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Susan Mast ALS Foundation to Fund Voice Preservation Program with Donation from Andy J. Egan Co.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Mechanical contractor and fabricator Andy J. Egan Co. (Egan) announces that the Susan Mast ALS Foundation is this month’s $10,000 recipient in the Egan $100k Community Giveaway. The donation continues the company’s commitment to celebrate its 100th Anniversary by donating $100,000 to West Michigan charities in 2019.

Susan Mast ALS Foundation supports ALS patients, their families and caregivers living in West Michigan. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, for which there is currently no cure or treatment. The disease causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing, and usually results in total paralysis. To assist patients as they lose their ability to speak, the foundation recently created a program called “Jim’s Voice.” Through a process known as “voice banking,” patients preserve messages and speech in their own words, which allows them to use assistive devices to continue communication as the disease progresses.

“We have all the tools for the program, but we do not have a speech pathologist to implement the program,” said Julie Snelling, Executive Director of the Susan Mast ALS Foundation. “Using this donation to fill that need will be amazing and life changing for West Michigan ALS families.”

The Susan Mast ALS Foundation currently assists 90 ALS families and has assisted more than 150 since opening its doors in 2016. Before the Susan Mast ALS Foundation was established, ALS families in West Michigan had minimal assistance with the disease. The foundation has worked to change that with programs that provide respite care, loans of durable medical equipment, support groups, transportation assistance, caregiver training, financial support, meals for ALS families and more.

“The Susan Mast ALS Foundation is doing such important work to support members of our community who are confronted with the hardships of this disease,” said Beth Jester, Spokesperson for Egan. “What an honor to help them preserve something that as precious and as personal as individuals’ voices.”

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