Chicago To Get More Than $1 Million From Ford As Part Of Automaker’s Community Relations
* Ford Motor Company Fund’s “Operation Goodwill” to provide funding for Chicagoland charities and community programs totaling more than $1 million dollars in 2008.
* Includes Driving Skills for Life, a program adopted by the state of Illinois targeted at hundreds of teens; kicks off at U.S. Cellular Field.
* Program to feature joint efforts between Ford and its dealers on causes such as Chicago’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
CHICAGO, Illinois, May 12, 2008 - Ford Motor Company and the Ford Motor Company Fund announced today that they plan to invest more than $1 million in Chicago community programs and charities in 2008.
The contribution is part of “Operation Goodwill,” a Ford Fund initiative launching this year to increase Ford Motor Company’s commitment to local communities, such as the Chicagoland area. The pilot program will primarily support the Ford Fund’s focus on educational programs, automotive safety and volunteer activities, as well as causes of interest to Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Marketing efforts, such as local television advertising, will be used to raise awareness of Ford’s Chicago area community relations.
“Operation Goodwill gives us the opportunity to make our philanthropy and community relations more relevant in areas such as Chicago, and is designed to highlight the fact that Ford has been, and will continue to be, an important corporate citizen in the community,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.
Ford’s roots run deep in Chicago, where it has contributed more than $20 million to local charities. During the company’s founding in 1903, a Chicago dentist purchased the first Ford vehicle ever sold. Ford opened its first branch office in Chicago in 1905, and the company has been building cars in the city since 1924. There are approximately 3,400 employees and 3,000 retirees presently living in the Chicago area.
Ford’s Operation Goodwill builds on that history by launching on May 12 at U.S. Cellular Field its first Chicago-area Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program. The award-winning program will offer more than 300 newly licensed Chicago area high school drivers a chance to hone their skills in specially equipped vehicles on challenging driving courses while under the supervision of a team of professional instructors from across the U.S. DSFL will travel to other cities in Illinois this year.
Ford is also the longtime supporter of another well known Chicago charity: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), where finding a cure remains a top priority. Ford and its Chicagoland dealers are sponsoring several JDRF events in 2008 including June Family Day at Gurnee’s Six Flags Great America and the Ron Santo JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in October, where Ford dealers will support local family walk teams to raise funds and awareness of this disease.
Ford is a longtime supporter of the JDRF and finding a cure remains a top priority. Ford and their Chicagoland dealers will sponsor several significant events in 2008 including, June Family Day at Gurnee’s Six Flags Great America and the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes in October. Ford dealers will support family team partnerships to raise funds and awareness of this disease.
“Chicagoland Ford dealers are joining forces with Ford Motor Company to regionalize its philanthropic giving,” said Colin Wickstrom, dealer principal, Wickstrom Ford Lincoln Mercury. “We think this is the right thing to do because the needs within our communities have never been greater, and we can help Ford identify how and where to donate funds.”
Ford Motor Company Fund is also a major supporter of education and safety programs in Chicago. Ford is working with local community partners to transform a 100-year old power plant into an eco-friendly charter high school – Henry Ford Academy: Power House High. And Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies is helping high school students prepare for the future with a real-world curriculum. “After School Matters”, a program championed by Chicago’s First Lady, Maggie Daley, and sponsored by Ford, is capable of serving 28,000 area teens with hands-on programs that help them develop marketable job skills.
Sustainable design will be the focus of the Ford Calumet Environmental Center, which is scheduled to break ground this year. Ford Motor Company Fund provided the City of Chicago with a $6 million-grant toward construction and programming for this state of the art center with 140 acres of wetlands, natural habitat and environmental exhibits.
To find out more about Operation Goodwill and all of the good work Ford is doing in Chicagoland please visit, www.forddrivingchicago.com.
Operation Goodwill - Ford in the Chicagoland community
* Henry Ford Academy: Power House High: Ford Motor Company Fund is working with local community partners to transform a 100-year old power plant in Chicago’s North Lawndale community into a charter school for grades 9-12. The academic curriculum will emphasize the use of the green building features to enhance lessons on the environment, clean technologies, and sustainability.
* Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (Ford PAS): This innovative program is helping Chicago-area high schools provide a challenging education that will prepare students for success in college and the world of work.
* After School Matters: This program, championed by Chicago’s First Lady, Maggie Daley, and sponsored by Ford, is geared to help young people develop useful skills outside the traditional classroom. The program is capable of reaching more than 28,000 teens.
* Ford UAW Training Center: This facility at the entrance to Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant will open the door to future jobs by training Ford UAW employees in robotics and high technology manufacturing. The center also will be available to the community
* Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF): Ford employees and dealers lace up their walking shoes each year and join Chicago’s Global Walk Team for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes. Ford Motor Company raises more money for JDRF nationally than any other corporate sponsor, and this year Ford and its Chicagoland dealers will make the Chicago JDRF cause a top priority. We will sponsor several significant events in 2008 including, June Family Day at Gurnee’s Six Flags Great America and the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes in October. Ford dealers will support family team partnerships to raise funds and awareness of this disease.
* America’s Second Harvest: Another Ford truck is ready for loading to help feed the hungry in Illinois. Ford has provided more than 60 trucks to help distribute food in Illinois and across a nationwide network of food pantries, soup kitchens and emergency shelters. Based in Chicago, America’s Second Harvest is the leading hunger relief organization in the U.S.
* Driving Skills for Life: Ford’s award winning teen safe driving program has teamed up with the State of Illinois for Operation Teen Safe Driving. Area schools are developing safe driving campaigns as part of the effort to sharpen the skills of teenage drivers.
* Car Care Clinics: Ford Motor Company has partnered with SafeSmartWomen (S2W) to teach teenage girls critical safety tips with the goal of decreasing the number of motor vehicle crashes among 15-20 year old drivers. The training covers hands-on car care maintenance education, driver safety strategies, road safety and responsibilities as a driver. Ford Motor Company and S2W partner with Girl Scouts councils to bring car care training to young women around the country. This program will be brought to Chicago in the fall of 2008.
* Ford Calumet Environmental Center: Ford provided the City of Chicago with a $6 million-grant toward construction and programming for this state of the art center that features 140 acres of wetlands and will focus on sustainable design.
* Friends of the Parks: Ford sponsors this program as part of National Public Lands Day. More than 1,000 volunteers annually come together to clean up Chicago’s beaches, parks and playgrounds.
ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY FUND AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford’s legacy of caring worldwide.
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