Ottawa truck maker to sponsor 5K Walk/Run benefitting testicular cancer awareness

OTTAWA, KANSAS – April 12, 2013. With its cause-minded and community-spirited Kalmar division spearheading the effort, Cargotec announces its sponsorship of the first 5K road race to benefit the International Testicular Cancer Foundation (ITCF).

The company’s manufacturing facility at 415 E. Dundee, here, will mark the start and finish line for the Cargotec Annual 5K Run/Walk 2013, scheduled for 8 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2013. Walkers and runners may register for the event online by going to http://cargotec5k2013.com/. Information on sponsorships is also available through the website.

Proceeds from the event will be used to expand ITCF’s efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of testicular cancer, a leading cancer among males aged 15 to 35.

Those outreach efforts take shape under ITCF’s “Let’s Give the Boys a Hand” national awareness campaign. It promotes routine self-examination as a way to head off a type of cancer that’s highly curable if detected early.

To encourage participation and support from the Ottawa plant’s 284 employees, and further aid ITCF, the company will contribute $25 for each employee who registers for the event. Event organizers are hopeful of raising $10,000 for ITCF, via participant entry fees, matching funds from Cargotec and local sponsorships of the event.

The money raised will be used for a broad array of outreach efforts. The national awareness campaign targets venues like schools, youth groups and musical and sporting events. It uses presentations, informational materials, social media, videos, wristbands and other personal reminder tools to bring the subject of testicular cancer and the need for self-examination into the open.

The event is the brainchild of an employee of the Kalmar division who has a personal connection to the tragic consequences of delayed detection of testicular cancer. Ashley Gelvin-Tracy, Accounts Payable Lead at the division, lost a 22-year-old nephew to the cancer in 2010. Joshua Ray Smallwood’s parents subsequently took on the mission of advancing public awareness of a cancer warranting more attention, founding the Joshua Ray Smallwood Foundation and ITCF in Visalia, Calif.

“This is information everyone needs to know, because who doesn’t know someone who could obviously be helped by knowing about testicular cancer and how important early detection is,” she says. “Awareness is increasing, but it’s where breast cancer was 20 years ago in terms of knowledge and attention. It doesn’t need to be that way, and ITCF is trying to elevate the visibility of this disease.”

Gelvin-Tracy’s idea for a run to raise money for ITCF couldn’t have taken root in a more ideal environment. The Kalmar division has a long track record of supporting local and state charities and causes. Identifying such causes is very much a grassroots effort at the plant, where a committee of employees regularly meets to explore how the company can lend its name and resources to community improvement and sponsorship activities.

“I pitched the idea for a walk/run because we also support employee health and wellness through company events like the Biggest Loser, bowling and golf tournaments,” Gelvin-Tracy says. “So not only would we be supporting a worthy charity, but we’d have an activity that could benefit employees who want to participate and get us out even more into the local community through individual participation and company sponsorships. Characteristic of its eagerness to encourage employee involvement and support worthy causes, management threw its support behind her proposal, she says.

“I was well aware of Cargotec’s active support of charitable causes and made a proposal for this event that was enthusiastically supported by the company.” “It’s part of the philosophy that demonstrates that Cargotec is not only a great place to work, but a company that supports the broader community as well.”

For additional information about registrations and sponsorships, please contact:

Ashley Gelvin-Tracy Cargotec 5K Walk/Run Organizer 415 E. Dundee Ottawa, KS 66067 785-229-1100 http://cargotec5k2013.com/ cargotec5k2013@gmail.com ashley.gelvin-tracy@cargotec.com

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