Eaton Helps Make-A-Wish Michigan Bicycle Tour Raise $2 Million

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GALESBURG, MI--Augsut 5, 2013: Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton was the lead sponsor of Make-A-Wish Michigan's 2013 Wish-A-Mile (WAM) Bicycle Tour, which has raised more than $2 million to help grant wishes for children throughout Michigan. WAM is the largest fundraising event for Make-A-Wish Michigan, and a key component in helping the charitable organization reach its goal of granting at least 400 wishes this year.

“The funds donated and precious time given by their volunteers and riders provide lifelong memories for Wish families and fellow WAM participants, helping to make WAM such a success and for making wishes come true each year.”

Now in its 26th year, the WAM 300 tour covered three days (July 25-28) and 300 miles with more than 900 riders participating this year. And some 200 riders biked the one-day, 50-mile WAM 50. Both events finished with a partial lap on the track of the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. Many riders and volunteers are parents, friends and community members who have been directly impacted by Make-A-Wish.

"The support Eaton provides to Make-A-Wish Michigan through their participation in the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour is what makes this event so special to participants and Michigan Wish families each year," said Janelle Gunn, WAM Director. "The funds donated and precious time given by their volunteers and riders provide lifelong memories for Wish families and fellow WAM participants, helping to make WAM such a success and for making wishes come true each year."

"Make-A-Wish is a wonderful organization, providing hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions," said John Coll, vice president of Global Marketing for Eaton's Vehicle Group in Galesburg, Mich. "It's a privilege for Eaton and our employees to be associated with Make-A-Wish and help raise money for such a worthwhile cause."

Eaton, which has been involved in WAM for 24 years and has served as the lead sponsor of the event for the last six years, provided support vehicles and $50,000 in corporate funding. In addition, nearly 50 Eaton employees participated in this year's event, including riders--who raised another $61,000 through donations--and volunteer drivers.

Eaton's participation included men and women of all ages from its Vehicle Group facilities in Michigan and Ohio, and one rider from its Aerospace operations in California. The effort was led by Dave Karnes, director of Roadranger Field Sales for the Vehicle Group's North American Truck Business, and Bill Braun, director of Supply Chain Management. The Eaton team also included participants from several of the company's customers and suppliers.

"The WAM Bicycle Tour is a fantastic experience," said Karnes. "Although the event can be both physically and emotionally challenging, it also is extremely rewarding and worthwhile -- especially when we meet some of the Wish recipients and their parents at the end."

Building on the tradition of corporate citizenship, Eaton encourages volunteerism and provides dollar-for-dollar matching of employee gifts to education, arts and cultural non-profit organizations.

Eaton is a diversified power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. A global technology leader, Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in 2012. The 2012 revenue of the combined companies was $21.8 billion on a pro forma basis. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit

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