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Bev Turner

Nominated by her boss, Karmen Vance, she was surprised in the lobby of Safe Step headquarters by her colleagues. Also in on the secret: her father Maurice, who purchased a Safe Step tub prior to the donation. It was the ultimate corporate feel-good moment of the year. Bev was involved in a motorcycle accident and was working through constant pain at three jobs before Safe Step gave her an opportunity. She is revered by her peers and is reportedly feeling much better after nearly a year with the tub at her beck and call.

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John Deaver

Based on John’s production of the young girl’s video, he was hired full-time for the program. John has traveled from coast-to-coast on a shoestring budget in order to capture these special moments. What John didn’t call attention to was the fact that he was suffering himself. John has Ankylosis Spondylitis, an incurable degenerative disease. In layperson’s terms, it’s like a clamp around your back and eventually, your spine will fuse completely. He visits the Alabaster YMCA when he can to sit in the hot tub to relieve his pain. He takes 8 different medications daily in order to function through the chronic pain. Upon staying with the program’s director, 150PR head Derek Farley, John finally revealed his disease. He stayed with Farley to cut down on expenses; Farley has a Safe Step tub in his home in Charlotte. Although embarrassed, Deaver asked to use the tub; Farley obviously obliged. After an hour in the tub, Deaver exited and said he felt better than he had in years Farley then presented the nomination to the Safe Step executive team, who approved the donation. Nashville-based Safe Step Walk-in Tub is the largest walk-in tub manufacturer in North America. The company created its nationally-renowned philanthropy named Safe Step Cares in 2013. The charity has donated more than 50 tubs in 5 years and chooses recipients based on nominations. In most cases, it lets its valued team members vote on the recipients. In John’s case, it was “Mike’s choice,” – donated by company founder Mike Duffer. “For our first couple of donations, I contracted local videographers in each town, which lead me to him for our first giveaway in Alabaster,” said Derek Farley, spokesperson for Safe Step Cares. “He understood our objective and is the best storyteller via video I’ve ever worked with. I now know the pain he lives with and I am so excited to surprise him with a tub of his own. That our company’s founder Mike Duffer volunteered to be a part of the surprise tells you exactly what you need to know about how the company feels about John.”

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Eric Fuehrer

Safe Step Tubs, based in Nashville, heard about Eric’s story – that he couldn’t maneuver in a standard tub safely -- and decided to award him with a life-changing walk-in tub at no charge. So, in a secret kept by family and friends for months, Eric was lured to a softball tournament after being told his boys were playing. They weren’t. Unable to walk long distances, he was escorted by a utility vehicle to home plate as hundreds looked on. And sitting behind home plate – his place of joy – was a large box gift-wrapped with a bow and include a card. Well, the secret didn’t last much longer, as representatives from the company read a letter from its president. And then they proceeded to unveil his new walk-in tub, which the company will also install at no cost. Safe Steps philanthropy, Safe Step Cares, has awarded 50 tubs in five years by finding those deserving of a tub but who cannot afford one; in Eric’s case, mounting medical bills. In addition to being a husband, Eric was a former New York police officer, community volunteer, and Cub Scout leader. He lives with chronic pain and his doctor recommended a walk-in tub. His sister-in-law had heard about Safe Step Cares through her neighbor and nominated Eric. The company considers 100 nominations a month before narrowing it down to 3-5. It then asks its team members to decide who receives the tub. Eric won the company vote and the gift of a lifetime and with its help, hopes to beat cancer and return to umpiring behind home plate, where his gift once sat.

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Shauna Bylund

But her wish was for something that almost everyone takes for granted: the ability to bathe safely. Her parents, Cindy and Mike, are strapped with medical bills related to Shauna’s health conditions, and we're unable to grant their daughter’s reasonable request. So Cindy decided to write a company in Nashville, Tennessee, which indisputably makes the premiere walk-in tub on the market, Safe Step Walk-In Tub Co. She submitted a nomination for consideration for a free tub through the company’s nationally-recognized philanthropy Safe Step Cares. Safe Step, which has donated more than 50 tubs in five years and receives dozens of submissions monthly, put it under consideration along with other deserving nominations. Then, it did something even more remarkable: they asked their valued team members to vote on the program’s next recipient. Cindy’s nomination on behalf of her ailing daughter won the popular vote. And earlier this month, Shauna received her dream gift in the form of a state-of-the-art walk-in tub. And it wasn’t a public relations fly-by. Company representatives from Charlotte and Birmingham, along with employees of Canadian Safe Step, the dealer representative which serves the Salt Lake City community, flew or drove in to make the delivery and installation in person. “Safe Step Cares is the giving heart of a very caring and different company,” said Safe Step Cares overseer Derek Farley. “Our team members take this program very seriously and it starts at the top with Mike (president Duffer), Stuart (CFO Hall), and Demie (COO Angelocci). The company sees the program as karma in that the more they give, the more success they achieve, and personally, I think they are right.” Farley declined to disclose the value of the tub and installation, saying, “First, the ability to provide this is priceless. Second, all jobs are custom and this one was free so it’s not about the money. It’s about the fact that Safe Step Cares.” Shauna took the first “safe bath” of her life and gave the tub an A+. “It relieved my chronic pain and eased my nerve damage. I can’t believe they chose me but I couldn’t be happier and am amazed that people who haven’t even met me gave me my dream gift of a lifetime.” Farley downplayed it but with a wink-wink: “Mike (Duffer) is the real deal. This is his program and I am just the messenger. But good luck getting the smile off of my face today.” The same could be said for the entire Bylund family, thanks to Safe Step Cares.

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