This year's annual United Way Kick-Off Rally at Saint-Gobain's Greendale campus at noon on Thursday, September 17, will again include members of the U.S. Luge Team, who will speak to Saint-Gobain employees about their Olympic experience and the importance of the United Way. They will also instruct employees on proper techniques for riding wheeled luge sleds down a specially designed wooden ramp.
While in the Worcester area, members of the Luge Team will also visit the Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public High School and the Worcester's Boy's Club to support the United Way and discuss their Olympics experience. The Boys Club visit will also feature the wheeled luge ride, which Club members will experience, with instruction from the Luge Team.
The 2009 rally at Saint-Gobain's Greendale campus will take place at noon on September 17th at the parking lot behind the Saint-Gobain visitor center, and will feature an employee bake sale, remarks by United Way and Saint-Gobain executives, a raffle to benefit the United Way, a food relay race, and luge-related activities.
Scheduled to speak at Saint-Gobain are Mark Rayfield, the company's Vice President of Abrasives North America and Superabrasives Worldwide, and Tim Garvin, President and CEO of United Way of Central Massachusetts.
At 3:30 p.m. on the 17th, a half-hour conversation with members of the Luge Team, accompanied by Tim Garvin and Glenn Knowlton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Saint-Gobain Abrasives in North America, will be featured live on the Jordan Levy radio program broadcast on WTAG.
Saint-Gobain Abrasives is the primary sponsor of the USA Luge Team, providing the team with abrasive products through 2011 – including the Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, next year.
Among those expected to attend the kickoff are:
- U.S. Olympic Luge Team members Mark Grimmette, 1998 and 2002 Olympic Medalist; Erin Hamlin, 2009 World Luge Champion and 2006 Olympian; Brian Martin, 1998 and 2002 Olympic Medalist; and Ashley Walden, World Cup Medalist and 2002 Olympian.
- U.S. Olympic Luge Team executives Gordy Sheer (1998 Olympic Luge Medalist) and Dmitry Feld.
With more than 1,000 subsidiaries in 59 countries, Saint-Gobain is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of building materials, and a leader in the production of high-performance materials and glass containers. Founded in 1665 and headquartered in Paris, Saint-Gobain had worldwide sales of $64.4 billion in 2008 and 210,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain employs approximately 20,000 people, and had sales of $8.1 billion in 2008. In Massachusetts, the company has approximately 2,300 employees, with major production facilities in Milford, Northampton, Norwood, Taunton and Worcester.
Saint-Gobain has approximately 1,500 employees based in Worcester and Northhboro. Last year, Saint-Gobain's combined corporate, employee and retiree donation to the United Way of Central Massachusetts was $407,000 – one of the highest total contributions in the region.