Marquis Energy hosts Big Hope 1 barge to help find a cure for cancer
HENNEPIN — The rivers of Illinois are busy routes of international commerce, and the sight of a barge is commonplace. However, the sight of a bright pink barge is anything but common, and that’s exactly the intention — to catch the public’s attention.
Marquis Energy is hosting Big Hope 1, Ceres Barge Line’s floating fundraiser for cancer research, after making a $10,000 donation to Mary Crowley Cancer Research.
“Cancer has touched everyone’s life in some way; we all know someone who has had to fight it,” Danielle Anderson, Marquis’ director of public relations, said.
Anderson also said the symbolic barge’s appearance at Marquis’ dock was occurring at an important time because the three-year-old daughter of Chief Operations Officer Jason Marquis has been successfully fighting leukemia.
“It’s a personal connection, and we’re proud to be a part of the research efforts,” Anderson said.
Each year, Marquis Energy also chooses a beneficiary to receive the donations of its employees, which the company matches with a multiplier of five. Anderson said last year’s recipient was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Big Hope 1 was launched in 2012 after being conceived by a Ceres employee whose family had been battling cancer. Once a donation of the needed paint had been secured from Sherwin-Williams, the company was willing to put in the extra labor required to turn the barge into an eye-catching showpiece.
Ceres also agreed to contribute a percentage of the barge’s net earnings for a minimum of five years to help fund cancer research. Mary Crowley Cancer Research in Dallas, Texas, was chosen as the recipient. Since its launching, the big pink barge has helped to raise more than $861,000 through the donations of philanthropic customers and vendors.