Upcycling for a Cause: Jutty’s Buddies

The purpose of storytelling is to inspire others to do great things. The emotions that linger long after can be more impactful than statistics and facts. Stories teach, engage, and help us to remember.

Relan Connection

Each year, we look forward to participating in one particularly special event, the Justin C. Crane Scholarship Golf Tournament held in honor of my brother-in-law. Justin had been in my life since he was 12 years old (or younger) so honestly, I considered him my brother. He always took care of me and was someone I looked up to.

Held at the Dakota Pines Gold Club in Hastings, MN, the event brought together the friends, family, and community for the 5th annual fundraiser for Justin, who sadly passed away from Leukemia in 2012. Justin was a 1993 graduate of South St. Paul High School, a leader in high school, and in college. Since his passing, each year funds raised by Jutty’s Buddies and are awarded as a $5,000 scholarship to a current South Saint Paul Packer football player who, like Justin, is both a successful leader on the football field and in the classroom.

 Justin and family

Justin and family


Sam and Alex, Justin's son and daughter, were only six and three years old when he passed away. Della Simpson, Relan’s CEO and their grandma, proudly brings the kids to the golf event each year to "play golf," and said that, “Sam is getting really good, just like his dad, and Alex is also doing really well!”

As Kari would say, “Sam got Justin’s sports skills and Al got his super friendly, love everyone, and worry about nothing personality!”

This is just one of the many fundraisers in honor of Justin, whose nickname was “Jutty.” Jutty’s Buddies also organizes an annual bowling event as well as participation in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night walk.

Jutty’s Buddies believes that Justin was an incredible human and they are honored to be involved in something that positively impacts the community that Justin grew up in and keeps his memory alive for his children and others who knew and loved him.

Justin was also one of the biggest supporters when Della and I took over Relan. We wish every day that he were here to see our company succeed!

Customized Event Gifts

Storytelling is something that definitely takes place each year at the Jutty’s Buddies Golf Tournament. All the fun stories about Justin, the memories, and how hard it is to believe that he isn’t there! But the stories are what we have now to keep his memory alive.

We are a proud sponsor of the annual golf event and this year we provided each attendee with a one-of-a-kind, upcycled, 6 pack cooler with custom labels featuring the Jutty's Buddies logo.

 Photo: label from this year’s cooler

Photo: label from this year’s cooler

What we love about providing the coolers is that long after the event is over, new friendships that were formed will continue and the stories that were shared will be remembered. Going forward, having the coolers will continue to remind them of that special day and the stories from the 5th annual event will live on.


Keep up with Jutty’s Buddies on social media and follow them on Facebook and Twitter and participate in their fundraisers throughout the year.

Relan Wrap-Up

Your company has the power to inspire and engage others too. Help your customers, fans, and employees remember that you are doing great things by upcycling materials into useful products which protects the earth.

Don’t know where to start? That’s ok, we can help! Click here to send us an email saying you want to start upcycling and we’ll take it from there!

Get more ideas for your organization about the benefits of using upcycled marketing products by subscribing to the Relan Blog!

relan blog

Kari Brizius is President of Relan and is a West Point Graduate, certified personal trainer, a US Army Veteran, and a wholehearted entrepreneur. Kari’s passion for the environment, the planet, and healthy living fuels her entrepreneurial spirit. Her mission is to provide thought leadership on sustainability initiatives surrounding healthy living, the environment, and sustainability messaging.