9/11 Memorial campaign underway in SC

Independent Mail 

Walhalla, SC– Seneca-based Schneider Electric has provided the 9/11 Memorial project with its largest single industry-based contribution.

Plant manager Larry Smith and materials manager Rob Brewer recently presented 9/11 committee member Jim Alexander with a check for $5,000, the money coming from the firm’s foundation organization.

“We are pleased to be able to support the 9/11 Memorial through the Schneider Electric Foundation,” Smith said. “This is an important initiative and it gives Schneider an opportunity to give back to the community in a meaningful way.”

Alexander said the money would be added to private and commercial funds previously received and used for construction of what is being billed as “the finest 9/11 Memorial in the Southeast U.S.”

Ground for the memorial was broken on S.C. Highway 11 on September 11, 2014, and the committee hopes to begin construction soon with dedication of the memorial on September 11 of this year. The site, adjacent to the new Walhalla High School, will feature 9/11 artifacts from the World Trade Center (steel), Pentagon (sandstone debris) and Shanksville, Pa. (soil). Organizers have said it will pay tribute to the first responders who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, military personnel who have died in the War on Terror and those who continue to serve our communities and nation in those ways.

“We can’t thank Schneider enough for this donation,” Alexander said. “The company has a long history of giving back to the community and we are honored that they have chosen to include the 9/11 Memorial in their funding this year.”

Smith noted that community involvement is simply part of the Schneider brand, noting that managers in the plant are expected to be involved with community groups and initiatives.

“They are leaders for us so we believe they can help by sharing those leadership skills with the community,” he said.

Schneider, which currently provides 530 jobs to local residents, contributes annually to many local causes, including support for food pantries and providing coats for families in need. Most notably the firm has a 17-year on site program with the Tribble Center, which provides a higher quality of life for people with disabilities. “They are like part of our family now,” Smith said.

One Schneider employee has personally led an effort to provide for DSS Kids at Christmas.

“She has rallied the troops for 27 years,” he said, “assuring that 30 or 40 kids are helped every year. Each department “adopts” one or more children, raises funds and buys gifts from the child’s list provided by DSS.

“In addition to these local efforts, we are fortunate to have the foundation,” Smith said. “It helps us give back and we think it is very important for large industry to do that in the community.”

Persons wishing more information or to donate to the 9/11 memorial may visit: mountainlakes911memorial.com, or call 864.985.2446.

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