Date: February 3, 2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich. …Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today announced a “Powering Communities Grant” of $50,000 to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Michigan (MAWF). The money will be used to support the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) 300-mile bicycle tour. Eaton is the lead sponsor for this event.

Building on Eaton’s tradition of corporate citizenship, the company’s “Powering Communities Grants” help improve the quality of life in communities where Eaton employees live and work.

“We are very grateful to Eaton, along with the thousands of individuals and corporations in our community for their continued support in helping make wishes come true,” said Susan Fenters Lerch, president and chief executive officer, MAWF. “In 2009, we will be celebrating our 22nd year of the WAM 300 event and as a result of Eaton’s generous donation we hope to grant 250 new heartfelt wishes.”

Since 1984, MAWF has granted wishes to over 5,600 special children in Michigan. Funding comes from individual contributors; special events; corporate donations and sponsorships; foundation grants; workplace giving programs and planned gifts.

The WAM 300 is a three-day, 300-mile fully catered bicycle ride from Traverse City, Mich., to Chelsea, Mich. The event brings more than 600 cyclists and 200 volunteers together to raise funds and awareness for MAWF and is the foundation’s single largest fundraising event. Eaton and its employees have been supporters and participants since 1989, and as a result formed the Eaton Road Warriors cycling team. The group is made up of about 50 riders that include Eaton employees, spouses, family and friends, mostly from the Kalamazoo, Mich., area.  Last year, riders and volunteers raised $1.6 million for the charity – amounting to 200 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. 

“From the first mile of the WAM 300, you are struck by the sight of so many individual souls united in one common effort, toward one common goal,” said Dave Karnes, sales manager, Eaton’s Truck Group headquarters near Kalamazoo, Mich.  “Though the ride is not a race, there is a sense of urgency – to grant as many kid’s wishes as possible, as soon as possible – because some of them are truly in a race for their lives. We’re proud to be associated with the Make-A-Wish organization.” 

Eaton’s operations include facilities in Kalamazoo, Jackson, Marshall, Saginaw, Southfield and Three Rivers, Mich.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2008 sales of $15.4 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 75,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.

Anne Monroe
(216) 523-4918