At the International WorkBoat Show last year, Genoa Design International launched an “Adopt a Genoa Bear” initiative to support Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.

Newfoundland, Canada-based Genoa brought about 250 bears to the show and made a $5 monetary contribution to Children’s Hospital for every bear that was claimed at the company’s booth. Not surprisingly, all the bears were claimed. Then Genoa raised the stakes.

For everyone who had a bear and sent the design company a picture of the bear in its new home, Genoa would raise it contribution for that bear to $10. The initiative was a big success.

At this year’s WorkBoat Show last week, Genoa’s generosity was on display again. This year the company brought 300 pairs of socks to give to the New Orleans Mission, Louisiana’s largest provider of continuous emergency shelter services. Each pair of socks came with a Christmas tag attached. Attendees were asked to sign a tag to make the gift a little more personal.

“We do this because we’ve been coming here for years, and we want to give something back to the city of New Orleans,” Leonard Pecore, Genoa’s founder and chairman of the board, said from the show floor. “And we want it to be something fun for the people at the show.”

All the socks were signed by attendees and some of the signers even added a little cash something inside the socks they signed. “Yes, some people have been doing that. What a great surprise for the people who get those socks,” said Pecore.

Following the closing of the show on Friday, the Genoa contingent, including Pecore, CEO Gina Pecore, technical manager Lance Brown and academy lead Holly Tocknell, brought the socks to the mission personally. And Genoa sweetened the pot with an additional $1,500 contribution. “People aren’t used to the cold here, so we thought it would be a good idea for them to get a nice pair of warm socks,” Leonard Pecore said. “We all carried multiple pairs of socks in our luggage to get them down here, and it was worth it.”

Pecore said the group already knows what charitable enterprise it’s going to bring to New Orleans next year. “But you’ll have to wait until next year to find out,” he said.


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.