Just ahead of the national COVID-19 lockdowns, Phoenix’s long-running music festival, M3F, was able to bring people together in Downtown Phoenix for a true sense of Community, Culture and Charity. What you may already know about this event is that it is one of Arizona’s only 100% nonprofit music festivals. But what you may not know about the event is that it is also 100% produced by the employees of Wespac Construction, Inc.
If you ask the question, “Why would a general contractor delve into something so unknown as a music festival?'” Wespac and M3F Founder John Largay says, “the logistical side of it we had already mastered. Our employees build things for a living and we’re excellent at it. It’s all about logistics, and we know logistics. We move it in, then move it out.” Designed to promote the 3 C’s – Community involvement, Corporate participation and Charitable contribution, this idea was conceived as a way for Wespac Construction to give back to the community.
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Think of it as the largest team building event one could imagine. Working on this festival with Wespac’s 115 employees, Largay says, “has probably been the best work project you could ever ask for. The bond and the challenge that it provides has been amazing. It’s made us a better group of friends and better contractors.” Every employee at Wespac volunteers their time over the 3-day event in one way or another. While it is under production at Wespac year-round, it’s the days leading up to the event that amaze John Largay even to this day. “I walk through the park and see our team building stages and setting up sound systems. I see people working tirelessly ensuring that every sponsor, vendor and festivalgoer is cared for, and that every sign, tent and table is in the right place. Everyone does their part and it’s a great thing to see.”
Since its start in 2004, M3F has donated over $2.6M to those in need. And this year, just when we feel like we need it most, M3F celebrated its 17th year by donating more than $600,000 to a number of local charities. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Phoenix Children’s Hospital Music Therapy Program, Teach for America and Habitat for Humanity – Northern AZ Chapter are among this year’s highlighted beneficiaries. Our donation to LLS is helping with blood cancer research and bringing precision medicine to pediatric and adult patients. With M3F’s donation, PCH’s Music Therapy Program grew from serving 41 to 104 patients and saw an increase from 87 to 207 music therapy sessions. The program was also able to bring on 2 full-time music therapists, while increasing their coverage from just 3 units to covering the entire hospital with 6 primary units. Donation dollars also aided Teach for America, a diverse network of leaders who confront educational inequity and fight for the aspirations of students and their families. M3F’s donation to Habitat for Humanity in Northern Arizona paid for roofs needed for the 2 homes they are building this year and helped them increase from 1 house build to 2 house builds for the year. “Wespac has been involved with Habitat for Humanity via management, trade engagement, or otherwise, since 2010,” says Tyler Mark, Wespac Flagstaff Principal, “this latest push was awesome! It shows continued engagement in the community – partnering over the past 3 years has brought in $135K, plus many local donations to the home builds alone!”
What’s more—M3F and Wespac are dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint. 80%+ of waste from the Festival goes to recycling and renewable efforts versus a landfill. To take this commitment a step further, the public was also able to participate at this year’s event by purchasing carbon neutral credits that will be used to further reduce M3F’s footprint at Hance Park.
This year in particular, Wespac and their employees are grateful to have been able to participate in an event that was able to bring hope and goodwill to our community. “In a time of seemingly never- ending negativity and fear in the news, this was a bright light to distract us all, even for just a little bit,” says Largay, “Family, spirit and charity – it is an honor.”