SEVILLE, Ohio, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Panther Expedited Services President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Clarke announced today that the company has raised and donated $25,000 in cash and more than 200 toys on behalf of Toys for Tots. Toys for Tots is a mission of the US Marine Corps Reserve where new, unwrapped toys are collected each year and distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children in local communities. The program delivers a message of hope with the goal of assisting these children to become responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The donation follows successful completion of Panther's annual Drive to Fill the Truck campaign, an initiative that includes a weeklong stint as a truck driver for Clarke.
"It's exciting to help provide children with Christmas presents they would not otherwise receive," said Clarke. "And to accomplish this with the support of so many Panther employees, suppliers, and customers makes the effort even more rewarding."
In 2009, Clarke and Panther Chief Information Officer Ed Wadel drove a Sprinter van for one week and donated the proceeds of their effort to Toys for Tots as part of Panther's annual campaign. This year, Clarke worked to earn his CDL license, providing him the opportunity to operate a larger, 22' straight truck. The larger truck — combined with additional fundraising activities — helped Panther increase and surpass its fundraising goals.
"Driving the truck was a great experience," Clarke continued. "I was teamed up with Panther Owner-Operator Lynn Brumfield. Lynn generously donated his time and experience for a great cause. In addition, driving with Lynn provided insight regarding how to improve service to our owner-operators."
Life on the road was not easy. Clarke and Brumfield left Ohio early on Monday, December 13 during a snowstorm heralded as one of the Midwest's largest in recent years. The driving pair forgot to put a mattress in Clarke's bunk; so he slept on a 1-inch sheet of plywood intended to hold the mattress.
They travelled from Cleveland to Arkansas, Missouri, Connecticut, and Indiana before returning to Ohio. "We drove hard the entire time," Clarke added. Indeed. The pair arrived home wearing the same clothes they were wearing when they departed.
Other campaign activities included a holiday party attended by more than 200 people at Panther's Seville, Ohio headquarters. Partygoers donated new, unwrapped toys and helped Panther far surpass its original goal of $5,000 — even before Clarke and Brumfield hit the road.
Panther provides domestic and international logistics solutions to blue-chip corporations, government agencies, and transportation service providers around the world. For more on Panther's Drive to Fill the Truck, visit www.pantherexpedite.com or contact Panther Marketing Coordinator, Stefanie Tesar at (800) 685-0657, ext. 3618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Panther Expedited Services, Inc.