More than 100 attendees attending the annual winter conference of MAPPS, the national association for private sector geospatial firms, at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., competed to win prizes for care packages to be sent to deployed military service members. This was part of the "Team Up for Troops" networking event held during the conference.

"On a regular basis the members of MAPPS are working to provide information to our military partners and clients, but today we are providing a different type of support. As business owners, MAPPS members are not just interested in profit, but professionalism and community service as well. This is a gratifying opportunity to benefit active duty service members protecting our freedom and in harm's way," said Jeff Lower, MAPPS president. "As a trade association, MAPPS is an advocate for professionalism in the geospatial market and this event is an example of the community spirit of the organization and its mission of service to others."

Participants were split into teams to collect items including DVDs, flip cams, mini footballs, flashlights, winter hats, note pads, pens and chapstick provided by the event sponsors. The sponsors of each of the teams included Michael Baker Jr., Inc. (Harrisburg, Pa.); Microsoft Corporation (Boulder, Colo.); Merrick & Company (Greenwood Village, Colo.); PAR, LLC (Bossier City, La.); Quantum Spatial (Sheboygan, Wis.); and RIEGL USA (Orlando, Fla.).

The care packages were received by Lieutenant Colonel Jon Shultz of the Alabama Air National Guard and will be sent to service members around the world. Recipients of the care packages have a connection to attendees or the firms that make up the MAPPS membership.