Continental shows appreciation with donation

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Continental Tire the Americas LLC marked the first year in its new headquarters in South Carolina on May 12, 2010, with a special celebration.

As part of the festivities, the company donated $35,000 to Lancaster County schools and more than 350 tires for the county to use in its police, fire and municipal vehicle fleets. According to Continental, the donations amounted to nearly $100,000.

"Continental Tire the Americas has enjoyed business growth in 2009, despite the poor economy," said CEO Matthias Schoenberg. "We've been given such a warm welcome by Lancaster County and the state of South Carolina since we moved our headquarters here last year, that we felt it was time we gave back to the community."

In addition to the donations of tires and financial support to the schools, Schoenberg also announced the launch of a volunteer effort by the nearly 400 employees who work in the new $11 million dollar, 75,000-square-foot facility. They were encouraged to visit with representatives from schools in the Indian Land community to learn about how they can help support the educational efforts through volunteering at the schools.

"Our employees can have a significant impact on the education of our children, and we are making this possible by giving employees some time off during the workday so they can be a part of our local schools," Schoenberg said. "With the cutbacks that the school system is facing as a result of budget reductions, we consider it our responsibility to pitch in and help these great teachers and administrators.

"I'd like to encourage other South Carolina-based companies to become involved in their local schools if they are not already doing so. Whether it is through a financial donation or an employee volunteer program, if more companies get involved in the education of our young people we will help build the workforce for the future of this state."

Along with Continental Chief Financial Officer Tim Rogers and Vice President of Human Resources Rick Ledsinger, and on behalf of all Continental Tire employees, Schoenberg presented the $35,000 check to Lancaster County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Gene Moore.

"This generous donation will give our teachers another tool for increasing student success as we will use the donation to purchase high-tech new 'smart boards' for our classrooms," said Moore. "We're also looking forward to the efforts of Continental employees in our classrooms at every level.  Community involvement is critical to our efforts as educators."

In presenting the Lancaster County officials with their donation, Paul Williams, Continental's executive vice president of the Americas Commercial Vehicle Tire division, "unveiled" a truckload of new Continental and General brand tires for cars, light trucks and heavier commercial vehicles. The donation will allow the county to replace tires on its vehicles at no cost for several months to come.

"We are grateful to South Carolina for helping us develop this beautiful new headquarters," said Schoenberg. "The Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation and the State of South Carolina were instrumental in the decision to move our headquarters.

"We appreciate their efforts on our behalf, and we look forward to a long and successful future in South Carolina, with many more 'good news' days like today!"

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