May 30, 2012.
Executives with Cargotec Solutions, LLC., manufacturer of Ottawa Terminal Tractors, yesterday presented the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) with two checks for $10,000 each, formally marking Cargotec’s first-ever support of the organization, a grassroots cause that raises money and public awareness for Special Olympics Kansas.
As an LETR Guardian of the Flame Sponsor, a designation attained on the basis of its donation — which will be matched by LETR — Cargotec yesterday served as an LETR torch transfer point on one leg of the run through Kansas.
Participating law enforcement officers from bordering Douglas County, Kansas arrived at the Cargotec facility bearing the symbolic Flame of Hope yesterday, passing it to participating officers from both Ottawa and Franklin County, Kansas. In all, officers across the state will carry the Flame of Hope on multiple legs totalling more than 1,000 miles on its way to Wichita, where it will arrive June 1.
The passing of the torch and the formal check presentation were part of a ceremony at the Cargotec facility marking the occasion. Officials from Special Olympics Kansas, Special Olympic athletes, city and county officials, Cargotec employees and other dignitaries were on hand for the event. Cargotec’s Ottawa facility decided last year to throw substantial support behind Special Olympics Kansas. Alan Wilson, director, Multi-Assembly Unit–Ottawa, says the company’s decision to support the cause was motivated by its desire to both make a difference in the community, and by a personal connection to the organization. The company’s Quality Environmental Health and Safety manager, Allan Henderson, is a Special Olympics coach in Topeka, Kansas, and is the parent of a special needs daughter, Bekah, who, as a Global Messenger for Special Olympics, actively participated in the ceremony.
“We think it’s extremely important that as a long-time business in the state and the City of Ottawa, we support organizations like this,” Wilson says. “Special Olympics Kansas provides great opportunities for people who need our support and help to participate in activities which can teach them life skills and provide necessary encouragement.”
Wilson says co-worker Henderson’s personal connection with Special Olympics Kansas, and his long-time involvement in the organization, simplified Cargotec’s decision to single out Special Olympics Kansas as a particularly worthy cause.
“Since Allan has been so closely tied to the organization and our workforce has always been very supportive individually of the cause, we thought that taking advantage of the opportunity to become a Guardian of the Flame Sponsor through our donation presented a great opportunity to ramp up our efforts as a member of the local and regional business community to support and serve in new and beneficial ways,” Wilson said.
Special Olympics Kansas hailed the Cargotec donation and the Ottawa site’s active involvement in LETR as a great example of generosity and commitment by an established, respected Kansas enterprise to an important cause.
“We are delighted to welcome Cargotec as a Guardian of the Flame Sponsor,” says Chris Hahn, president and CEO, Special Olympics Kansas. “The Torch Run is an international grassroots program of Special Olympics and, we feel, is a great fit for Cargotec with their international presence. Cargotec’s sponsorship will provide programs in support of Special Olympics Kansas’ three initiatives: health and wellness, athlete development and sports training. This is the first year Cargotec has sponsored LETR and we hope it will be mutually beneficial and on-going for both organizations.”
Looking ahead, Wilson says he’s planning to continue to support LETR and Special Olympics Kansas. As he looks for opportunities to reach out to the community and continue to make a difference with its resources, Wilson says there are few organizations that can rival Special Olympics Kansas and LETR in wholehearted dedication to a cause. “Our plan now is to continue to support it on an annual basis,” he says. “Special Olympics makes a real difference and we as a long-time, dedicated member of the community here want to affiliate with groups that share our values and commitment to making Kansas a better place for each and every one of us.”
Additional Background on Ottawa Terminal Tractors
The popularity of Ottawa terminal tractors has grown rapidly since their introduction in 1958. In February 2011, the Ottawa factory reached the 50,000 unit production milestone, which is more than twice the production volume of all North American terminal tractor competitors combined. As the world’s leader in terminal tractors, offering the most comprehensive range of models for warehouse and distribution operations, ports and rail terminals, Cargotec’s commitment to continuous product development has resulted in many industry firsts. Besides being the original manufacturer of terminal tractors, Ottawa was the first to offer machines with an automatic transmission, a rear door entry, integral air conditioning units, power cab tilt and ABS brake systems. Ottawa terminal tractors were also the first on the market to receive DOT/EPA certification – a paramount classification for distribution and industrial customers whose operation entails shunting trailers between yards via public streets and roadways.
Cargotec offers an expanding portfolio of eco-friendly Ottawa terminal tractors including machines powered by gasoline and alternative fuels, such as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).