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Goodyear responds to Katrina disaster

AKRON, Ohio -- Goodyear is among the companies to throw its hat into the ring and supporting relief fundraising for...

AKRON, Ohio — Goodyear is among the companies to throw its hat into the ring and supporting relief fundraising for victims of the devastating Hurricane Katrina.

The tire manufacturer is using its famous airships the only ones with electronic day and night signs) – to help spread the word that donations are needed from the American public.

Chuck Sinclair, senior vice-president of global communications for Goodyear, said a variety of airship (or blimp) options were offered to relief agencies by the company.

“We talked about the possibility of flying signs over the affected areas, however it was agreed that the best way to offer immediate support is through an awareness campaign to alert the public where donations can be made,” Sinclair said. “We recognize the relief efforts will go on for months, and we pledge our resources in support of these efforts as a way to keep the American public focused on the needs.”

The first airships to take flight in support of this mission hit the skies in L.A. and Columbus, Ohio. Both blimps were providing coverage of popular NCAA football games, to provide maximum exposure.

“We have extensive travel plans for the airships over the next few months where the California airship will travel coast-to-coast carrying the hurricane relief messages,” Sinclair said. “We also are looking at innovative ways to support fund-raising telethons and concerts.”

Meanwhile, Goodyear is striving to accommodate its employees who were affected by the disaster by providing alternative work assignments including jobs in other Goodyear facilities. It is also considering offering mobile tire service for trucks involved in the cleanup efforts.

“We still have associates unaccounted for and we are making every effort to locate them and to ensure support of affected associates and families,” Sinclair said. He added the company is establishing an internal
repository for donations from other Goodyear associates worldwide who want to assist their fellow workers as well as encouraging donations to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and FEMA relief efforts.

Relief workers in the affected regions won’t have to worry about running out of tires, according to Goodyear.

“Disaster relief is a massive undertaking and this requires an ample supply of tires, many of which are already in short supply. Goodyear is prioritizing the supply of certain types of tires for police cruisers, utility trucks, tractors, loaders and other work vehicles with plans to hold them in reserve in local warehouses for the agencies that desperately need them to support their efforts,” said Sinclair.

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