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Panther Raises $25,000 on Behalf of Toys for Tots

Panther Expedited Services President and CEO, Andrew Clarke, spent a week on the road collecting donations.

Panther Expedited Services has raised and donated $25,000 in cash and more than 200 toys on behalf of Toys for Tots. The Toys for Tots program is a mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve where new, unwrapped toys are collected and distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children in local communities. The donation follows successful completion of Panther’s annual Drive to Fill the Truck campaign, an initiative that includes a weeklong stint as a truck driver for company President and CEO, Andrew Clarke.

“It’s exciting to help provide children with Christmas presents they would not otherwise receive,” said Clarke. “And to accomplish this with the support of so many Panther employees, suppliers, and customers makes the effort even more rewarding.”

In 2009, Clarke and Panther Chief Information Officer Ed Wadel drove a Sprinter van for one week and donated the proceeds of their effort to Toys for Tots as part of Panther’s annual campaign. This year, Clarke worked to earn his CDL license, providing him the opportunity to operate a larger 22-ft straight truck. The larger truck — combined with additional fundraising activities — helped Panther increase and surpass its fundraising goals.

“Driving the truck was a great experience,” Clarke continued. “I was teamed up with Panther Owner-Operator Lynn Brumfield, who generously donated his time and experience for a great cause. In addition, driving with Lynn provided insight regarding how to improve service to our owner-operators.”

Clarke and Brumfield left Ohio early on Monday, December 13 during a snowstorm heralded as one of the Midwest’s largest in recent years. The driving pair forgot to put a mattress in Clarke’s bunk; so he slept on a 1-inch sheet of plywood intended to hold the mattress.

They travelled from Cleveland to Arkansas, Missouri, Connecticut, and Indiana before returning to Ohio. “We drove hard the entire time,” Clarke added.

Other campaign activities included a holiday party attended by more than 200 people at Panther’s Seville, Ohio headquarters. Partygoers donated new toys and helped Panther surpass its original goal of $5,000 — even before Clarke and Brumfield hit the road.

More info: Panther Expedite.

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