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$165,000 split among several Lafayette area nonprofits

A Lafayette manufacturer’s successful fundraiser means $165,000 is going to local charities.

Wabash National raised most of that from its corporate suppliers’ golf outing Wednesday. President and CEO Dick Giromini says businesses need to reach out and help area service agencies.

“With federal funding continuing to decrease, state funding continuing to decrease to support a lot of these programs – it really becomes important for us to step up when we can,” he says.

Wabash National gave the Wounded Warriors Project, Wabash Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Special Olympics $20,000 each.

Justin Howton is a member of the Ivy Tech Student Veterans Organization. He says the donation to Wounded Warrior is more than just financially significant.

“Your support means everything,” he told a large room of Wabash National suppliers. “From my heart, I say thank you as well, because knowing that I have so much support, it makes life a little easier for us.”

Wabash National also donated $85,000 to United Way of Greater Lafayette. Giromini says $10,000 of that is going to support the Read to Succeed program.

“We have 21 classroom volunteers this year to help the Read to Succeed program, and we had seven last year – we’ve tripled it for this year and that’s exciting,” he says. “It’s such a great program and we’re just so very pleased to support that.”

United Way of Greater Lafayette CEO James Taylor says they could not do the literacy effort without corporate support. He says Wabash National continues to go above and beyond.

“They’ve provided us pro bono help in terms of branding early on in the process to help us get up and running with our website and so forth,” he says, “and continue to provide us with volunteers and leadership support throughout this as well as advocacy for the program.”

The remaining $5,000 from the golf outing is going to the United Way of Fond du Lac, WI. That’s the headquarters of Wabash National subsidiary Brenner, which is kicking off its annual campaign effort.

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