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With two weeks remaining before Death Valley hosts the Badwater Ultramarathon on July 23, Martin E. Franklin’s fundraising effort to support returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan is hitting its stride. Franklin, 42, Board Chairman of Jarden Corporation, parent of The Coleman Company, Inc., the 2007 Badwater official cooler sponsor, has received pledges of more than $300,000. For the pledges to be paid, he must finish all 135 miles of what is called the toughest footrace on the planet.
Franklin approached all CEOs listed in the Fortune 1000 to help him in his campaign to provide funding to the Wounded Warrior Project, a national non-profit organization based in Jacksonville, Fla., dedicated to assisting the newest generation of injured service men and women returning from active duty.
Why is he doing it? Says Franklin, â€œBecause, in a small way, this grueling race symbolizes the challenges our military vets face when they return from active duty, carrying the scars of war. I’m dedicating my race to those men and women, who’ve stood on that wall and walked that dangerous post, working for peace in our world. We owe them our total support, so they can fully recover from their physical and psychological ordeal and re-enter the workforce.â€
Assisting Franklin in his run will be a six-person support team, including at least one military veteran.
In addition to the funds raised, Franklin hopes his campaign will draw attention to the ongoing needs of returning vets. â€œRegardless of their political leanings, all Americans appreciate the dedication of our military. Now we all must put that appreciation into action.
â€œBeing in war is a life-changing experience, requiring ongoing support for those returning to real life. Jarden is proud of its Operation Careers for Veterans program, designed to identify, consider and hire qualified veterans throughout our organization. In its first year, the program has been successful in doing just that. I’m encouraging my fellow CEOs, if they haven’t already done so, to do the same. The business community can do more. That’s the message I’m sending with this effort,â€ Franklin said.
Those wishing to donate to Franklin’s Badwater campaign can make a pledge by visiting the Jarden Corporation Web site, www.jarden.com, where a video of Franklin’s appeal can be viewed. The video can also be accessed on-line at www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9n3QTnHVVY.
The Badwater Ultramarathon is a 135-mile footrace, starting from Badwater, Death Valley, the lowest elevation in North America at 280 feet below sea level, and finishing at the Whitney Portal at 8,360 feet above sea level. The race must be completed within 60 hours for the competitor to be an official Badwater finisher. Most competitors complete the course in 24 to 48 hours. The race record is held by Scott Jurek of Seattle, Wash., with a time of 24:36:47, set in 2005. The woman’s course record of 27:56:47 was set by Pam Reed of Tuscon, Ariz.
Franklin’s Jarden Corporation owns The Coleman Company, Inc., whose UltimateÂ® XtremeÂ® Cooler is the official cooler of the Badwater competition. Designed to keep ice for up to six days in extreme heat, Coleman is supplying each of the 90 competitors with an 82-Quart Ultimate Xtreme Wheeled Cooler to cool competitors’ and support crews’ food and vital drinks in the 130ËšF Death Valley midday heat. (See separate release for more information.)
The Coleman Company, Inc. is an international leader in the innovation and marketing of outdoor products, including its legendary lanterns, as well as stoves, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, coolers, furniture and grills. Its products are sold and used all over the world. Coleman embraces its leadership role as an advocate for the outdoors, contributing to outdoor causes and inspiring people to get outside. Founded in 1900 and based in Wichita, Kan., Coleman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, and can be found online at www.coleman.com. Consumers can contact Coleman by phone at 800-835-3278 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For information on the Wounded Warrior Project, see www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
Note to media: Coleman news releases and images are available upon request or can be downloaded at www.coleman.com/newsroom.
To request media credentials or for further race information, contact Chris Kostman, race director, at 818-597-9008 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the duration of the race, fans can follow the competition through a live Webcast produced by AdventureCORPS and hosted at www.badwater.com.
ColemanÂ®, UltimateÂ® and XtremeÂ® are registered trademarks of The Coleman Company, Inc.
Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of niche consumer products used in and around the home. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Branded Consumables: BallÂ®, BeeÂ®, BicycleÂ®, CrawfordÂ®, DiamondÂ®, First AlertÂ®, ForsterÂ®, HoyleÂ®, JavaLogÂ®, KerrÂ®, LehighÂ®, Leslie-LockeÂ®, Loew- CornellÂ® and Pine MountainÂ®; Consumer Solutions: BionaireÂ®, Crock- PotÂ®, FoodSaverÂ®, HarmonyÂ®, Health o meterÂ®, HolmesÂ®, Mr. CoffeeÂ®, OsterÂ®, PattonÂ®, RivalÂ®, Seal-a-MealÂ®, SunbeamÂ®, VillaWareÂ® and White Mountainâ„¢; and Outdoor Solutions: Abu GarciaÂ®, BerkleyÂ®, CampingazÂ®, ColemanÂ®, FenwickÂ®, GulpÂ®, MitchellÂ®, StrenÂ® and TrileneÂ®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden has over 20,000 employees worldwide. For more information, please visit www.jarden.com.