RADNOR, PA –– Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), one of the nation's leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, has reaffirmed its commitment to Operation Homefront, a San Antonio-based national nonprofit that supports America's troops by providing emergency assistance and support to the families our troops leave behind when they are deployed and to wounded service members when they return home.
Airgas announced its continued support of the organization at the Operation Homefront Faces of Valor Fundraiser and Ceremony, aboard the Battleship New Jersey in Camden, N.J. on September 11, 2014. During the ceremony, Airgas executives Andrew Cichocki, President of Airgas USA, LLC; Pamela Claypool, Senior Vice President of Human Resources; and Ron Stark, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, presented the company’s seventh annual donation of $100,000 to Operation Homefront President and CEO Jim Knotts.
In total, the company’s renewed commitment to the organization is $300,00 to be given over the next three years in $100,000 increments. Airgas was the signature sponsor of the Faces of Valor event, which highlighted Operation Homefront’s work in the Philadelphia area with the help of local volunteers and donors.
“Airgas has been a proud partner of Operation Homefront since 2008. This year, we are especially honored to mark the anniversary of September 11, 2001 with a renewed commitment to the organization and to our troops,” said Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael L. Molinini. “Operation Homefront was founded to meet the needs of the military community during difficult times, and Airgas is proud to support this work to give vital aid to those who have given so much to this country.”
In addition to Airgas’ ongoing corporate support of Operation Homefront, thousands of Airgas associates across the country have been involved in local activities and fundraisers to support the organization, including bake sales, food drives, 5K walks and raffles.
“Airgas’ support has been invaluable and we look forward to a long future of partnership,” said Jim Knotts, President and Chief Executive Officer of Operation Homefront. “Beyond the company’s generous financial commitment, Airgas employees have volunteered to help at Operation Homefront events across the country. That dedication makes a real difference in the lives of our wounded warriors and military families.”
In 2008, Airgas announced its partnership with Operation Homefront. At that time, Airgas also set a goal to hire 100 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan service in the following 12 months, and began offering the Airgas “Welding 101” course to any veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan service interested in exploring a career in welding. Airgas met its initial $300,000 pledge in 2010 and has since extended its commitment each year with additional annual donations of $100,000, with 70 percent going toward Operation Homefront's projects to assist wounded soldiers. The company’s current commitment will extend through 2016. Since 2008, Airgas has hired more than 1,000 veterans and continues to offer its “Welding 101” training program to veterans.