp. Major and his wife tried to donate a homemade Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child and could find no organization to do it. So the Major called on his fellow Marine reservists, who put collection bins outside Warner Bros. movie theaters and collected 5,000 toys. Since then, Toys for Tots has collected and distributed more than 469 million toys. Its mission is “to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. Their goal is to "deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens."


Watch the video of the presentation:
HydraForce Toys For Tots Drive in Memory of Cpl Fernando Suarez III

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