Shop Talk

Giglio: Triangle Rock Club makes community a high priority

clowenst@newsobserver.com

The Triangle Rock Club keeps winning awards and keeps finding ways to give back.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the latest to recognize the Morrisville-based company last week as the winner of its 10th annual DREAM BIG Small Business Award at the America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The company also placed third in the event’s Community Excellence Award, which is voted on by the public.

And it’s no surprise what TRC plans to do with its $10,000 prize.

“We’ll use all of the money to support our community service work,” said Joel Graybeal, TRC managing partner.

For a small firm, TRC has made a big impact on the community. It’s made significant contributions to help those in need, mostly in-kind gifts that are made available through the use of the company’s gyms.

In 2014, TRC earned community steward awards from both the Cary and Morrisville chambers of commerce.

In 2013, the company pledged $25,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham for the naming rights to a room they call The Tree House. To help with that pledge, TRC plans to host its third Climbathon in the next 12 to 18 months, in which teams from the club climb through the night to raise money. The first two events raised more than $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing and support for families with children who are seriously ill and being treated at nearby hospitals.

TRC has worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters by hosting a free event that gave 40 from the organization a chance to work with the club’s youth climbing team. They’ve donated to school auctions and partnered with local PTAs to host a family fun climb night, in which the club donates a large portion of the proceeds back to those PTAs.

Triangle Rock Club is a Gold sponsor of Over the Edge, which benefits the Special Olympics, and gives people a chance to rappel down 30 stories of the Wells Fargo building in downtown Raleigh. The club has helped train those people in their gym and will again this summer.

Graybeal and his business partners, Andrew Kratz and Luis Jauregui, aren’t done.

Among the things they plan to do with that $10,000 is to establish the Triangle Rock Club Foundation, a nonprofit that will allow them to introduce climbing to underprivileged kids, Graybeal said. They’ll use some of the money for the legal work to set up the organization.

Part of the foundation’s plans are similar to TRC’s New Heights project, which started about five months ago and partners with the American Alpine Club, the YMCA and TRC’s youth climbing team. This summer, the initiative donated six TRC weeklong summer camp slots to kids at the YMCA.

“Today we don’t really do a lot of financial contributions,” Graybeal said. “We do in-kind contributions, but in the future as we crank up the foundation, that would be a way to introduce financial contributions, through the foundation.”

N.C. Blue Ribbon winners

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