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updated: 11/26/2013 10:21 AM

Diageo employees donate $40,000 to United Way

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Plainfield-based Diageo North America's Plainfield employees recently presented United Way of Will County with a donation of more than $40,000.

Employees raised the money in one month, holding a variety of events and activities throughout October, including a silent auction, bake sales, a barbecue and raffle.

"Our United Way is so grateful for the most generous support it received this year from Diageo's wonderful employees," said Michael Hennessy, president and CEO of United Way of Will County. "The funds raised will be used to help individuals and families in our community who are facing a number of challenges. Our United Way is so fortunate to work with companies, like Diageo, whose employees truly lead by example and graciously give back to help their community."

Diageo's Plainfield site is home to the largest North America bottling operations of the drinks company, as well as the region's technical center, including a research and development area for new liquids, packaging and manufacturing processes. The site employs approximately 600 people. The Plainfield team has run annual campaigns for the United Way of Will County since 2004.

"Raising more than $40,000 in one month is a remarkable accomplishment, and a testament to our employees' dedication to helping our neighbors," said Erik Snyder, vice president manufacturing, Plainfield. "We're confident that through the United Way, this donation will make a meaningful impact in the lives of those who need it most."

Diageo's employees found creative ways to raise money, such as raffling off perks like preferred parking, collecting spare change by the cafeteria cash registers and holding "spirit days" when employees could demonstrate their allegiance to a favorite sports team in exchange for a donation.  They also used traditional fundraising methods, including payroll deductions, bake sales and cash donations.

"Our employees have always been deeply committed to supporting their community," said Steve Harris, SVP Technical. "Over the last nine years, the Diageo Plainfield team has given a total of $486,771 to United Way of Will County. We're proud to have made a difference in our community."

The United Way campaign is one of a number of ways that Diageo North America and the company's Plainfield employees give back to the surrounding community. Each year, the team holds a Toys for Tots drive, and this month they are running their first Movember campaign to raise vital funds and awareness for men's health issues. During Plainfield's recent floods, a number of employees helped sand bagging efforts and the company provided supplies for emergency services units. The site has also just committed $10,000 to the Plainfield Police department who will be supporting tornado relief efforts in Washington, IL.

In addition to the community service work being done in Plainfield, across North America, hundreds of Diageo employees volunteer thousands of hours and contribute to numerous fundraising activities each year.

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