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Spirit of America
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Like many companies responding to the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., officials at North Dakota-based Bobcat Company looked for a unique but appropriate way to demonstrate their support to the victims and their families. In the wake of the tragedies, Bobcat Company took their support to a new level. The result is a $208,300 donation to the American Red Cross in support of the 9-11 relief work.

Bobcat immediately prepared its dealers by shipping additional units into the area., and dealers supplied their customers with additional machines, maintenance supplies and attachments to use in the cleanup. Yet the Bobcat Company really wanted to do something more.

�Seeing images of the rescue on network television, and knowing Bobcat equipment owners were working at ground zero, made it all the more compelling to help,� said Chuck Hoge, president and CEO of Bobcat Company of West Fargo.

An idea arose when Bobcat employees and dealers first saw one of the most gripping photos published in the New York Daily News a day or two after the disaster. It showed a Bobcat loader surrounded by firefighters. A New York City fire truck sat in the foreground with an American flag perched from its snorkel boom. The anonymous Bobcat operator had the grim task of carrying away one of the disaster victims in an orange body bag. �That photo really tugged at my heart. The true Spirit of America is exemplified by people like him," said Hoge.

Compelled to do more, the Bobcat Company began manufacturing a Spirit of America special edition skid-steer loader on September 17th. A Bobcat loader painted in patriotic colors seemed a fitting tribute to both the victims and the heroic workers. The company announced to its dealers that they would donate $400 to the American Red Cross for each special edition machine ordered and gave local Bobcat distributors three days to place their special edition orders. Eager to support the cause, distributors met the time limit. Further, the company announced additional donations of $100 for other Bobcat loader models ordered by September 30th. In all, more than 300 Spirit of America commemorative skid-steer loaders were ordered, plus an additional 883 units backed by the smaller contribution.

Bobcat Company officials presented a check for $208,300 to Kathy Schons, executive director of the local Minn-Kota Chapter of the American Red Cross, in a ceremony held at the company's West Fargo headquarters just before the holidays. The Chapter has forwarded the gift to the American National Red Cross to assist with the continued 9-11 relief efforts.

"This money is to benefit the victims and their families,� Hoge said. �Like so many Americans, Bobcat employees and dealers are patriotic citizens who want to do their part to support their country. Across the country we see cars and trucks proudly waving the American flag, and homes displaying the flag day and night. Patriotic songs fill the airwaves. The September 11th attacks have solidified the country like never before. It was in that same spirit that we built our Bobcat Spirit of America skid-steer loader."

North Dakota-based Bobcat Company (www.bobcat.com) is a business unit of Ingersoll-Rand Company, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., a major diversified industrial company. Ingersoll-Rand's product lines serve a wide range of industrial and commercial markets worldwide. Further information on Ingersoll-Rand can be found on the company's World Wide Web site at www.irco.com.

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