Ralf Schneider and his wife Manuela could scarcely believe their eyes when they not only had the lucky ticket number, 12993, in their hands but also saw it displayed on the large screen at the Friedhelm Loh Group’s family-friendly festival. They had won the top prize in the raffle – a brand new, bright red Smart car. “On my way to the stage, all the employees slapped me on the shoulder and congratulated me, including some I didn’t know at all,” says the Rittershausen plant employee, recounting his very own lucky moment.
Kevin is one of 96 young people who successfully completed their training at the Friedhelm Loh Group this year, and are moving on to permanent positions. In fact, 28 apprentices sat their exams early and finished their programs at the beginning of the year. “The quality of work has been exceptional,” stressed Matthias Hecker, Director of Technical Training at Rittal. He had this advice for the newly qualified trainees: “Retain your sense of curiosity – and never stop learning.”
As the Rittal Foundation focuses on sustainable development in welfare services, culture and education, the proceeds of the raffle will benefit one project in each of these individual areas – the Eschenburg addiction clinic, the Haiger-based Sing&Act choir and the vocational schools in Dillenburg.
With € 10,000, the Eschenburg clinic can continue to drive forward its preventive work. This specialist addiction clinic is committed to raising awareness of addiction in schools and companies. Sufferers have been treated at the clinic for 40 years, with continuous development of the facilities. The clinic doesn’t just offer 87 in-patient treatment spaces but since 1996 has also delivered out-patient services in Dillenburg, Wetzlar and Giessen. Since 2008, intensive assisted living has also been provided. “When it comes to welfare services, the Rittal Foundation is committed to enabling people to participate in society in ways that are barely possible or are difficult for them,” says Friedemann Hensgen, Chairman of the Rittal Foundation: “The clinic in Eschenburg has been working with precisely these people in need for 40 years.”
Another € 10,000 donation is going to the vocational schools in Dillenburg, which are using it to invest in state-of-the-art machinery and equipment for training. “In funding education, it’s important to us that different projects support each other,” says Hensgen: “We thus fund early years education in nursery schools and projects for preschools, primary schools and secondary schools. We’re also active in dual work/study programmes and further training. What’s particularly important for us is the training phase, where we naturally work closely with the vocational schools.”
After aiding two major projects in the region focusing on culture – one with the Amadeus Junior Akademie in Dillenburg and the other with the Kulturscheune in Herborn – a project in Haiger is now being added. The Sing&Act choir will thus be using the € 10,000 donation to expand its technical facilities and work with young people. The choir, which has won a number of awards, is already collaborating with the Johann-Textor school in Haiger. Modern elements such as dance and beat boxing and music styles such as pop and rock are set to stimulate interest in choral singing in the future, explains Carsten Geiss-Preuschoff, Chairman of Sing&Act e.V.
With the special fundraising raffle at the family-friendly festival, the employees of the Friedhelm Loh Group have also sent out a signal for the future. They are committed to helping good causes, and that’s why ten of them have even been able to take home a thank-you present. Ten prizes, ranging from a Smart car to a holiday and a Weber barbecue, went to the lucky winners. The Rittal Foundation is also using the proceeds of around € 3,000 from the “test your strength” stall for projects in the region: “We’ve enjoyed success for 55 years, and I therefore owe a debt of gratitude to all employees,” says Dr. Loh: “I thank the Foundation for helping to make it possible to live and work in our country in peace and freedom.” He also thanked the sponsors for their support in donating a number of prizes for the raffle.
The Foundation has already supported around 150 projects, including a residential project for chronically ill children, an educational initiative for children and their parents from socially deprived backgrounds, a musical support project for gifted young people and a pioneering project to integrate refugees. Altogether, a total of around € 650,000 has been raised. “It is my sincere wish that, thanks to the Foundation, disadvantaged individuals see that we think about them and are committed to improving their lives,” says Dr. Loh: “This is our mission, both now and in the future.”
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Image 1: At the Group’s family-friendly festival, Dr. Friedhelm Loh presented the donations, each worth € 10,000, to Dr. Thomas Klein, head of the Eschenburg clinic (1st row, 3rd from right), Udo Bretthauer, Chairman of the Förderverein der Gewerblichen Schulen in Dillenburg, an association promoting vocational schools in Dillenburg (front, right), and Carsten Geiss-Preuschoff, Chairman of Sing&Act e.V. (1st row, 2nd from left). Friedemann Hensgen, Chairman of the Rittal Foundation (1st row, right), presented the projects and highlights from five years of the Rittal Foundation to around 6,500 guests at the family party.
Image 2: Dr. Friedhelm Loh presents a € 10,000 donation from the family party raffle to Dr. Thomas Klein (right), manager of the Eschenburg clinic. The clinic specialises in addictions.
Image 3: Rittal plant employee Ralf Schneider, his wife Manuela and son Philipp accept the documentation for their new Smart car with a mixture of disbelief and delight. The € 30,000 proceeds from the raffle will benefit social, cultural and educational projects in the region.
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